Wall-e

Wall-e Last night we went to see Wall-e, the new Pixar film. Now, Monica had not seen a Pixar film since 'The Incredibles' (which she liked). I saw 'Cars' without her, and said 'don't bother'. Neither of us saw 'Ratatouille' ('Cars' having put us off the idea). (My Cars review... a bit rambly I'm afraid)

Wall-e had earned glowing reviews and so we thought we'd give it a go. The film was certainly very good (even if it's central messages were undercut by the fact that the shops will be full of plastic robot junk for months on end).

It was sweet, without being sickly. Wall-e was child-like without being annoying. He expressed a genuine curiousity about his world, and took wonder in the simple and unusual.

There were only three things I didn't like.

  1. I could live with the anthropomorphised robots - but did they have to make the cockroach act like a pet dog? (Why not have Wall-e unable to distinguish one roach from another, treating them as if they're the same with the roaches oblivious to Wall-e?)
  2. When the Axiom was slanted, all the fatties slid 'downhill'. It was a spaceship with artificial gravity... Most people, I suspect, wouldn't even notice that. What a shame. Rather than angling the ship, exactly the same sequence could have been done by having a malfunction in the artificial gravity.
  3. The amazing muscular regeneration which allows someone to stand (albeit with difficulty) after a lifetime in a chair, and shortly thereafter allowing everyone to join him (without one person saying 'No, I like my chair'). This latter point was a neccesary evil for the story though.

I wasn't crazy about the sheer amount of space-junk in orbit (but then, a more realistic amount would not be seen on film). Similarly, the sheer volume of rubbish being cleaned was over the top in terms of the raw material availability - but then, one could suppose that Wall-e would be working somewhere in Manhattan, and that there'd be whole stretches of the planet which were desolate but clear.

Little touches I did like were the PC/Mac thing that Wall-e and Eve had going on. Wall-e even used the windows startup sound. I wonder if that little cleaner robot was called fsutil? I liked the 2001 references with Otto. I liked the general grubbiness of the world, with the huge skyscrapers showing how long wall-e (and his now defunct kin) had been working.

I liked how well wall-e could 'act', when all the guy could really do was zoom in and out, open and close his apertures, angle his cameras, and extend his neck... actually, there are lots of degrees of freedom there.

Generally, it's an excellent film. It's even possible that it might cause a new generation to watch 'Hello Dolly!'

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