Movie Review: Pixar’s Wall-E – 10 years later
Wall-E was released on June 27, 2008. Given that it is almost the 10-year anniversary of this charming Pixar film, it seems fitting that we go back and review it, and see why it has won so many awards and recognitions since its release.
Wall-E takes place in 2805, when all of Earth’s population has left the planet due to the mass pollution taking over the land. Instead, they live in space on a ship called the Axiom, which is run by a company called Buy-N-Large. Wall-E, the last of functioning robots of the same name meant to clean the planet, roams around and plays with the remnants of civilization that was left behind.
One day, EVE, a robot meant to detect plant life, comes down near Wall-E. Wall-E instantly falls for EVE and shows her a plant that he found, which causes her to be shut down and whisked away back to the Axiom. Wall-E follows and, along the way, tries to bring the ship back to Earth so they can recolonize and save the planet.
Wall-E is captivating in so many ways. First, the themes of this movie are thought-provoking. It covers consumerism, pollution, reliance on technology, loneliness, nostalgia, and individual responsibility. It manages to pack all of these themes, and more, into roughly an hour and a half of screen-time, with a large portion of the film not having any speaking dialogue. The opening 30 minutes of the movie alone features no dialogue, yet introduces us to the world and Wall-E himself in a way that we can understand and empathize.
This opening 30 minutes of no dialogue reflects back on the days of silent films, which reflects the theme of nostalgia. The trinkets that Wall-E finds on Earth’s remnants, as well as the fact that Wall-E plays Hello, Dolly! in his trailer, both show Wall-E’s fascination with the past and longing for a connection he doesn’t have. Since we’ve just spent the last half-hour with him and his cockroach companion, we can begin to understand the loneliness he’s experienced for hundreds of years. This makes his instant connection with EVE both more meaningful to him and the audience. This is just one of the brilliant storytelling devices that WALL-E uses.
Visually, this movie is stunning. It was inspired to be set in space after the success of the underwater physics in Finding Nemo. There are many beautiful shots of space, starting when Wall-E breaks through the debris around Earth while outside the Axiom and hits the outer purple and blue galaxy. The instant breaking of the dusty, brown Earth to the colorful space sky takes your breath away. There’s also another beautiful scene where EVE and Wall-E dance outside the Axiom after Wall-E successfully saves the plant. Even though Wall-E is using a fire extinguisher as energy to get around, the scene packs a ton of charm and rhythm, while also showing the growth of Wall-E and Eve’s relationship.
If, in the 10 years since Wall-E’s release, you haven’t seen it yet, now is a good time to finally see what the hype is all about. If you’ve already seen Wall-E, why not watch it again? It has strong themes that you can reflect on afterwards, charming robots to make you smile and laugh, and an engaging story that will leave you in suspense and connect with you emotionally.
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