WALL-E Turns 15 Today!
Fifteen years ago today, Pixar approached the pinnacle of its glory with the release of WALL-E.
Let’s fondly look back at the Waste Allocation Load Lifter: Earth Class robot who saved the planet for humanity.
WALL-E at 15
Technically, WALL-E debuted in theaters on June 23rd, 2008. At the time, Pixar often offered sneak previews at Los Angeles events.
Sparks literally flew. ✨
— Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) June 27, 2023
The rest of North America would watch the film starting on June 27th, 2008. And we all delighted in the opportunity.
WALL-E tells the unlikely story of a lonely robot working a thankless job on an abandoned planet.
As fate would have it, that planet was Earth, and humanity had abandoned it due to its inhospitable environment.
The last vestiges of society had boarded an ark-like spaceship orbiting the galaxy.
Robots took care of noticeably tubby, soft, kind humans while WALL-E toiled the soil.
WALL-E Falls in Love
In a game-changing matter of days, the adorable little bot discovered a seedling that has somehow survived.
Then, WALL-E shows his new treasure to a surprise guest, the Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator named EVE.
WALL-E, who has developed a personality, falls hopelessly in love with EVE, who remains mission-focused, almost unwillingly.
The fledgling couple, a cockroach, a sweet human “captain,” and an obsessively devoted cleaner named MO aspire to save the planet.
WALL-E Is an Absolute Masterpiece
Audiences immediately hailed WALL-E as Pixar’s latest masterpiece. This film earned a Rotten Tomatoes score of 95 percent and an A Cinemascore.
Those metrics only tell a small part of the story, though. The Academy Awards would laud WALL-E as the Best Animated Feature that year.
Meanwhile, the $180 million production earned a staggering $532 million at the box office, making it one of the top ten blockbusters of 2008.
Also, I would argue that this scene ranks among the highlights in the entire Pixar library:
To a larger point, from 2004 to 2010, Pixar released The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, and Toy Story 3.
You’d be hard-pressed to name a studio that has produced six consecutive films of that quality.
Not coincidentally, Pixar movies released today aren’t in competition with other titles inasmuch as the entire Pixar library. That’s a big ask.
Even in that grouping, WALL-E flies in rare air with its six Academy Award nominations.
At that point, WALL-E earned as many nominations as any animated film ever, tying it with Beauty and the Beast.
Those are the only two animated movies we ever bestowed the award, which included 35 voters, at least eight of whom have been Rotten Tomatoes critics.
So, 15 years ago today, Pixar reached its loftiest heights thanks to an adorable trashbot who fell in love.
That streak would continue 11 months later when Carl Fredricksen literally flew away.
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Feature Photo: Disney