Wall-E. You know, for all the talk and all the hype, I had certainly expected better. That’s not necessarily a negative criticism, but I guess it’s a good starting point….
Try as I might, but the latest volleys from the world of Pixar have, on first viewing, left me cold. I didn’t really like Cars when I first saw it. Same with Ratatouille. I guess there is something about this new generation of Pixars that just doesn’t really work for me. However, having said that, I do enjoy all Pixars. I’m sure that Wall-E will eventually be the same.
And that’s really it for the bad. Nothing overtly wrong with the film; it just didn’t really attract me. Yet.
As always, Pixar is a master of creating visually stimulating images. They were beautiful. For some strange reason, a great number of the things I’ve either seen on TV or have been reading seem to be dealing with end-of-the-world events, and Wall-E certainly fits that category, albeit in a not so typical way. I greatly appreciated that my mental image for a ruined earth wasn’t too far off from what I was seeing in Wall-E. It seemed plausible.
I think the film also had view points that were viable for ourselves outside of the film. There is a strong feeling of protectionism for our planet that I agree with (no tree hugging please). But the one I liked the most were the two people who, on the space ship, had their screens turned off. Each mentioned the obvious fact that there was a pool on board the ship as well as other seemingly obvious things. Kind of a nice reminder that it’s a good thing to turn off the TV or the computer or, heaven forbid, the cell phone every now and then. Rather, the real message should be that it’s a good thing to turn on the TV or the computer or the cell phone every now and then.
For what it is, Wall-E is a worthy film. It certainly did not attract me the first time through, but there are valuable messages there that I’m comfortable having my children see and learn. More than any other reason, that is why Pixar has made a name for itself in my home.
3 out of 4 stars, and I reserve the right to raise that higher after future viewing.
Oh, and just for the record, the two short films get a 1 out of 4 for Burn-E (that was one of the most unintelligible shorts ever and requires you to watch the film before it makes any sense at all) and an extremely solid 4 out of 4 for Presto. Presto was a truly funny masterpiece.