After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL-E discovers a new purpose in life when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL-E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet's future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans. Meanwhile, WALL-E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets into motion one of the most exciting and imaginative comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen. Joining WALL-E on his fantastic journey across a universe of never-before-imagined visions of the future, is a hilarious cast of characters including a pet cockroach, and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.
Directed by: Andrew Stanton
. Starring: Benjamin A. Burtt
, Elissa Knight
, Jeff Garlin
, Fred Willard
, John Ratzenberger
, Kathy Najimy
, Sigourney Weaver
, Teddy Newton
, Bob Bergen
, John Cygan
, Pete Docter
, Paul Eiding
. Music by: Thomas Newman
Though there have been some exceptional movies so far this year (Iron Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall etc), there have been few which I would call a classic. With WALL-E, things have just changed. WALL-E isn't only the best film of 2008 so far (I might eat those words when The Dark Knight comes out in a few days), it is also a pure masterpiece. From start to finish, the film wraps you in utterly delightful charm and humanity. WALL-E is a piece of inventive beauty and wonder unlike any other that you will see at the cinema this summer. I absolutely guarantee it.
WALL-E (voiced by Ben Burtt) is the last operating robot on Earth. As for the human race, they left 700 years ago, when the huge amounts of self-produced trash caught up with them. WALL-E's task is to clean up the planet for the return of the humans. However, after being left on his own for so long, WALL-E has developed a personality. He is curious about many of the items that he finds whilst compacting trash, such as an old tape of the musical "Hello Dolly!" But he is also becoming lonely, which is understandable for someone who only has a friendly cockroach for company.
However, all of this changes with the arrival of EVE (voiced by Elissa Knight). Thought EVE is initially hostile towards WALL-E, this doesn't stop him from becoming smitten with her and trying to connect with her. However, EVE has come to Earth on a classified mission. Once that mission has been completed, EVE shuts down and waits to be taken back from whence she came. When her transport arrives, WALL-E can't bear to lose his friend and sneaks aboard. His search for EVE brings him into contact with the remainder of the human race, who have been taking refuge on a huge spaceship and who have become excessively reliable on machines to supply their every need. They don't even walk. However, WALL-E's arrival sets many events in motion which may help the human race to return to normality...
First of all, WALL-E's animation is flawless. However, as with the rest of the film, there is also a sense of risk and bravery which adds extra dimensions to the glorious animation. The first moments in the film, which show us the beauty of the stars before swooping down to gaze upon a barren and deserted Earth, are so detailed and emotionally engaging that you are immediately sucked into the tale without any hesitation. Even when the story becomes more traditional (that is in no way an attack on the film), the creativity and power of the film's visuals never falter.
The main focus of the plot is on the growing affection between WALL-E and EVE. This is one of the most moving romantic relationships in years. No, they're not even human. But watching the initial conflict of EVE's determination and WALL-E's innocence slowly mix into love and companionship is magnificent. The scenes between the two characters on Earth are simply wonderful, perfectly paced and confident in the set-up of this unusual couple. However, the best scene comes in the second half, when WALL-E and EVE dance through space together. Everything in this scene is perfect, the comedy of watching WALL-E propel himself through space by use of a fire extinguisher, the lovely visuals, Thomas Newman's marvellous score and the interaction between the two characters. When WALL-E looks likely to float off into space after the fire extinguisher runs out, EVE flies in and scoops him up in her arms. This scene is pure cinematic genius. Overall, there is a humanity and grace of execution in the relationship between WALL-E and EVE which elevates it far beyond the emotional impact of other romantic relationships.
The term of "cinematic genius" can also be applied to the iconic character of WALL-E and the fantastic direction by Finding Nemo director Andrew Staunton. Staunton shows that he is willing to inject some risk into his movie-making if it makes a better film. This decision pays off magnificently here. Staunton has lovingly constructed this film with invention, depth and bravura, and in doing so has crafted a piece of movie making which is likely to go down as at least a family classic. Not only will children be enthralled by the sheer brilliance of this film, but other audiences will also be open to its bewitching magic.
As for WALL-E himself, he is one of the most original movie creations in years. Speaking in sequences of robotic speech (bleeps, whirs etc) with only small moments of mechanical dialogue, the filmmakers have still managed to create one of the most human characters of the year. By mostly using his eyes, the animators are able to flawlessly display WALL-E's emotions. In one scene, his eyes droop with sadness when EVE calls him Wally. When he panics or is happy, his eyes rise in an outburst of emotion. The life that the filmmakers are able to find in such simple mannerisms is incredible. Even the beeps and whirs, provided masterfully by legendary sound designer Ben Burtt, increase an already rich and lovable character to terrific heights. The character of WALL-E is just superb, as is the rest of the movie.
WALL-E has just raised the bar for future animated movies. Pixar Animation Studios has already crafted many animated classics. WALL-E joins them without question. The visuals are compelling, the characters are endlessly endearing and the story is told with beauty, wit, imagination and humanity.
Review by TheUnseenMovieLover from the Internet Movie Database.