Sunday, June 29, 2008

Johnny 5 is... WALL-E

Pixar continues to impress me. It's apparent that Disney has yet to crush the love of creativity and a genuine interest in the source material from it's adopted child. Pixar's latest endeavor is WALL-E, the story of a lonely robot who looks an awful lot like Number 5 aka Johnny 5 from the Short Circuit movies. He falls in love with EVE, a heavily armed and highly resourceful probe who comes to Earth in search of life. Why a probe sent to search for and return evidence of life is so heavily armed, I don't know, but I recommend not asking. You might make her angry.

Pixar's shorts have always had the capacity to entertain with no dialog (and the short attached to this film about a magician and his rabbit is no different), but this movie takes it even further. Like Boo from Monster's Inc, our protagonists have an extremely limited vocabulary. So all character development must come in the form of character interaction with the environment. There is dialog - exposition comes from various ads that still play to an abandoned planet and the humans WALL-E eventually encounters do speak. But the truly heartwarming and hilarious moments require no words. In fact, I almost wish they could have figured out a way to make the entire movie more silent film and less, well, Disney moralizing. There are so many ways to look at this movie, that I feel like I need several reviews. So here goes:

Romantic comedy: Clumsy, lonely boy who loves show-tunes falls for sleak, sexy career girl armed with a plasma cannon. You will say "aw" almost as many times as you laugh. 3% tears by volume. Sweet without being utterly saccharin. A.

Action/adventure: Despite the robot armed with a plasma cannon, there isn't a whole lot of action. There's certainly no chase scene that lives up to the doors in Monster's Inc, and the "villain" just isn't threatening enough to build all that much suspense. B-

Comedy: Per usual, Pixar keeps you pretty entertained throughout the film with plenty of visual gags to make up for lack of talking. I have to wonder if the robot MO was inspired by Monk, the three stooges, or both. There is an absolutely hilarious scene when WALL-E first arrives on the Axiom... well, spoilers. Whatever. A.

Animation: Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. The dance outside the Axiom alone deserves an Oscar. A++

Overall: Let's see, how many people do I know and how many of them will I see between now and when Dark Knight comes out? If I watch it once with each of them... A.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your mom and I will go with you at least once.


6/29/2008 8:41 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

I really enjoyed Wall-E. It was much much better then Kung-Fu Panda. Are there any other animated movies coming out this summer?

7/03/2008 2:37 AM  

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