[A]+[Be] Critics: WALL-E

Rating* * * * *

One of the luxuries of being off of school is that I’m able to enjoy some quality summer films. Ideally, movies offer something new and inriguing to chew on for the audience, but in the summer, often “entertaining” is enough.

Fortunately, Wall-E is of the former category.

Though not a film that will “revolutionize” the industry or anything, Wall-E was easily my favorite Pixar/Disney film in ages… probably since the much-vaunted Finding Nemo, in fact.

First of all, it’s good to note that the film was great for kids. There was nothing the least bit dubious in any of the humour presented, and that’s a nice refresher. Though I enjoy kids movies like Shrek, the double-entendres are sometimes a bit difficult to relish when there are youngsters in the room. For parents, I’m sure it can be downright frustrating to see that kind of film propagating. For myself, it’s sufficient to say that it was just nice to see that Disney and Pixar can still produce 100% clean entertainment. It makes me want to buy this film for the day that I, myself, have kids.

That being said, it wasn’t simplistic by any stretch. A movie that starts out with a number of “awws” because of Wall-E’s cuteness factor begins to develop a solid plotline after his sudo-girlfriend Eve shows up on the scene. I won’t give away too much, but suffice to say that the story involves a healthy dose of humour while dealing with the issues of consumerism and environmentalism. Though not “profound”, it offers a distopian vision of the future — and then tops it with a message of faith in the human spirit.

The only real “issue” for most people would have to be the lack of diction for the main characters. Though it wasn’t as annoying as the Incredible Hulk (which I will critique sooner than later), Wall-E’s dialogue often depended on pronunciation rather than vocabulary. However, what angst may have been caused by this feature was replaced in my mind by an amused thought about how well we as humans are able to read tone of voice and body language to understand one another. Give a couple of basically nonverbal creatures the other traits of human communication, and you can actually manage to pull off a moving (well, for a kids’ film, at least!) production! That’s a pretty neat thought!

What does Wall-E offer that’s different? Well, as I said, there was very little in the way of actual dialogue, which, as far as I know, is an experiment in film-making. Also, the animation was wonderful. Nemo’s ocean seem’s positively flat compared to the interstellar vistas found in Wall-E. though it will likely be topped by the plethora of 3-D movies that will be coming out in the next couple of years (they were already advertising a couple before the movie), for now I would argue that Wall-E is the best-looking animated film in our age. Kung-Fu Panda (another one I will review) may have looked nice and had some sweet fight scenes, but Wall-E‘s graphics were Pixar’s best, and Pixar has always been a step above other animators for sheer viewing enjoyment. But the best part, to me, was the integration of social concerns. Movies like Finding Nemo tend to talk about general ideas (such as not rejecting people because they’re unusual), but this one talked about issues that adults will be able to relate to, without those issues being inappropriate for kids.

That’s pretty cool.

My recommendation? Go to see it, and take a kid with you. Both of you will come out having enjoyed it, even without many “real” words!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. JewishAtheist
    Jun 29, 2008 @ 11:41:24

    I saw it last night. I thought the graphics were pretty cool and Wall-e was cute, but I was pretty bored by the end of it.


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