~ Wall-E is the Blind Spot entry for July. Full listing here. ~
"Computer, define 'dancing.' "
In the distant future Earth has been overrun by unhinged corporatism ostensibly propagated to human civilisation as consumer conveniences by the President of megacorporation Buy ‘n’ Large, or BnL. Amidst this gloomy forlorn dystopian landscape the eponymous trash robot Wall-E busies himself cubing up garbage, building rubbish skyscrapers and collecting nostalgia from a time long gone.
After years of mass consumerism, apathy, and environmental damage Earth could no longer provide humanity with sustainable living conditions. Disguised as a five year pleasure cruise on BnL starliners Earth was evacuated. A fleet of Wall-E robots were swiftly initiated to sweep the problem under the carpet and restore Earth to its former glory. Once it was discovered that these plans werre futile, that the damage had been done, each of the starliners was placed under the directive A113; to remain in autopilot, permanently.
After 700 years of living in solitude Wall-E has become a self-sufficient sentient being capable of making a modern audience laugh and cry as his humble existence is soon catapulted into the stratosphere to alter the destiny of humanity.
When Wall-E stumbles across a growing seedling in a battered refrigerator he scoops it up for his assortment of eclectic nostalgia as he begins to piece together the bizarre attachments and amenities of the human race. Slotting the seedling in amongst his other belongings it isn’t until EVE lands on Earth that Wall-E has to think twice about the significance of his discovery.
EVE a smooth futuristic looking robot descends upon Earth in search of sustainable life. Immediately cold and threatening to Wall-E’s warren of nostalgia we can’t help but feel anxious as an audience. We’ve seen how innocent Wall-E is and we understand his attachment to home and discovery but we also see how he is instantly taken aback by EVE’s presence. At once torn between liking EVE and wary of her purpose it isn’t until Wall-E and EVE share a moment inside his den of human nostalgia that we understand what we should be feeling and how the movie is going to pan out.
When EVE spots Wall-E’s latest discovery, the blossoming seedling, she swipes it from him and shuts down, merely projecting a green glow resembling a leaf. Her purpose is clear to us but Wall-E struggles to understand what has happened to EVE. As he protects her from the elements in a bid to hold onto her a little longer his dreams are crushed when a ship lands to take her away. Clambering into the unknown Wall-E climbs the ship’s exterior until they land on the Axiom, a starliner sent into space 700 years ago.
Fully functional and full of morbidly obese remnants of humanity swooning about on motorised beds, brainwashed by corporate consumerism and dependent on technology, the Axiom delivers a potent image of humanity in a plausible alternate reality. As Wall-E continues his hunt for EVE he unknowingly becomes a major actor in determining the fate of humanity saving them from the tyrannical autopilot reminiscent of Kubrick’s HAL, and freeing them from technological slavery.
Awash with poignant critique on societal issues Wall-E is a surprising little package. Able to make us chuckle and connect Wall-E possesses a heart only the tin man could dream of and epitomises the Pixar ethic we have fallen in love with. A truly beautiful Timeless Classic and worthy addition to the Pixar family that rivals Up for emotional impact, Toy Story for nostalgic attachment and Finding Nemo for its ambition, Wall-E will stand as one of the greatest, and most important films of our time.
* * * *
~ Happy Viewing ~
The Marx Brothers ruffle some Horse Feathers in August.