WALL*E is the latest animated feature from Pixar and Walt Disney Pictures. In the future, human beings left earth because there was too much trash. In their haste, they forgot to turn off WALL*E, Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class. So, for 700 years, he’s been trying to clean up the planet. In the process, he’s developed a terrific personality. A gigantic rocket lands, dropping off an Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluation robot, or EVE. WALL*E is immediately smitten. He hands her a plant, and EVE races back to report her findings to the waiting humans. WALL*E chases her across the galaxy, setting into motion an incredible, comic adventure.
If you’ve been waiting for entertainment that would lift you up, carry you to the outer reaches of imagination, inspire you, fill you with love, joy and happiness, and leave you with a great resolution, you might want to see WALL*E. Andrew Stanton, who wrote and directed WALL*E, created one of the great movies of all time with FINDING NEMO. He has done it again. It’s hard to imagine a spiritually and morally uplifting movie experience that gets any better than Pixar’s latest animated masterpiece.
(CCC, BBB, E, Acap, V) Very strong Christian, redemptive worldview without mentioning Jesus that tells a story about no greater love has any person than to give up his or her life for his or her neighbor, with very strong moral elements such as kindness, courtesy, compassion and all the other cardinal virtues extolled, some environmentalist elements and lightly anti-consumer, but on the whole very balanced, emphasizing virtues that Christians and most conservatives would commend, including an implied criticism of becoming addicted to watching visual mass media artifacts; absolutely no foul language; action cartoon violence with robots and cartoon people, but nothing scary, though there is danger and jeopardy, plus human cartoon character captain fights with auto-pilot trying to take over ship; no sex but robots hold hands; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, nothing objectionable or offensive.
If you’ve been waiting for entertainment that would lift you up, carry you to the outer reaches of your imagination, inspire you, fill you with love, joy and happiness, and leave you with a great fantastic resolution, you might want to see WALL*E.
Andrew Stanton, who wrote and directed WALL*E, created one of the great movies of all time with FINDING NEMO. He has done it again.
While FINDING NEMO told about a father’s love that was so strong that he would go to the ends of the earth to rescue his son, WALL*E tells you about a little robot’s love that is so powerful that he would go to the edge of space to rescue his true love. It’s hard to imagine a movie experience that gets any better than this, and it hardly has any dialogue.
In the story, human beings left earth 700 years ago because there was too much trash. In their haste, they forgot to turn off WALL*E, Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class. So, for 700 years, he’s been trying to clean up the planet. In the process, he’s developed a terrific personality. He’s extremely curious and collects some very unique artifacts and knickknacks. He has a roach companion. At night, he sits in his artifact-filled dumpster watching HELLO, DOLLY! He is intrigued by the romantic high point of the movie, where the leads hold hands, so he dreams of making this connection one day.
In the midst of this monotony, which is quite fascinating, a gigantic rocket lands and drops off an Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluation robot, or EVE. She’s beautiful, fast, flies, and comes equipped with a laser gun. WALL*E is immediately smitten, but she tries to blow him to smithereens, not knowing who he is. Soon, she recognizes that beneath this grubby exterior is this wonderful person. WALL*E gives her a plant. Suddenly, alarms go off, she accepts the plant, and EVE is taken back into space. WALL*E follows her to the spaceship Axiom.
Evidently, the Buy n Large Company that helped create all the trash built the Axiom and other cruise-type spaceships, to take people into space for a few years while the earth was cleaned up. Seven hundred years later, they are still sending probes like EVE to find out when they can go back. The human beings, however, not only have become large sitting in their deck chairs but they have also become childlike. The ship is actually being run by Auto, the ship’s computerized autopilot. When the captain finds out EVE has a plant, he looks at the old pictures of the earth. He is smitten with the thought of real life on earth. He wants to go back, but Auto does not. Thus, in the midst of this love story, there is a battle for the future of mankind.
Andrew Stanton, the director/writer, told me that the idea for WALL*E came about in 1994 at a now-famous lunch that included Pixar pioneers who suddenly realized while TOY STORY was a hit that they might make another movie. Out of that gathering came A BUG’S LIFE, MONSTERS INC., FINDING NEMO, and the idea of the last robot left on earth.
Andrew couldn’t get out of his mind that this is a very lonely idea. Thus, the love story was set in a space odyssey as grand, epic, and apocalyptic as Stanton’s favorite science fiction movies, 2001, STAR WARS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, STAR TREK, and some of the other great space odysseys of the 1960s and 1970s.
Though he can’t clearly at first, WALL*E is extremely emotive. In the Pixar tradition, every detail has been thought out. There are layers of rich, wonderful, uplifting, moral meaning emanating from every sound, every line of dialogue, and every action sequence. Soon after the first song from HELLO, DOLLY!, the audience is captivated and taken on a cinematic roller coaster ride with an extremely satisfying ending.
At the screening, there were some environmentalists who thought this was a very green movie. My conversations with the filmmakers and actors behind the movie reveal a deeper wisdom. WALL*E the movie does call for people to be good stewards and not to get hooked on things at the expense of personal relationships. Also, in the movie, there is good technology and bad technology, good people and bad people. More than that, the earth, nature and technology all need human beings and are really lost without them. This is a very biblical perspective.
WALL*E not only does what Andrew Stanton says is the essence of the movie, directly quoting Jesus in 15:13 of the New Testament, “No greater love hath a man than that he lay down his life for his friends.” It also clearly manifests Christian acts of compassion, kindness, respect, and all the other cardinal virtues throughout the story. In a way, this is a modern Noah’s Ark, but don’t tell the secular critics, because they’ll probably like it more if they don’t see the biblical antecedents.
WALL*E is more adorable than ET. EVE is a terrific character with a great character arc. The captain is heroic. This is a great movie, worth watching again and again.
With WALL*E is a good Pixar short. It is the story of the magician Presto. Presto forgets to feed his rabbit. And, a magical tug of war takes place that brings the house down. Reminiscent of the golden age of cartoons, PRESTO is a wonderful story which could stand alone but serves as a hilarious introduction to WALL*E.
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