WALL-E

Everyone else who wants to see this movie has seen it already, so there’s really little I can say that hasn’t already been said. Nonetheless: it’s another excellent charming Pixar effort. It might be their best so far: technically, thematically, and cinematically. They’ve always made beautiul, fun work, but at the end of the day they end up being trifling. WALL-E mostly works, and moves beyond their prior work. The social commentary may be broad and ridiculous, but it’s there. The characterization is fresh and imaginative, as almost all the central characters are minimally vocal or nonvocal (Pixar has always been good at expressive nonvocal forms — compare the ranges of elation, dejection, comforting, etc. shown in “Luxo, Jr.” — but they’ve generally avoided relying on them in feature-length films). In fact, the humans are the worst thing about this film, and not just for the uncanny-valley reason that humans in CGI are generally a bad idea, but because among the task-oriented but charmingly expressive robots who make up much of the film the chattering lumpy primates (note: Lumpy Primate is a trademark-dodging name J.P. Licks uses for an ice cream flavor) seem like something of a distraction. Even they can’t do much to destroy the momentum of this film, though.

One thing I’ve often felt about Pixar is that theire is a great deal of joy in their films. Not necessarily that the themes or characters are joyful, but that they take joy in their art — that they honestly think what they do is awesome and that they’re glad to share it with us. WALL-E, largely divorced from some of the cheap gags and jokes which showed up in their earlier films, seems to exhibit this quality all the clearer. It’s playfully designed and that joy is more than a little contagious.

In short: WALL-E is an excellent and enjoyable film. But you already knew that.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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