WALL - E

Created on 19/7/2008

There was no way I could avoid the film Wall -E, even if I’d wanted to, and I didn’t. Staying with us for the summer are daughter Sarah and our grandkids, Maya 7, going on 14 and Soli, who is a very lively 5 and a half. Maya solemnly declared that the film was about to be premiered and the need to see it was urgent! They had been in Israel and hadn’t gone to see it there because they didn’t think they’d have understood it because of the language, which is pretty funny because there is virtually no dialogue, in any language in the film.

Wall –E is the clear descendant, both visually and emotionally of R2D2, the small robot in the Star Wars films, which was described as quick thinking, fearless and dedicated. He is a tireless worker, a sympathetic listener and always ready for action when the chips are down. Wall-E is the robotic film descendant. Loyal to the end Wall-E is mixed in with more than a hint of the sensitivity of ET. All of these antecedents point to the possibility of a classic and only time can answer that question. My initial reaction is that it just about reaches those heights.

A big plus side is that the characterizations are wonderful. Wall –E itself, I want to call a he, and unquestionably he has a male personality, and is endearing and very human. I have not always been a huge fan of this aspect of Pixar’s previous heroes such as Buzz Lightyear, since they have always felt synthetic and mechanistic. Wall –E feels hand drawn and very much of the Disney tradition, at that studio’s prime of great character generation. For a film to succeed it has to have a great story peopled by sympathetic characters in jeopardy. Wall –E achieves this.

The story goes like this, the creators of 'Toy Story' Pixar, and the owner of almost every other brand for kids, Disney, proudly present 'Wall-E'. This is a hilarious heartfelt and fun packed comedy about a little robot that holds the key to saving planet Earth. 'Wall-E' (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life when he meets a sleek search robot, which has arrived from outer space named EVE. You are going to get your eco friendly message sugar coated here.

EVE comes to realize that 'WALL-E' has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet's future, and is soon plucked back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). 'WALL-E' chases EVE across the galaxy and sets into motion one of the cleverest and most imaginative comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen. Disney – Pixar; the team, who created masterpieces like ‘The Incredibles’, ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘Cars’ and last year’s blockbuster ‘Ratatouille’, brings ‘WALL-E’ to you.

The film dips a bit when the characters go off earth to take their place in the space ship, which is 700 years into its 5-year, cruise. That is where we find the ultimate couch potato, super tubby passengers, the lost human beings, who have literally become at one with their mobile seating. The film’s main antagonist turns out to be the spaceship’s captain and he is initially an inflated parody of what the captain of this ship should be. He is both serviced and surreptitiously controlled by the ship’s computer, which has its antecedent echoes in 2001’s humanistic computer, HAL.

The secondary antagonist is only seen obtusely as being the rampant consumerism that has left the earth in such a sorry mess, that even after 700 years of cleaning it is still one huge refuse collection. So the second antagonist is ourselves, and what we’re doing to our world that will render it uninhabitable. So much for the message, how did the kids respond to it? After all they are supposedly the ultimate market for this movie. Both of my grand kids loved the movie, better than Toy Story, which is high praise indeed. I asked several other people what they thought about the film and the consensus was universally very positive. Wall - E is loved and destined to be a classic, and a very big hit!

Maya has put in her order for a copy of the film’s DVD and I wonder if her brother Soli will ever remove his Wall-E shirt?