Monday, September 5, 2011

Movie Review - WallE

OK, I know this is a few years late, since WallE came out in 2008, but I just watched it this weekend.  I'm a junkie for cartoons and kids movies, but this one came out in that pocket of time between when Girlie Bear was a little too old for Pixar movies and when Boo was old enough to watch them and be entertained.  I wanted to go see it, but I didn't want to be the creepy middle-aged guy alone at the kids movie.

Anyway, we saw it in the $10 bin at SuperDooper Mega Mart the other day, and since it's the only Pixar we don't have and I haven't seen, I picked it up.  The past couple of days have been good days to stay inside and watch movies due to either the weather either being OhLordIAmGoingToMelt hot or AuntieEmItsATwister stormy.

First impression - I like it.  It's a Pixar, so the visuals and story development are exceptional.  The development of the two main characters, WallE and EVE, are done with no real dialogue, so there's a lot of pantomime and "you better watch this, because it's important" scenes.  The bad guy in the movie isn't really bad, he's just doing has he was directed to keep his charges safe, but his methods are evil, so we get the "The ends do not justify the means" argument at a kindergarten level.  We get a bit of the "Don't pollute, because you'll make the earth unlivable for humanity" plotline that you see in a lot of children's movies these days, but it's not laid on too thickly.  There's also a sub-theme of not becoming too dependent on technology, which I like.

Something did occur to me while watching it, and this will show my age.  The character of WallE, who is a broken down old robot who spends his days picking through the trash heap that Earth has become, reminds me of the "Little Tramp" character that made Charlie Chaplin a household name.  In fact, all interactions between most of the robot characters is done in a manner that very much reminds me of the old silent films.  The film has lots of pantomime and large arm and head movements, with just a little rudimentary dialogue thrown in to make a point.  Not sure if that was a conscious design decision at Pixar, or just an influence that comes through almost a century of comedy films.

For watch-ability, I can only say that my 3 year old son was as engrossed in the movie as his 40-something year old mother and I.  The storyline doesn't ask for too much suspension of disbelief, and the emotions in the plot aren't as saccharine as those in some other Disney movies. It's definitely going to go into rotation around here.


LabRat said...

It was very conscious, from what I understand. The first half of the film was entirely meant to be a silent movie, and it was a very good one.

I basically lost interest after the dialogue came in...

45er said...

I agree, DaddyBear. I remember when it first came out I thought it would be interesting to see. Then, later I kind of had a "meh" attitude toward actually expending energy to try and see it. It was on a movie channel, so I gave it a try and it was well done. I liked it a lot.

Ruth said...

I liked it alot, twasn't perfect, and Labrat's right, the 2nd half wasn't quite as nice as the first, though it did have its good points as well.

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