WALL-E: Cute, Lovable Robot
WALL-E (animated sci-fi adventure)
Voice cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver & Fred Willard
Director: Andrew Stanton
Time: 100 mins
Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 4)
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? The Big Deal is that 'WALL-E' is going to be the best animated movie of the year 2008 and will rival 'The Incredibles' and 'Finding Nemo' as the top cartoon flicks. It has very little dialogue and is almost devoid of fast-paced action and 'stunts' that defined most successful cartoon flicks. However, what it lacks in dialogue and action, it makes up for them with loads of charm, wit and heart. 'WALL-E' will also tap on our conscience. Set in a hazy, eerie post-apocalyptic world, it warns us of what will happen when we keep ignoring environmental threats and treat our planet as a rubbish dump.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Earth has become an uninhabited wasteland in the future. Mountains of trash dot the city skylines and the planet is surrounded by a garbage belt. Pollution, not global warming, has driven all life into space. The robot WALL-E (voice of Ben Burtt) is left behind, collecting and compacting trash, and arranging it. His only companion is an indestructible cockroach.
One day, WALL-E is surprised by the arrival of EVE (voice of Elissa Knight), an Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator robot sent by a spaceship. EVE is more advanced than WALL-E, but he overcomes his initial fear and a fragile bond develops between them. EVE's mission is later revealed and we learn the fate of those who abandoned Earth so many years ago.
HITS & MISSES: WALL-E, by the way, stands for 'Waste Allocation Load Lifter- Earth Class' and just like the Pixar animated Reading Lamp, he takes on a charm of its own as he keeps a carefully sorted collection of treasures, including cigarette lighters, nuts and bolts, and a Rubik’s Cube. Indeed, after a while, it is easy to forget that Wall-E is just a robot.
The 'courtship' between WALL-E and EVE is both cute and funny. It is like that of an awkward garbage collector who falls for a cool supermodel. Somehow their expressions — of annoyance, devotion and desire - are so nicely 'tuned' that they achieve an eloquence that is out-of-this-world. Another interesting aspect of the movie is the scripters' view of mankind in the future. Are we going to be spoilt by robots?
THE LOWDOWN: WALL-E is not just for the kids. It is entertainment and a warning for everyone!