Disney (Wednes)Day: WALL-E

It’s finally time to watch the 2008 release, WALL-E for which I am very excited because I saw it a couple of years ago and loved it. Now I want to see if I still love it or if my opinion has changed which sometimes happens.

The movie opens with a shot of space and a song that sounds like a musical but I can’t exactly place the title. Then we enter earth’s atmosphere and it looks hella littered. The whole planet looks trashed and it seems nobody is living there anymore. But there is one sole robot driving around New York, he ingests trash, presses it together and releases it in cube form which he then stacks on top of other trash cubes. His one sidekick is a cockroach in this otherwise dead environment.

The audience is treated to more shots of the city as WALL-E drives home. We see old billboards still flickering to live though I wonder where the electricity for that comes from. WALL-E seems to be the only robot left still working, all the others, bigger and smaller, have since died.

Our little friend collects trash, I don’t think he knows what most of the things are but he stores them away and also has a great affinity for old musical movies. Not that I can blame him.

Meanwhile, the former population of earth is stored away on cruise like space ships while they think earth is being cleaned up only that seems to have not worked out so well.

WALL-E’s evening routine is cut short when a dust storm hits and he goes to sleep which may be the most adorable thing I have seen in a while. And in the morning or at least sometime later my energy question, at least as far as the little robot is concerned, gets answered because he climbs outside to recharge through solar energy. Good to know.

Then he goes back to work and stacking garbage on garbage until he finds a plant in an old refrigerator! He places it in his box of things to take home. Then he sees a red dot flickering over the ground and starts chasing it. There are a whole bunch of red dots until we see it’s a rocket landing on earth and disposing of some kind of probe. I know that the probe’s name is EVE so that’s what I’ll be calling her, it makes things easier.

EVE sets forth in scanning the planet or at least her surroundings. When the rocket that planted her is gone, she goes into a flying fit for a little while and it’s cute. She is also equipped with a firearm to defend herself which WALL-E has to learn the hard way as he follows her around and makes a noise. They kind of meet but EVE is too obsessed with her mission whereas WALL-E completely neglects his job, follows EVE around like a love sick nitwit while playing romantic music he recorded off old movies.

After a while, EVE gets frustrated because she isn’t finding what she is looking for so she starts ‘talking’ to WALL-E and he starts showing her what he does. Adorbs. As they start being a bit more friendly with each other, another dust storm hits and WALL-E brings his ladyfriend back to his humble abode where he starts showing her random stuff from his trash collection.

He finally shows EVE the plant he rescued and she goes into bio saving whatever mode, puts the plant in her belly and switches off. This makes WALL-E crazy because she is suddenly not responding to anything anymore and he is worried she ran out of power, so he places her outside in the sun. But nothing changes. They stay there through thunder and lightning and you can tell that WALL-E is utterly in love with her. SO STINKIN CUTE!

Nothing changes and after a while, WALL-E goes back to work. Then, one day, the rocket comes back to pick up EVE again but WALL-E isn’t letting that thing leave without him so he hijacks a ride on the outside of the rocket. Whatever you tell me, movie. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works and out little friend would have burned to ashes but okay. The rocket travels to a BIG spaceship, docks and loads off more than one EVE though only our EVE has the green light thing on. WALL-E is still on her trail even if a cleaning robot is trying its hardest to clean him up.

When EVE is scanned, an alarm goes off because guess what, she found a plant but I might be a bit too fast here. The robots are taking EVE someplace so WALL-E has to keep on her track which causes some kind of havoc among the fat people who are in gliding seats.

Around here is the first time we actually here spoken words outside of the EVE/WALL-E beeps and it is utterly fascinating because usually movies are packed with dialogue whereas this is very light on it and mostly relies its narrative on the visual and not the audio part, probably to make the destruction ‘we’ caused on earth more palpable. Also, it’s something hardly used. Only the Buffy episode ‘Hush’ comes to mind when I think of movies or TV that have explicitly used the non-words narrative. Both have been amazing concepts. Anyway, back to the movie.

EVE gets investigated and the Captain gets called into the command central. He also is a fat dude who can’t move on his own and gets help while dressing. On the bridge, we see a progression of the ships captains and how they have gotten fatter in every generation.

He complains to his auto-pilot because he wasn’t woken up for the morning announcement which is the only thing he gets to do while on the ship so he quickly changes the day from noon to morning until he has to cut off his announcement because of the EVE discovery.

These probes usually don’t come back positive, which means, having found plant life on earth but this means that earth is finally habitable again. There is a manual for this thing happening but the Captain doesn’t know what to do with a real, physical manual. It’s pathetic.

EVE gets opened up but the plant isn’t inside her anymore. I don’t know what happened but okay. Everything is a bit messy, then Captain sees WALL-E and sends him to be cleaned up. Only, he ends up in the repair ward for broken appliances together with EVE. It’s a weird place but WALL-E manages to break out of there.

 

Together with EVE, WALL-E tries to find the plant and they somehow end outside of the spaceship but it’s utterly fabulous as they float in front of the ships windows. Some of the humans see them and actually look up from their screens in front of them. You can tell they haven’t done so in AGES which makes me sad.

EVE breaks into the Captain’s deck with the plant and the captain is really happy. He has since studied up on Earth so he taps into EVE’s memories but what he sees doesn’t resemble the pictures he thought he would find. It’s still a dead planet. EVE however, sees everything that WALL-E did with her after she went into bio containment mode. It speaks of the robots love for her and you can tell that she falls for him. HOW AM I SHIPPING TWO ROBOTS?? Seriously, Disney????

Captain gives the plant water and tells that it just needs someone to take care of it and then he has an idea. He wants to go back to earth even though the auto-pilot has formerly said no but the Captain can’t go back. The reason is classified but he somehow overrides that and we see a message of the remaining president/whatever on earth. The clean up has failed, earth is inhabitable and he puts an automatic override on everything so the ship can’t ever come back. The Captain thinks this is rubbish and looks when the message was sent, 700 years ago! A lot can have changed in between.

There is some back an forth with the auto-pilot and the plant lands in the garbage shoot. Both EVE and WALL-E and up in the waste treatment part of the ship, WALL-E is more or less destroyed and oh my heart. They are going to be thrown out as waste into space but EVE uses her powers to keep them abroad the ship.

Meanwhile the Captain hijacks the video feed of the ship to take the focus off our rogue robots as they make their way to where the plant is supposed to be stashes, somewhere on the lido deck. It even goes so far as the Captain having to use his own feet to walk which is inspiring to all the other people on the ship.

Of course the plant gets eventually into the thingy and the ship’s course is set for earth.

Fatties back on earth is interesting. EVE however, is more concerned with rebuilding WALL-E so she rushes them to his home where he has all kinds of spare parts and eve though he restarts, he doesn’t recognise her. SO SAD! Then she hums their song and slowly you can tell his memories returning and they are finally a couple!

Also, the humans plant the plant.

The end.

I still absolutely love this movie. I do. I love the way it differs from stereotypical Disney movies in storyline and execution. I already mentioned the scare use of dialogue but there is also a heavy environmental lesson laced into this story which is something I haven’t seen Disney done in ages. They have from time to time plugged certain topics but they were usually about friendship or other feelings like that but never about the environment in this way. And it’s important.

The picture they paint with this movie is not exaggerated in my opinion and it absolutely makes one’s heart break to see what we did/are doing to this lovely planet that just houses us. We are the problem. We are destroying everything. I don’t have a solution but we need to be more conscious of what we are doing here.

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  • Oh I love this movie sooooo much! There’s so much commentary on our society and the world but also an adorable love story and it’s done so well. WALL-E is the cutest robot EVER.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I love pretty much everything about this movie. WALL-E is the cutest and I love the commnetary. Not that it probably changed anything but it’s a step in the right direction for something as major as a Disney movie to aknowledge it.