What can I say about Wall-E besides pronouncing my unabashed love for this movie? This is easily Pixar’s best movie to date, a phrase that I know many people don’t take a lot of stock in. After last year’s under-appreciated Ratatouille, I couldn’t help but wonder how they were going to top themselves again. These are the same creative geniuses that gave us The Incredibles, Toy Story, among many others, and it seems like they just can’t make a misstep, and Wall-E continues that. Wall-E is probably one of the best movie-going experiences of the year, and easily ranks as one of the best movies of the year. Full of emotion, humor, and just beautiful storytelling, Wall-E is an engaging and riveting story that really should be part of any collection, DVD or Blu-ray. I’ll gush more about this great movie after the synopsis.
What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named E.V.E.. E.V.E. comes to realize that WALL-E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL-E chases E.V.E. across the galaxy and sets into motion one of the most exciting and imaginative comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen. Joining WALL-E on his fantastic journey across a universe of never-before-imagined visions of the future, is a hilarious cast of characters including a pet cockroach, and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.
The scene that really gets me, that makes me fall in love with this movie, is early on in the feature. Wall-E is going through his daily routine, part of which involves him watching an old VHS tape of Hello, Dolly. And during that scene we see emotion overcome him, and he slowly brings his hands together. It’s just a great scene, one that really makes the rest of the movie, and the actions of this robot, believable and just touching. It all works, all because of this small scene. And it’s a touching scene, one that gets a heart-breaking callback later on in the film that I guarantee will at least make the viewer tear up. There’s a clip of the scene in the embedded videos below. The clip is called “Wall-E’s Treasures (Film).”
Now, there’s a lot that can be discussed about here. This film is so multi-layered, so deep, that there are pages and pages worth of philosophical, social, and environmental debate. In fact, the fact that the lead character, Wall-E, is left behind on Earth to clean up our mess – and it’s a huge freakin’ mess – that’s a pretty strong statement on exactly what we’re doing as a people on this planet. And that’s the tip of the iceberg, also. There’s the anti-corporate message (including some obvious slams at Wal-Mart), there’s the message of anti-consumerism, the message of the environment, and, lord, I could really go on and on. It’s not as bleak as one may think, though. Sure, the movie does lead into a couple dark places toward the end, particularly during the film’s climax, but things do get brighter as the movie heads into the end credits oddly enough (seriously, stick around). And all of this is guised under the trappings of a simple family animated movie.
No matter how you interpret the movie, and you will have lots to discuss once the movie wraps up, we can all agree that Wall-E is more than just a circuit board with a fixed routine. There’s so much more to him than his robot shell, and he represents the idea of a hopeful and romantic humanity that we may have forgotten.
I’m not sure anything I say will provide any new insight on this movie. Wall-E was one of those movies that didn’t disappoint me when I caught it in theaters, and doesn’t disappoint now that it is available to own. This is probably the best movie Pixar has done, ranking up there with The Iron Giant as one of my personal favorites. It’s just a great movie that’s suitable for everyone, but also doesn’t pander to any specific demographic. It’s smart, insightful, and full of great observations and stunning truths. Plus, you can’t help but fall in love with the lead character, Wall-E, and E.V.E., the object of his robotic affections, and the resultant adventure they find themselves in. And once this movie heads into outer space, we’re introduced to a host of other hilarious robots, both working and damaged, and some rather sneaky and devious characters.
Now, I’m doing my best to avoid any spoilers here, because I find this is a movie that really deserves a pair of fresh eyes. The premise is simple enough and the synopsis doesn’t give away anything the trailers didn’t, but the movie gets more complicated as it heads toward the finale. I usually have no problem with getting a little “spoiler-happy” in my reviews, but, for certain movies, I find that it is best to say as little as possible, with the hopes that it’ll encourage the readers to seek out this title if they haven’t already. And Wall-E, one of the best movies of the year, deserves to be experienced new. It’s just one of those stories, one that works on so many levels without getting heavy-handed or overly pretentious, that makes for such a great viewing experience. Add on the amazing and beautiful animation (one scene involving Wall-E and E.V.E. “dancing” in space is particularly spectacular), and you have just a stunning movie in terms of story and visuals. Wall-E is a remarkable film that inspires discussion, introspective insight, and serious thought
Overall, Wall-E is an amazing movie no matter how you slice it. It stacks up among the best of the year with it’s great story, well thought-out characters, and flawless animation. A true classic, I’m not sure what else I can say about this movie that hasn’t been said before. It’s a movie where everything comes together comes together absolutely perfectly in every fashion. It goes without saying that Wall-E is a definite Must Own, regardless of whether you’re a movie buff or a casual watcher. This is one of those movies that works on so many levels, all at the same time, without being overwhelming. It’s just an absolutely stunning story. Filled with surprises, action, humor and heart, Wall-E was written and directed by Andrew Stanton, produced by Jim Morris, co-produced by Lindsey Collins and features original and innovative sound design by Academy Award®-winner Ben Burtt (Star Wars,Indiana Jones). With such a talented pedigree behind the camera, resulting in such an amazing and beautiful movie, you owe it to yourself to experience Wall-E.
Disney Home Entertainment has released Wall-E in a great Blu-ray package. Housed in the standard Blu-ray packaging, though slightly thicker in width to accommodate a third disc, Wall-E is sure to pop out on the shelves. Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
Let’s start with the audio and video! As you can expect, the audio and video for this Blu-ray release is simply perfect, maybe even flawless. Given that this is a direct to digital transfer, there’s no real surprise there. The video is pristine and utterly flawless. Presented in its original aspect ratio, every single bit of Wall-E, to the smallest detail, is as clear as day. The audio is just as immersive and surrounding. Since the movie starts quiet and builds to a loud climax, be prepared for a similar slow build up on your audio system. The audio transfer catches everything, to the near silence of Earth to the loud, bombastic climax as Wall-E and his cohorts struggle to save the last hope for Earth. The way the film utilizes sound effects is brilliant, and you’ll experience that here. An utterly flawless audio and video transfer.
Now, what about the extras? Well, Wall-E comes just loaded! For those worried that Disney has been shortchanging their home video releases lately should be happy with what we get here. And what do we get? Well, we get a host of Blu-ray Disc exclusives, some great behind-the-scenes content, and one surprising inclusion that should floor animation fans. In no particular order, we get the new animated short Burn-E, the short film Presto!, which played before the film theatrically, an audio commentary with Andrew Stanton, a collection of deleted scenes, Cine-Explorer with Stanton, Axiom Arcade, a sneak peek at Wall-E’s Tour of the Universe, The Pixar Story by Leslie Iwerks, Wall-E’s Treasures and Trinkets, “Buy N Large” shorts, a Geek Track commentary, and featurettes.
That’s quite the helping of extras! Believe me, there’s more there than it looks, and fans won’t be disappointed by what they find inside. We get two excellent commentaries, one from Stanton and another, called “Geek Track,” which points out all the homages and in-jokes that we may have otherwise missed. An utterly brilliant idea, I have to say. The short film Burn-E, a cute little story, follows a character from the movie who runs into problem after problem thanks to the indirect interference of Wall-E and E.V.E. It’s a nice addition to Wall-E. And while it’s not my favorite short film, Presto! is flat-out hilarious, no question, and I’m glad to see it included. We also get some interesting featurettes on the film, looking at everything from sound design to story development. The highlight extra, for me, is the inclusion of the Leslie Iwerks documentary The Pixar Story. It’s a great look into the history of the company, providing a detailed backdrop on its creation, all leading up to present day. It’s a great, great documentary that I’m both surprised and glad to see included here. It’s a definite required watching for animation fans, plus it’s a great bonus feature that leads off an overall solid collection of extras on the Wall-E Blu-ray release. And, yes, there’s a digital copy of Wall-E included in this release.
A great Blu-ray release and a beautiful movie alltogether, Wall-E is one of the most remarkable movie-going experiences one can have this year. Everything about this package is top-notch and flawless in just about every respect. The movie itself is an amazing treasure, the audio and video transfers are perfect, and the bonus materials are top notch across the board. This is probably one of the most complete Blu-ray releases to date, easily reference material, and one that would be a great addition to any collection. Wall-E is a great movie, a gem that can take one’s breathe away with it’s effortless storytelling. It’s a truly all-ages movie, and I mean that in the best way possible. Many people thing all-ages is a bad word, but not here. It’s a great, great movie that I can’t recommend enough. Wall-E is a brilliant movie, a great Blu-Ray release, and a true Must Own.
Wall-E hits DVD and Blu-ray on November 18th, 2008.
WALL-E bonus promotional clips!
Notes on a Score (Bonus)
Wall-E’s Treasures (Film)
Visual Effects (Bonus)