Ken's Review: Wall-E - The First Perfect Movie of 2008!
by Ken Evans
June 26, 2008
Movies have the ability to make us feel every possible emotion. There are times we cry, times we laugh, times we love and times that we are scared out of our wits. With all the different feelings that I experience during the many films I watch, it wasn't until after seeing Wall-E that I realized there is one emotion that movies so rarely make me feel. The emotion that I'm talking about is joy. To be honest, Wall-E has so consumed my thoughts that I can't even bring another movie to mind that has made me feel the pure joy that I felt during or after seeing Pixar's Wall-E.
Wall-E is the last operational trash compacting robot left on an abandoned Earth. He has spent the last 700 years doing the same thing. That is until a mysterious ship lands and drops off a probe named Eve. Eve sets off on her mission while Wall-E watches from the shadows. He finally builds up the nerve to talk to her while at the same time accidentally helping her to find what she was sent there for. Eve is whisked away, but after 700 years of being alone, Wall-E is not about to let her go and follows her into space. Unbeknownst to Wall-E, he is about to set in motion a sequence of events greater than he could have ever imagined.
Last year I saw Ratatouille and thought that Pixar had finally out done themselves. They had made a movie that seemed, in my mind, unable to be topped and is in my opinion one of the greatest animated movies of all time. Then I saw the trailer for Wall-E and as excited as I was, I couldn't comprehend it being better or even on the same level as Ratatouille. I was wrong. Wall-E blew me away in every aspect!
I'll admit again, like I did in my review of Kung Fu Panda, that I'm not an expert when it comes to animation, but I know what I like and think I have a good eye for quality. I'll give the award for edginess to Kung Fu Panda, but for beauty and groundbreaking animation, Wall-E wins hands down. Wall-E is a perfect combination of simplicity and detail. The mixing of real people with an animated world caught me off guard and had my eyes racing to take it all in. The colors were as bright and fluid as I have ever seen. There were so many scenes that, even with my eyes open as wide as possible, I couldn't catch it all. It is going to take multiple viewings before I'm going to be able to put together all my thoughts regarding the animation.
If you are a Star Wars fan and you haven't heard of Ben Burtt, then consider yourself the worst Star Wars fan in existence. Burtt is the sound designer behind all of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, not to mention countless others. In case you don't know already, the majority of Wall-E has no actual dialogue. It is mostly beeps and squeaks from the many robots and objects they interact with. Writer and director Andrew Stanton didn't just hire a good sound guy to set the tone for the film, he hired the best in the business. The amount of story and emotion that is conveyed to the audience without speech really says a lot about Burtt's work in Wall-E. It is truly amazing what that man can do with a few sound effects.
Speaking of Andrew Stanton, all I can say is wow! It's like Pixar just has these guys sitting around writing the best screenplays ever. The story is what gripped me the most, just like in Ratatouille. This is what sets Pixar apart from DreamWorks and every other animation studio. There is so much depth, meaning and emotion put into these stories. We don't just get a glimpse of love, we get an eye opening look into what love truly is and all the different aspects of it. Ultimately, Wall-E is the story of a robot that's fallen in love and desires more than anything to hold the hand of the robot he loves.
There is more to the plot than just Wall-E and Eve though. There is the story of the human race and how they have become lazy and fat in space. The message there is important but also obvious. I don't really need to go into that because you would have to be blind not to pick up the message there. I'm much more interested in the attributes that Wall-E manifests toward Eve and how she responds.
I cannot recommend this movie enough. It is not just a kid's movie. It is meant to be a film that everyone can appreciate. Kids will eat it up, while grownups will enjoy the humor of the characters and depth of the story. Without a doubt this is the movie I would tell everyone to see this weekend. Do whatever you have to do so that you can see it and take everyone you know to see it. The first perfect movie of 2008!