Sound Off: Pixar's Wall-E - What Did You Think?
by Alex Billington
June 27, 2008
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Pixar returns again this summer with the tenth feature film - Wall-E. We've been proclaiming this is one of Pixar's best since we first started talking about it over a year ago, but now that it has arrived in theaters, it's time to ask - is it really the best? Is Wall-E the masterpiece that everyone is saying it truly is? Or does the film have some flaws that even Pixar can't get passed. Has Andrew Stanton delivered another film equal to his last brilliant creation - Finding Nemo? There are a lot of big expectations for Wall-E, so the biggest question is if it will live up to that level of hype. Sound off below, leave your thoughts, and let us know what you thought of Wall-E.
To fuel the fire, Wall-E was everything I wanted it to be and more. Almost too much more. I was ever so slightly put off by the annoyingly dumb "fat people" who show up halfway through, but besides that, it was utter perfection. I didn't think it could surpass my enormously high expectations, but it did. Wall-E is a film that can literally be called a masterpiece. It's an example of cinematic storytelling at its absolute finest. Once I realized that most of the movie had hardly any dialogue but that I had come to love Wall-E more than any other character in a movie before, I knew that this was a rare treat. Wall-E is truly near perfection and is one of the finest cinematic creations you'll see in theaters all year long.
What did you think of Wall-E? Is it one of Pixar's best or one of Pixar's worst?
A few spoiler-free notes: 1. Andrew Stanton has a distinct visual style of exploration, using wide open frontiers to present new experiences. This was evident in Finding Nemo, Stanton's last directorial project... where the underwater world was vast and inviting to a limited perspective. A lot of those themes can be found in Wall-E. 2. The opening short film Presto is far and away my favorite of all the ones Pixar has ever done. Our midnight audience was full of grown men and women falling out of their seats laughing. 3. For a bunch of robots with nothing more than paralinguistic communication, the dialogue was surprisingly coherent and laugh out loud funny. 4. This is the first time I've seen a movie attempt a reach for the bar set by 2001: A Space Odyssey and actually succeed to an extend. Truly incredible work in this regard. I've been a Pixar fan since the very beginning, when Luxo Jr. was making the rounds and Lucas was running the show. In that time I've had noticeable attitudes going into these movies prior to seeing them: Unknown (Toy Story), the spoiled surprise (A Bug's Life), hopeful enthusiasm (Toy Story 2, Cars), indifference (Finding Nemo) and pure giddiness (The Incredibles). My two favorites however – Monsters, Inc. and Ratatouille – I had legitimate concerns about how the story would carry. In Monsters, Inc. it was "How do you create a world of monsters that justifies scaring kids in the closet?" In Ratatouille, it was "How do you provide interaction between a rat and a human without the rat simply talking to him in classic Disney fashion?" Wall-E concerned me too. My question this time was, "How do you build a story on a robot that doesn't speak and lives on Earth alone?" I'm happy to report that Pixar once again passed with flying colors, in the face of doubt. It's not my favorite movie of their storied history, but immensely enjoyable nonetheless.
Devon Shaw on Jun 27, 2008
Nice review Devon, your wrote precisely what I needed to hear to hire a babysitter this weekend. Thanks!
dRailer on Jun 27, 2008
Neither myself or my wife can think of a cuter character ever put on film. The story is great, the characters are great, the animation is great, .... it's all great! My wife summed up our fantastic experience quite well, "I don't think I stopped smiling the whole time!"
Chris on Jun 27, 2008
In a word, adorable. This film is so sweet and has so much heart. I just can't imagine anyone not liking it. And if they don't, I don't want to know them.
Film Fan on Jun 27, 2008
Just finished the 3:10 showing at Camera 7 in the Pruneyard great theater lousy audience. I know I know it is a kids movie but every kid in a 20 mile square radius was there and the 50 year old man behind me kept up the conversation that I suspect he was filming it secretly so I called security. I wish I could say I enjoyed the movie ...if I got the chance to enjoy it...between swiss family robinson and Mr. Ebert the third I got whiplash from having to turn my head so much. I did get it and I think amazing film a little interesting bias against overweight people that I have noticed lately in children films coming from Disney ( I guess it's to prevent obesity but, it is distinct in the marketing and such ). Other than that Wall-E was a great movie that I will go see again and I wonder who the Memorial was made out to in the credits. By the way there was a lot of credits I think a small country population worked on this film..I am surprised there is a recession especially with that many people working on one film...sheesh. Oh my spoiler...I am totally going to put a plant in a boot in my backyard right now.
Patricia Appelquist on Jun 27, 2008
So far, I can't think of a better film I liked more this year. I had very high expectations and its not often a film fulfills them with exceeding colors. And I just wanted to note that there have been two comments thus far that site the fat people element negatively. I actually really liked that detail. This film has a very strong and clear message. Where Shyamalan failed (and I am still a loyal fan) Stanton succeed admirably. The immobile fat people detail (in my opinion) was a comment about how lazy the general public is toward putting in the effort to make change and stop global distraction. By the end of the film, everyone is standing on their feet planting seeds. It was pretty clear to me. Just because its a kid's movie doesn't mean there aren't intelligent metaphors that we should listen and adhere to. As a matter of fact, that is usually the case with "children's" literature. Anyway, thats my peace. GO SEE WALL-E!
Nico on Jun 27, 2008
This movie is really something, and aside from the best animated feature Oscar, I think this one may be a contender for best picture as well. I'd been planning on seeing Wanted on opening day since probably February, but after reading all of the initial reviews for Wall-E last night, I chose to see Wall-E instead. Amazing movie. I can't think of enough adjectives to describe this movie. It's just phenominal storytelling, animation, character development, you name it....Pixar did it right with this movie. It's got the charm of Finding Nemo, the sci-fi edge of the Incredibles, the uniqueness of Monsters Inc, and the childhood simplicity of Toy Story and Cars, all while bringing a charm that is so unique in it's own right, that JOY is exactly the right word to describe this film. I have not enjoyed myself watching a movie this much in a long time. I think the only thing this film is lacking is secondary characters. The fat people, and the captain are alright, but honestly I could have watched an entire movie with just the robots. Wall-E and Eve are 2 of the best characters Pixar has ever created. You just want to hug them both...I want a Wall-E toy, and I'm 27! But Finding Nemo had characters like Crush, and the fish in the fishtank. Toy Story had a whole cast of secondary toys aside from Buzz and Woody, and Monsters Inc had a variety of monsters. This movie had a group of rogue robots, but they weren't named and they didn't really have much of a part in the movie. The little scrubber robot is the closest thing we get to a secondary character that isn't human. This isn't necessarily a complaint, but I think the movie could have actually been better had their been some more bit characters. But, like I said Eve and Wall E are such strong characters in their own right perhaps having any "sidekick" type robots would have offset that balance. LOVED this movie. By far my favorite Pixar film, definitely one of my favorite animated films, and as much as I'm looking forward to the Dark Knight I don't think it's going to pass this as my favorite movie of the summer. (I think there's a shot that if this movie continue's to get great word of mouth that it will beat Batman and be the #1 movie of the summer as well)
Ricky on Jun 27, 2008
It was awesome. Perfect, and expected, Pixar polish is in full force. Dialogue is great, really did touch me.
Rob G on Jun 28, 2008
Tenth feature? There is: Toy Story, A Bugs Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille and Wall-E. What am I forgetting?
Zach D. on Jun 28, 2008
Fantastic. I'm not going to repeat what everyone else has already said. I qute agree with Ricky about lack of secondary characters, but those characters that were 'secondary' played their parts well (the robot that cleaned up all the contamination, and the captain of course). I also have to agree with Alex that the fat people became somewhat annoying and whenever a scene focused on them my excitement cooled a bit. A serious contender for not just my favorite Pixar film, but my favorite animated film as well. If it doesn't win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature I'll cry "Mutiny, MUTINY!!!" 😉 Zach: you're not forgetting any, thats all of them, rest easy.
Keith on Jun 28, 2008
this movie was great. love the scenes where wall E is in space. As much as i love this film, i still like the incredibles more. i have no clue why, but that film would be the most favourite pixar film for me
Darrin on Jun 28, 2008
The movie was beautiful, visually and story wise. I loved it. Although my wife said it wasn't in her top 5 Pixar movies. It's definitely in mine. Great flick.
James on Jun 28, 2008
I LOVED this film! Wall-E is simply one of the best characters to ever grace the screen animated or living. My best film of the year. The best Pixar has made. Easily takes a spot in my top 5 films of all time.
Tim C on Jun 28, 2008
And just to add, Wall E was sooo endearing a charactar. But it was also the(yup, I'm really going to say this about a couple animated robots) on screen relationship and connection between Wall E and Eva that had me sitting in the theater with a joyful grin on my face for most of the movie.
James on Jun 28, 2008
Really solid movie. Much better than I thought after nothing but "cutesy" stuff in all the trailers. It can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be.
Ben on Jun 28, 2008
Only thing that kept it from being an instant classic for me is the ending. It's not a total cop out, but it's probably 1/2 of one. I would have liked to see Eve show the same dedication to Wall-E; end it with a little hope and show them reconnecting in the credits? Or in a sequel? I dunno...it was just so close to being perfect.
Simon on Jun 28, 2008
Wall-E pushed me to the edge of crying near the end. And that has never happened before it just amazed me on how thick the characters were even though they only talked about 6 to 10 lines. I really have not met a single person who did not love wall-e.
Eric on Jun 29, 2008
My wife and I took our 10 year old daughter to see this today. We all loved it. I knew very little about it going in other than it was about a robot left on Earth alone. Wow. I was completely amazed by the animation, the characters, and ultimately the wonderful story. This is not just a kid's movie. This is an animated masterpiece.
TCox on Jun 29, 2008
this is the best movie ive seen all year. better than iron man, hulk, in bruges, anything. i doubt ill see another that ill enjoy as much. if it were up to me, this would win best picture hands down. and why shouldnt it?
Josh G on Jun 29, 2008
Mark my words. Wall-e will have the longevity, and in time, will have a place next to ET as cinematic greatness. Not a big fan of the fat cartoon humans though. Especially after we were introduced to live action interwoven with the film.
Matt A on Jun 29, 2008
There was nothing wrong with it, but I just didn't love it. Walking out I felt like nothing much happened and that I would have rather seen another film.
Bryan on Jun 29, 2008
Wall-E was good but hardly best picture material. It was amusing/charming but seldom funny. The much hyped 'character development' is nothing more than cliche boy falls for girl stuff except this time it's a robot acting the part of the boy. Hardly original. And it's typical Pixar, gorgeous to look at but hobbled by having to be dumbed down to entertain 5 year olds. And the cartoon at the biginning was awful. No one laughed. It gave me a queasy feeling, if someone thought this would entertain the same audience that would be entertained by Wall-E we're doomed. It got better from there.
RandyG on Jun 29, 2008
Wall-E continues on a long tradition by Pixar Animation of success. The visuals were extremely gorgeous. The realism and cinematography was outstanding with lens blurs and focuses to give an animation such depth. The dialog was virtually nothing in terms of words, but the emotions created from what could be considered fantastic acting by two robots, seems odd to say, but the animators created humanlike characteristics that all could understand without dialog. I would have to say that movies like I am Legend and Outcast would be surpassed by the loneliness that Wall-E showed in the movie. Two words continued to be the focus, Wall-E and Eve. It did not matter how many times those lines were repeated, the movie continued to be excellent. Normally repetitious dialog would drown the movies plot and message, but it strengthened the movie to be the movie of the year, barring a Dark Knight soon to be seen here shortly. I am continually amazed by the story, the animation and the music selection and sound that Pixar creates for their movies and how genius they are at selecting the tone, the atmosphere, the humanity and the messages of the current world and putting it in front of the audience. The message not subtle is definitely right. We should listen. Great movie. Iron Man still supercedes this movie, but this movie had all the trimmings that 2008 movies have missed.
Mike on Jun 29, 2008
Loved it. Unlike some of the others commenting here I loved the fat people and really wish there was more of them. To me they were a great sub plot and I just wanted to know more about them. How did they do the day to day stuff that you take for granted, do robots bath them? How about a economy? It was clear when blue becomes the new red that it was supposed to be a instant purchase, but how? No one works, no one does much of anything yet there is advertisements everywhere. Maybe it's just me but I like to know these things. Second, don't want to give anything away, Eve is looking for something and finds it, no problem. It being the last one, supposedly, yet at the end there are tons of them. Why didn't she just search farther out? I know it's a a kids film and those things don't matter, they just bug me. Someone mentioned lack of secondary characters. They said, "well there was that scrubber robot". That scrubber was called Mo and was great. I was laughing every time I saw him. Also the evil bot, not sure if it had a name, the sidekick to Auto Pilot. If you pay attention there are many interesting characters to be seen. Last but first, Presto the cartoon short was brilliant! It was very Tex Avery in it's delivery. Just a laugh a second. Is Wall-E my favorite Pixar flick. I would say no, parts of it yes but overall it did leave me wanting. Will I buy it when it comes out on DVD, most likely. Do I want to see more of Wall-E and Eve and the rest show up somewhere, mostly definitely. Now over to comment on Wanted.
OldSchool on Jun 30, 2008
AWESOME! I LOVED this movie. I was expecting it to be really good but it blew me away. This is my favorite Pixar film to date.
Willhelm on Jun 30, 2008
@Matt A. #20: I thought the contrast of the fat, cartoon humans with the "live-action" humans was intentional: over the 700yrs, the humans became cartoons... fat, lazy caricatures of themselves. @Simon #16: I kinda agree with you on the ending, but at the same time, for whatever else Wall-e is, it's a kid's movie, and even Pixar couldn't get away with having a "No Country for Old Men" ending... kids crying at the end of a movie don't want to buy toys! 🙂 Here is my official "How Wall-e Could Win Best Picture(tm)" ending: SPOILERS At the end, instead of Wall-e waking up, it fades to black, then comes up on a flower garden surrounding a memorial to Wall-e, but then the camera moves over the still junk-filled city, and pushes in on 2 figures moving in the rain... Wall-e is moving back and forth, gathering garbage, compacting and stacking it, while Eva moves silently beside him, holding an umbrella over his head...
Chris on Jun 30, 2008
UHHHH Yeah that ending is gay, You just closed out any chance of even seeing a sequel. Which i would love to see. Its nice that the film didnt get caught up on any cheesy dialogue. Its like weve been so caught up on making films that have intense dialogue or sequences. And here comes a film that shows us that you dont need that. You have robots who can do everything and anything, and they way that they communicate to us on screen is so sutile, so basic, almost just with head knods and complete body language. I thought this film was brilliant. the animation was completly awesome for pixar, they raised the bar again. haha
THERBLIG on Jun 30, 2008
in a word: AMAZING, took my 5yr old to see it, there were a ton of kids and it was literally silent for the most part which to me says one thing.. people were riveted. The graphics, storytelling, acting (yes, acting), the music, it just swept you up into the experience. It will be a real shame that this picture does not get nominated for an Oscar, for best picture, you really had all of the emotions and the flow was fantastic. Highly recommend it for any age.... enjoy! Go see it in Digital if you can, even more impressive what they did.
midas777 on Jun 30, 2008
I was worried going in to it because seeing as Wall-e doesn't really "talk" so much make R2D2 grunts, it's practically a silent film for the first part of the film. I was (for SERIOUS lack of a better word) pleasantly surprised as yet again, Pixar manages to pull it out and make Wall-e one of the most human characters ever. Eve was pretty hilarious to. Oh, and MO was bomb shit. hilarious. P.S. The new short is my new favorite.
C.M Lamson on Jun 30, 2008
It was so good. Sooooo good. I knew I would love it. Completely blown away from start to finish. The poor little guy just wanted some love! Presto was hilarious.
Matt on Jun 30, 2008
#26 Oh my God if that was the ending I would be totaly crying my eyes out. It would be a mix of saddness and love for those two wonderful characters. Once agian Pixar has done it. I remember thinking when I saw Finding Nemo how much entertament can there be when one of the characters never remembers anything? And in this movie I wondered how intresting can a movie be with just one robot picking up garbage? Pixar is the most inventive production comany period. I can't wait to see what they will think of next!
Tyler on Jul 2, 2008
I absolutely loved WALL-E. It was my favorite Pixar yet. And now for my updated Pixar list: 1. WALL-E 2. Monsters Inc. 3. Finding Nemo 4. Toy Story 5. Ratouille
littlefoot on Jul 16, 2008
Just released here in the UK today, cinema's were packed and sold out! I love pixar, and i thought Wall-E was fantastic, and superbly challenges Toy Story and The Incredibles as Pixars best! What is really incredible, is how such a strong love story is emphatically put across to the audience with very little dialogue, William Shakespeare eat your heart out!
Stuart Mellor on Jul 18, 2008
hi im from the uk just saw wall-e today shld be called walo-r What A Load Of -Rubbish another boring green environmental message from the cinema world give us a break.honestly if werent sleeping after ten mins you must be an insomniac.toy story was brilliant and funny ???? was this written during the recent strike by scriptwriters by the lady who cleans the toilets?i had more fun being bitten by midges when out camping yesterday.on the plus side the graphics were the usual standard full stop.
tam docherty on Jul 27, 2008
The first 20 minutes of the movie is silent. WHAT THE HECK?! this movie is so cheap!
pixar589 on Nov 26, 2008
New comments are no longer allowed on this post.