Wall E the newest film from Pixar comes about as close to movie euphoria as any film I’ve seen in a long time. It’s the first film that’s allowed me feel the vastness of space and the imagination since E.T. There have been a lot of other parallels drawn to Spielberg films, and while there are similarities between what director Andrew Stanton has done with this animated masterpiece and things of a Spielbergian nature, i.e. the epically vast spaces, love of films referenced, joy of history, fascination with things we don’t understand, longing for human connection, Andrew Stanton does something here that Spielberg seems to have a hard time grasping.
He handles themes and ideas with such a subtle use of visual storytelling that they don’t need to be talked about by the characters and explained to us through exposition. The ideas are lived and breathed by the characters. They are presented on the screen in a way that when kids now go back to watch it in 20 years, they won’t hate themselves for loving this movie.
There were several times throughout Wall E in which I was so overpowered by what was happening I teared up. That’s the beauty and the majesty of this misfit robot so badly wanting to make a connection with something that his only friend is a cockroach.
One thing the filmmakers must have studied before making this film were the silent films of years gone by, as the only thing eventually uttered between Wall E and the Eve to his Adam are their names. Everything else is “spoken” through gestures of the hands, movements of the eyes, interaction with their environment…it’s a ballet of visuals that tells a story so powerful and potent you can’t help but get swept away on this little bots adventure.
Kids are going to love it for it’s simplicity, adults are going to love it for it’s complexity. When we finally run into human life they’ve become so controlled by the technology that was once supposed to make things easy that they’ve forgotten to look around them and notice…anything. Their every movement is dictated by already mapped out paths, sucking down meals through straws, and being advertised to every which way they turn. It’s a wall, a barrage of information that informs nothing.
So, while it’s a story about longing its also a story about remembering how to live, something a lot of adults need to be reminded about more than their kids.