Monday, June 30, 2008


Animated cartoon

Ben Burtt: WALL-E, an acronym for Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earthclass type robot
Elissa Knight: EVE, another robot with an acronym for a name
Jeff Garlin: Captain of the good ship Axiom

Expectations not met makes for an unhappy experience.

Pixar’s track record of producing entertaining state-of-the-art animated CGI cartoons led me to believe this would be one more to add to the list of Knick Knack (the animated short film about the snowman trapped in a snow globe), Toy Story (the first ever first fully computer-generated feature film with Buzz and Woody), Finding Nemo (my all-time favourite with Marlin, Nemo and Dory), Ratatouille (with Remy and Linguini) and Cars.

Such is not the case.

The first half-hour is depressing with monochromatic browns of a world we would rather not see populated only by a robot going through his repetitive daily manoeuvres whose only buddy is a cockroach. Although the animators have attempted to “humanise” WOOD-E with expressive “eyes” and limited (very limited) vocal expressions I found it impossible to feel for this mechanical thing. So his dire situation left me entirely unmoved and consequently of little interest.

When EVE comes on the scene things liven up a bit and there are a couple of funny moments, even some tender ones. But that doesn’t last long as we are transported to another world where the producers hammer home their second strong message (about the consequences of a pampered life; their first was about the effects of over consumption) but it goes on far too long. It would be fine if these sequences were novel or funny, but they are neither. In fact there is not one really humorous moment during the entire film.

One thing needs be said though: the technical aspects are simply amazing not only in terms of the images but the sound. However that alone is not reason enough to sit through almost two hours of filmmaking.


At the showing I attended the movie was preceded by Presto, a new Pixar short about a magician and his rabbit. It is amusing and for some (the four or five-year-old crowd) absolutely hilarious. With hindsight, I should have left when it was over.

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