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WALL-E

September 21, 2009
I just saw WALL-E the other day. Amazing movie – Pixar’s still batting 1000. If you haven’t seen it, go for the spork scene, and the 2001 reference. They’re precious. It’s been out for a few weeks, so probably somebody else has already said this, and better than I have, but I can’t help making a few observations.

(And I’m going to discuss the ending, so if you don’t want a spoiler, don’t scroll down.)

• These guys pulled off a movie with almost no dialogue. The first 15 minutes or so were really a classic example of sneakily giving the audience information. The billboards WALL-E passes, the pop-up hologram advertisement, the piles of dead WALL-Es let you figure out what happened without any character telling you anything.
• A rather daring use of live action.
• WALL-E’s eyes. They absolutely carry the character, just like ET’s eyes did. Notice when WALL-E temporarily loses his memory at the end, his eyes stop moving. You can tell there’s nobody home – it’s a zombie version of WALL-E. It seems that no matter how not human a character looks, you can pull if off if they’ve got really great eyes.
• This has got to be the cheeriest post-apocalyptic I have encountered.
• Where did the Axiom people get all those species from that we saw in the ending credits? I suspect they had a gene bank in the hull that nobody was paying attention to. Or maybe they looked that place in Iceland up on the encyclopedia.
• Where do new Axiomites come from? I bet they’re test-tube babies, like in Brave New World. Holding hands was such a strange new experience for John and Mary that I hardly think they’re doing it the old-fashioned way.
• Are they ever going to revive AUTO? They did with HAL (remember 2010?). What if the encyclopedia turns on them?
• WALL-E has spent 700 years intimately acquainted with trash and you expect me to believe he has never encountered a spork before?

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