Thanks to my 6 year old stepson's interest, I saw Wall-e
over the weekend.
Pixar sure is proud of its latest. The movie was alright, I suppose. It got two thumbs up from my stepson, so I guess I should lead with that. The actual kid among us viewers enjoyed himself a great deal throughout the film, practically dropping his well-ketchuped challah dog because he was so transfixed. There's a lot of amazing visuals in this film, whether you are floating in outer space or checking out the inside of a humongous space craft. Then there's also all those crazy futuristic inventions that spark imaginations. I think that's part of what makes it interesting and gripping for kids.
I, on the other hand, was a little bored...but I think this stems from my general lifelong inability to connect to stories about robots -- even robots with humanizing features like the ones in Wall-e
. In fact, maybe in part because
they were 'bots mysteriously programmed with emotions and sad, down turned eyes, I was even less likely to get sucked into the movie cause it felt kinda silly. I found myself wracking my brain to figure out whose voice one of the main characters was...and eventually, all that wracking paid off: it's Jeff Garlin
from Curb Your Enthusiasm
! I knew I'd heard that particular sputter before, usually following his wife on the show Suzie's rampant and dagger-like chiding.
The plot of Wall-e
is noble, though, I guess. (It really wants to be, for sure.) Earth is no longer inhabitable and it's
piled with garbage and thick with smog. Wall-e is a lonely little trash compactor with a penchant for collecting-- he might be a bigger hoarder than my dad! His only friend is a cockroach who hides in a Twinkie every time there's an apocalyptic explosion (often). (And actually my favorite detail of the entire film. I kept waiting for Cher to show up though too!) When Wall-e finds a white (oh, so pure!) floating pod-like fem'bot that was left behind by a mysterious space ship, he brings "her" home and they bond as only anthropomorphic robots can. When "Eve" sees the tiny, growing plant Wall-e has recently found in his trash piles, she grabs it, pulls it inside of her "belly" and eventually is plucked up by her space ship. Wall-e goes for a ride with the ship, eventually discovering that humans now live in a gigantic space ship, their every convenience accounted for, to the point where they are all fat and don't know how to walk or read anymore. I appreciated the social commentary of the movie and what it said about where our society is headed, but the whole plot just felt kinda flimsy, like an excuse for the visuals.