The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained.
The Film: WALL-E (2008)
The Plot: In the distant future, humanity has abandoned Earth (presumably after it got all jacked up in the Mayan Apocalypse), leaving behind a small waste collecting robot, WALL-E, who has faithfully executed his programming by cleaning up all the trash we’ve left behind and crafting it into cute little bundles. His predictable life is turned upside down with the arrival of EVE, a reconnaissance robot he falls in robot love with that leads him on a journey across the stars that will alter the course of humanity.
The Review: For me, WALL-E is one of the few Pixar films that lived up to the tremendous amount of hype surrounding it. It speaks to the powerful nature of the visuals within the film that there is nary a word of dialog for 39 minutes and they’re the best 39 minutes of the film. There’s just something endearing about the spunky little robot, with his tiny arms and sympathetic eyes.
Unlike many other animated films, CGI, drawn, contemporary, or past, WALL-E has a fantastic visual style that emulates a live action film with regards to the lighting and foreground-background focus levels thanks to cinematographer Roger Deakins‘s input. All of the design work and thought to creating the visuals is owed to Andrew Stanton‘s vision of a silent movie in the modern age created with modern computer generated imagery – a novel approach that works flawlessly.
Strangely, this animated movie lit a fire under some asses with its portrayal of the future of humanity – fat, disgusting, lazy slobs who destroyed the Earth with pollution and turned to technology as their savior, taking to space in their reclining hover chairs, taking their sustenance through straws, and living their lives through their touch screen computer interfaces. I say it’s strange because, like Idiocracy, WALL-E doesn’t seem entirely implausible given our current state of laziness and reliance on technology.
Perhaps that’s why I find the film so endearing – you take advanced computer technology and employ a bunch of guys to sit indoors for hours upon hours to craft a movie about the dangers of technology and entice people to get back to nature. It’s a conundrum, almost hypocritical in a way, but really it’s just the responsible use of film to provide a warning without being too preachy about it.
Put simply, WALL-E is a charming film that substitutes a cute as hell robot into the position you’d normally have a cute as hell fuzzy animal. The film makes a strong point about the current trajectory of humanity, which is leading us towards our destruction, whether at the hands of a Mayan sun god angered at our disrespect of nature or our own fat, lazy nature. It’s a movie packed with emotion you wouldn’t expect from robotic leads and the animation is crisp and beautiful.
But why spend 98 minutes watching this film when you only have 494,127 minutes left to live?
If you’re going to die, you should try to find peace and happiness before you do. WALL-E is a tremendously good movie, so there’s that on top of the fact that it can warm your heart a little. It may also end up that this Pixar creation was prophetic, predicting the end of the world at our own hands. Finding a little understanding about why you’re going to die can help put you at ease. Really, though, I just wouldn’t mind seeing that little scamp do his cute little thing one last time and maybe, just maybe, hold out hope that some autonomous and strong willed Roomba will survive the apocalypse and maybe one day make contact with a space fairing race. Further, just because the world is going to be engulfed in flame, it doesn’t mean you should strap yourself to your TV-Food-Combo Hover Chair and ride it out like a slug – get outside and check out a waterfall or something, will ya?