This summer season has, for the most part, been terrible. Indiana Jones and the Last Gasp of the Baby Boomers. Narnia and the Prince of something-or-other. The Incredible Bore. Iron Man was the exception. And the Dark Knight looks pretty damned amazing. But I think the movie of the summer (and perhaps the year) will be a Pixar movie. Wall-E.
The goal of screenwriting was to always use the pictures to tell the story — to have the dialogue secondary. How much of the character can we gain not by what they tell us, but what they show us? Do they re-use those day-old coffee grounds? What hidden hobbies show us their inner demons?
Wall-E cannot talk. So the first hour, there is NO speaking.
Wall-E is lone robot left to clean up our dead planet. He has no need for food, water, air, or other physical sustenance (he does need to charge his battery cells with solar power).
And I think this is why Wall-E is so successful. Take away our physical cravings, and what’s left? What’s the most basic emotional need? Comfort. Understanding. A sense of belonging. In other words — it is Wall-Es whole motivation: for someone to hold your hand.
That concept can be understood by everyone. All ages. All cultures.
Wall-E is a classic of film making. I’ll go and say that it is the year’s BEST movie, and I think it will go down as a classic. As the Boomers talk about Snow White, so will our generation (and our kid’s generation) talk about Wall-E. It’s THAT good.
Now it loses steam in the second hour, which is, ironically, when the people make their first appearance. When the plot about recolonization takes some of the focus away from the Eve and Wall-E.
But there where times when I just kept shaking my head — it was so simple, yet so effective. No dialogue. Just moving pictures. There weren’t even any villains (well, again, not until the people got involved).
As for the kiddies — it had some scary moments (intensified by the big screen, I’d say, because they weren’t actually scary, just noisy). And it ran a little long (my guess, about 1 3/4 hours) so that’s a long time to sit. But Paige proclaimed it her favourite movie. And it would be right up in my favs list too (until we buy it on DVD and Paige watches it 3000 times).