Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I don't normally flip out for an animated movie but this past summer saw the release of one of the best animated films I have ever seen -- WALL *E.

Here's a re-post of my mini-review from last July:

I'm not one to normally gush over an animated movie, but WALL*E (****) was a delight from start to finish and easily one of the smartest, most entertaining films of the year. Andrew Stanton's beautifully animated tale about a lonely robot cleaning up trash on earth long after people have vacated it has nods not only to Chaplin but to Spielberg, while also working in the time-tested Disney/Pixar way that has brought smiles to both children and adults for the last 10 years or so. I knew from the trailers that I was going to have a soft-spot in my heart for the little robot but I never knew I was going to absolutely love the adventure he goes on. There is sly, subversive commentary on our culture embedded within the narrative of WALL*E, while also still providing what little tykes like: a cute main character and an exciting plot. Echoing sections of Mike Judge's criminally underseen and underrated futuristic comedy IDIOCRACY, the humans in WALL*E have regressed into fat, uneducated slobs, content with floating around on mechanical beds, with fast food at their finger tips, always glued to their phones and televisions. WALL*E is a waste containment robot who is making cubes of trash in his compactor somewhere on earth. One day, another robot shows up, looking for signs of life. This robot, a girl named Eva, has a meet-cute with WALL*E, who is immediately smitten. He hitches a ride into space when Eva's ship shows up to take her back and lots of craziness ensues. I really loved this film. No other animated movie in recent memory has made me laugh like this one. And the opening 25 minutes, which are essentially silent, are some of the best moments of purely visual storytelling that have been put on screen in a long time. WALL*E is bright, funny, sharp, and excessively cute.

This is a remarkable movie, one that will delight both children and adults. And if you have a Blu Ray player, I have heard that this is the ultimate reference title; the full 1080p presentation is supposedly the best ever committed to disc.


Joel said...

For me, it's the greatest animated movie ever made. Possibly tied with "Beauty and the Beast." Certainly Pixar's finest achievement to date.

Actionman said...

Yeah, Wall*E was brilliant stuff. I also really enjoyed Ratatouille.

Animated highlights for me include the two mentioned above, Lilo & Stitch, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Incredibles, The Land Before Time and The Lion King.

Joel said...

Lilo & Stitch is just plain charming and surprisingly exciting, don't you think? The action was involving; the laughs almost unbearably well-written.

Sleeping Beauty's great. Just unadulterated romance at its finest. And Maleficent is pure evil.

Same with "Cinderella," minus Maleficent. If I were to pick, I'd say this over "Sleeping," but they're classics for a reason.

"The Incredibles" is the most viscerally exciting animated movie ever made. And among the greatest in the superhero genre.

I've watched "The Land before Time" at least fifteen times. Does that answer the question of how I liked it? :P

I cry at Mufasa's death every time I see "The Lion King." Nuff said.

Other Disney classics: "Snow White," "Aladdin," and "The Little Mermaid." And "Pinocchio." And "The Jungle Book." Gosh, why is it that Disney's the best at everything?

And "Beauty and the Beast" rose far above the norm for animated films. First time I saw that (when I was six) I was speechless. It's one of my reasons for loving movies.

Actionman said...

Wow, you're a big animation guy, huh?

I loved everything about Lilo and Stitch...it was the surprise of the year for me when it came out. Just an adorable little film.