Straight off the bat, this particular reviewer did not think that Ratatouille was the be all and end all of modern animation, in the way that every cinema reviewer in the world seemed to think. Yes, it looked amazing, in terms of technology Pixar certainly continued to push the envelope, but the childish joyfulness that fuelled most of there other events seemed oddly missing. It was a similar mis-step they made with Cars, in that alot of the story was skewed to a much older demograph that they seemed to be previously hitting bullseyes with Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.
But with the announcement of WALL-E, and every teasing trailer that was released, the world seemed to now that Pixar was really on to something, simultaneously moving forward in terms of technology and unique story lines, while retracing their steps to imbue the story with as much broad appeal as possible. And following its massive opening weekend in the States, as well as reviews such as “The Greatest American Film Of The Year”, it seemed like everything was falling into place for what may be the greatest thing Pixar has ever done. Whether you believe this or not will depend greatly on your mood going into the movie.
While movies in general, and the audience’s perception of which, can vary greatly on a person’s mood going into the movie, it is especially true in this case for one very good reason; it is possibly the cutest film ever made. WALL-E himself was always going to win over the audience’s heart, being so endearingly optimistic doing his seemingly never ending chores of cleaning up Earth several hundred years into the future, and doing it all on his lonesome. In order to fully understand isolation, grandeur needs to be implimented, and Pixar have never been more epic than here. Massive abandoned cities with skyscrapers constructed from compacted garbage higher than anything the humans left behind, entire fields of broken WALL-E’s, and enormous dust storms that confine WALL-E to his dumptruck apartment all combine to magnify his isolation. So when EVE arrives in search of life on Earth, and our tiny hero finally has someone to communicate with, it is entirely plausible and heartbreakingly real that he would hang on to the side of the spaceship that is taking her away just to maintain that relationship.
The promoters have done a fantastic job of hiding most of the second half of the movie in their publicity campaign, bigging up (and rightly so) the dialogue free first half, and shrowding (rightly so) the second half in a case of mystery. WALL-E’s determination to single handedly clean Earth is exploded to gigantic levels for his hunt of EVE, and director Andrew Stanton, the man behind Pixar’s biggest hit to date Finding Nemo, is a trusted hand in mixing genuine emotions with plenty of laugh out loud moments. Everyone in the audience should be prepared to get some major throat lumps in the last 20 minutes, really ringing true on its potential of being our generations E.T.
However, all of this will mean little or nothing to you if you’re not willing to go with it. Pixar have already tried to get us to fall in love with Toys, Ants, Monsters, Fish, Superheros, Cars and Rats, and if you haven’t fallen for one, most or all of them, then their attempts to have a recycling robot mealt your heart isn’t going to sway you any. The film is going to amaze everyone with its visual prowess, even managing to bring in camera focus pulls to make it seem more real, but cynics or people who think cartoons are for kids need not apply.
Eight Point Five Out Of Ten