Pixar-Disney’s latest animated feature would have to be very good indeed to live up to the hype accompanying it. Fortunately, it is.
In effect, this magnificent science fiction-romantic-comedy-adventure, directed by Andrew (Finding Nemo) Stanton, is two films.
The first is set on a post-apocalyptic Earth long abandoned by humans, who now coast through space in a luxury spaceship. Here the eponymous little robot WALL*E — Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class — has spent 700 years impacting and storing rubbish. Enter sleek penguin-styled robot EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) sent to Earth to investigate the state of the planet, and it is love at first sight.
The second, more conventionally Disney-fied comic-action section finds the metal lovers returning to the spaceship and catalysing the humans to revolt against the controlling robots who run their pampered lives…
This is Pixar’s finest hour. The animation is masterly, particularly the vivid waste-world in which WALL*E’s laughter-inducing misadventures occur, replete with entertaining dialogue-free comedy worthy of Keaton and Chaplin.
Funny, fantastic and exciting, WALL*E is 97 minutes of marvellous Oscar-worthy family entertainment. The ecological message — humanity is destroying its own planet — is obvious, but I imagine most youngsters focus on the sheer enjoyment the film provides.
Probably just as well, since making WALL*E has presumably left a huge carbon footprint in its wake.