|Fig 1 - WALL·E Poster|
This is one of the few Pixar films I had not seen in it's entirety until now, so I was able to watch from a fairly fresh perspective. Of course, the opening act is famous for it's lack of dialogue and primarily visual gags, which I think the film does incredibly well. In the same way the film establishes ideas of the 'old world' (primarily using real-life footage, which I'll come to), in it's 'silence' it is able to hark back to the slapstick stylings of greats like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. In addition, it's use of sound effects are much more powerful in this segment, from WALL·E at 'full-charge' using Apple's boot-up sound to the jolt of surprise when he activates the central locking on a car in the distance. In his naivety, WALL·E is able to make Earth feel much more homely than his reality suggests, which makes the opening one of the best parts of the film for me.
Speaking of the film's use of real footage, I have heard many people complain that for them it 'kills the suspension of disbelief' in blending reality and fantasy. It's initial uses come about when WALL·E activates an old hologram advertising the 'starliners' that allow Earth's inhabitants to flee the planet, followed by a VHS tape in WALL·E's home that plays real footage from 1969's Hello, Dolly!. The film goes on to show footage of the CEO for the all-encompassing 'Buy N Large' (played by Fred Willard), who appears rather satirically to represent Earth's commander-in-chief. I was unsure to begin with whether this use of live-action made any sense, though having thought about it, there would be much less distinction between past and present without it. The live-action also serves as a glorification of the 'way things were' and ultimately makes the 'old world' a much more relatable one.
|Fig 2 - WALL·E - EVE and WALL·E|
Additionally, the soundtrack (primarily by Thomas Newman) owes a lot to classic sci-fi such as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) (with which the film in general has many parallels), Alien (1979) and Star Wars (1977). The music bounces between 20th century Americana and famous compositions such as The Blue Danube, enhancing the overall contrast between old and new, a theme on which the film is heavily predicated.
Though it may not be one of my personal favourites, WALL·E undoubtedly has a lot to say in regards to the future of society and deserves all the credit it gets for it's fresh approach to the genre. It doesn't pack the emotional punch the studio is known for, but it's leads are charming and it's message - foreboding.
Fig. 1 WALL·E Poster (2008) From: WALL·E - Directed by: Andrew Stanton
Fig. 1 WALL·E Screenshot (2008) From: WALL·E - Directed by: Andrew Stanton