Sunday, June 29, 2008
After Cars (2006) and Ratatouille (2007), this reviewer had almost given up on Pixar Animation Studios. Their first films (Toy Story I and II, A Bug's Life) were never less than entertaining, then with the wildly imaginative Monsters, Inc. (2001), they astonished. No one who saw Monsters emerged unchanged.
Finding Nemo (2003), and The Incredibles (2004) were a return to earlier form, but the latter day films have been Disneyesque and largely lame. Now comes WALL·E.
The film opens on a devastated earth some 700 years in the future. WALL·E the robot dwells there seemingly alone, and the early scenes beautifully depict his lonely existence. When a female robot named Eve arrives, WALL·E falls in love. Alan Smithee didn't find Eve particularly attractive - sure, she has a great personality, but she's shaped like an egg - but to each his own.
The good news is the film has stretches of Monsters-like brilliance, as well as an engrossing visual style. The story isn't particularly funny, but one hardly notices. Alan Smithee did not hear any children in the theater complaining, so WALL·E must somehow have captivated them without pop culture references, "humorous" sidekicks, or inane physical jokes. Perhaps things are getting better.