Opens June 27, 2008. Run time: 1 hr. 37 min.
Disney and Pixar join forces for this computer-animated tale about a wide-eyed robot who travels to the deepest reaches of outer space in search of a newfound friend. The year is 2700, and planet Earth has long been uninhabitable. For hundreds of years, WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) has been taking out the trash, and collecting precious knick-knacks in order to stave off the boredom of his dreary routine. Little does WALL-E realize that he has recently stumbled onto a secret that could save planet Earth, and once again make the ravaged planet safe for all humankind. When highly advanced search robot EVE makes friends with WALL-E and realizes the value of his remarkable discovery, she excitedly races back to let the humans know that there's hope for their home planet after all.
But after centuries alone in space, WALL-E can't stand the thought of losing the only friend he's ever known, and eagerly follows her into the deepest reaches of space on the adventure of a lifetime. Along the way, the friendly trash-collecting robot who has always known what he was made for gradually begins to understand what he was meant for. Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton returns to the helm for this family-friendly sci-fi adventure featuring the voices of Fred Willard, Jeff Garlin, and Ben Burtt.~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide.
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A clever and groundbreaking motion picture like nothing you've seen before, Wall-E is a hilarious, heartfelt and extraordinary comedy adventure that pushes animation to new heights while providing pure out-of-this-world summer fun. Story In an almost completely wordless first 40 minutes, we meet the workaholic robot Wall E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) as he goes about the daily tasks--organizing an abandoned junk yard with remnants of what life was like before mankind was forced to leave earth (or die) in the 22nd century. Apparently, no one remembered to turn his switch off so he continues to do his thing in the shadow of an eerily empty city. One day a spaceship lands and drops off a spiffy search robot named EVE (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator). EVE strikes up a touching, even romantic relationship, with little Wall E, his first contact with anything or anyone (other than a pet cockroach) in about 700 years.
When EVE discovers that Wall E may have come upon the living proof that Earth is once again inhabitable, she blasts off to tell the humans aboard the Axiom--a massive shopping mall-like space station--that it may finally be safe to return home. Not wanting to let her go, Wall E hops on during takeoff and blasts into the outer reaches of the universe where he experiences the surreal future and brings hope from the past. Acting Be prepared to fall in love with the most engaging and original new movie star in ages. The extraordinary performance here is a robot who utters sounds, not words, and comes brilliantly alive through state-of-the-art CGI animation and expert vocal design by legendary sound wizard Ben Burtt (R2D2 of Star Wars). He makes this non-human, love-struck piece of tin the most human element in the film.
Wall E does not need words to express his understanding of affairs of the heart. In fact, the early sequences in which he repeatedly watches an old video tape of the 1969 musical, Hello, Dolly (the only one is his obviously limited collection), we totally understand where his notions of romance come from--and from an 800 year-old semi-flop Hollywood movie, no less. The trip into space brings encounters with some misfit robots as well as the rotund immobile humans, competently performed by vets like Jeff Garlin, as the ship's captain, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy and Sigourney Weaver as the ship's computer. But the real acting voice-over prizes belong to Burtt and his sound design colleagues this time. Direction Oscar take notice: Pixar has done it again.
Co-writer/director Andrew Stanton won an Oscar for Finding Nemo and has worked in some capacity on just about every Pixar triumph from Toy Story; through last year's Oscar winning Ratatouille. His creative need to stretch and explore uncharted 'toon territory results in the offbeat Wall-E, which abandons the talking creature formats for a surreal, touching and environmentally-conscious love story. The film sets off alarms for the future of our planet but also offers hope that it's not too late. Stanton's most daring notion is to create almost a silent film for the first half and in so doing gives us an animated cinematic experience the likes of Chaplin, Keaton and Jacques Tati would have loved. The achievement of keeping an audience glued to the screen watching incommunicative non-humans who learn to communicate and care for each other is no easy thing.
Stanton creates beautiful visuals and a well-crafted story to go with them. This is one from the heart. Bottom Line Hollywood.com rated this film 4 stars.-Pete Hammond.
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