Yesterday I saw WALL*E, one of the three movies I had planned to see this summer. My four year old voice in my head, who I have now named Blossum, was screaming at me to go see this movie. So to look reputable I took my two little cousins with me, ages four and six. You would think I would have problems with two rambunctious boys, but actually they are angels when they go to the movies. My main problem was what if one of them one wanted to go to the bathroom during the movie? What do I do? I even told their mother about my concern. She just laughed and gave me good advice. But disaster was diverted and no potty breaks were needed during the viewing.
My favorite Disney Pixar movie of all time is Toy Story and now I can say that it is WALL*E. If you enjoy the Pixar movies, you will love this movie. Even if you aren’t a fan of animation, I whole heartily recommend you go see WALL*E. As an adult I was taught a lesson as well as the two little boys sitting next to me. When a child and adult can leave a movie together and talk about the same things they watched and ask questions, that is really an amazing thing.
Synopsis: What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL*E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL*E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet's future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL*E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets an adventure into motion. Joining WALL*E on his journey across the universe is a cast of characters including a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.
The first few minutes of WALL*E are a bit depressing. Earth is a vast wasteland of garbage. And when I say wasteland, I mean that in the literal sense. Humans have left Earth because of the output of garbage, waste and abuse to the environment. The year is 2775 and all that remains are skyscrapers, filth and waste. As I sat there, the six year turns to me and asks what has happened to the Earth? Why all the garbage? I honestly have no answer for him and as he turns back to look at the screen he says, garbage is very bad. Things become a bit lighter as we see WALL*E on the screen. The character of WALL*E is so very much like a child. He sees things as a child would. Even though his job is to clean up the garbage the best he can, he likes to collect things such as Rubik Cubes, light bulbs and utensils. WALL*E has such an incredible personality that shows he is not just a mindless robot. He enjoys watching an old time 1950’s musical and loves the music and the dancing. He especially enjoys watching one scene over and over again where a man and woman are holding hands and sing to each other. WALL*E assumes love means holding hands; but he has no one to hold hands with.
EVE comes down to Earth with a directive in mind. She reminded me of a mutant egg, but quickly just as WALL*E tugged at my heart, EVE will do the same with you. WALL*E welcomes her with open arms, so very happy he has another to share his toys with. He assumes she will want to stay with him and perhaps she will be the one to finally hold his hand. (The hand holding becomes very important throughout the movie) But WALL*E has in his possession what EVE is searching for. WALL*E has found a small plant growing out of all the waste and gives it to EVE. By plant life beginning to grown on Earth again after hundreds of years, that means humans can return to their home and begin a new.
EVE is taken back to her ship and WALL*E follows her because he thinks she is in danger. EVE is sent back to a huge giant like cruise spaceship where humans live as if they are on permanent vacation. Another disturbing fact is that because robots do everything for humans, humans have become big lazy blobs who ride around in chairs as they drink fatting shakes and watching TV very oblivious to life around them. When the Captain of the ship receives the plant, it means they can return home to Earth. But his co-pilot, which is a robot and so very much like HAL from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey has specific instructions that humans can not return to Earth. It takes over the ship’s controls and tries to stop WALL*E and EVE from placing the plant in a certain part of the ship that will enable them to go back to Earth.
So many lessons were taught and learned in this simple animated movie. It is heartbreaking to think in hundreds of years, Earth may no longer be inhabitable by living things and we would have to leave to travel in space with no meaning. WALL*E in some ways is very much like 2001: A Space Odyssey and as an adult I laughed at so many hidden jokes that came straight from the movie. But like 2001, there is hope and in WALL*E even though things look hopeless, that is not the case. Even though Earth is devastated, things can change. By the end of WALL*E my depression that I felt at the beginning of the movie became a feeling of hope. You must stay till the very end and watch the closing credits because as Peter Gabriel sings, we see through very amateur drawings how humans can make Earth so very green again because of a robot who should have no feelings or personality was able to deliver one small plant that will become the roots for a future of hope.
As my two little men and I left the theater laughing and chatting about what we watched, I pray because they are the next generation, that by watching a movie like WALL*E, they realize how important it is to be respectful to the Earth. But they are taught so very well already, because every piece of garbage they had, they put in the garbage can because it is the right thing to do.
Two very big thumbs up!!
**Make sure to stop by and visit tomorrow because Kristie and I are posting an interview with did with Eve Kenin. You will also have the chance to win an ARC of her September release of the Eve Silver anthology, Nature of the Beast. **