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‘WALL-E’ Earns Accolade as 2008’s First Perfect Film, One of Best Pixar Films Ever

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Average: 4.8 (98 votes)
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0
(rarely perfect)

CHICAGO – While perfection can be characterized in many ways, there’s only one way to define perfect in the world of film: a picture that has everything you could ask for with nothing you could cut. Though this is a highly unlikely proposition, “WALL-E” has become 2008’s first perfect film and one of the best Pixar projects of all time.

The man with the ingeniously imaginative story and the decisive direction to be credited with every inch of success “WALL-E” is destined to reap is none other than Andrew Stanton.

WALL-E in WALL-E, which is written and directed by Andrew Stanton and features voice work from Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy and Sigourney Weaver
WALL-E in “WALL-E”.
Photo credit: Disney/Pixar

Indeed, Stanton is intimately familiar with what it takes to scribe a successful animated story of gargantuan proportions after having done so with “Finding Nemo” (nearly $865 million in worldwide box-office receipts), “Monsters, Inc.” ($525 million), “Toy Story 2” ($485 million), “A Bug’s Life” ($363 million) and “Toy Story” ($362 million).

WALL-E director Andrew Stanton has his headshot taken on Feb. 28, 2007 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif.
WALL-E” director Andrew Stanton has his headshot taken on Feb. 28, 2007 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif.
Photo credit: Deborah Coleman/Pixar, copyright Disney/Pixar

In total, that dossier of animated success – every one of them under the Pixar umbrella using its own PhotoRealistic RenderMan computer interface for high-quality image generation – earns Stanton the plaque of most profitable and successful screenwriter for Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios.

Stanton, who also executive produced the wildly successful 2007 animated film “Ratatouille,” not only again brings on the magic with “WALL-E” but even manages to best himself in pure originality and the creation of characters you can’t help but to fall madly in love with.

While the animated Pixar film “Cars” was a paper financial success ($462 million in earnings on a $120 million production budget), at the heart of Stanton’s style is the opposite: a rock-solid story, characters who are evocatively etched into your brain and personalities who tug at your heartstrings.

Despite public outcry, WALL-E is nothing like the robot Number 5 from 1986’s “Short Circuit”. While he’s the furthest species from humanity, his personality traits epitomize everything that’d make a human perfect: he’s a hard worker, adorable, perpetually devoted and perhaps most important he has a love-craving heart of gold.

WALL-E (left) and Eve (right) in WALL-E, which is written and directed by Andrew Stanton and features voice work from Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy and Sigourney Weaver
WALL-E (left) and Eve (right) in “WALL-E”.
Photo credit: Disney/Pixar

“Spending every day doing what he was made for (trash collecting) but soon discovering what he was meant for” isn’t just a cheesy line from someone with a catchy PR pen. WALL-E – whose voice was created by elite “Star Wars” sound designer Ben Burtt – goes with the flow of life to embody exactly that destiny while doing something uniquely human more of us should: He just does what feels right.

Now the “WALL-E” character Eve – who’s voiced by relative newbie Elissa Knight from previous “Cars” fame – is no gentle flower. At the mere sight of a scurry, Eve’s instinct is to blow things up. WALL-E, though, soothes her anxieties while she fills his loneliness and purpose.

WALL-E (right) in WALL-E, which is written and directed by Andrew Stanton and features voice work from Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy and Sigourney Weaver
WALL-E (right) in “WALL-E”.
Photo credit: Disney/Pixar

After kids everywhere develop a ravenous WALL-E following and adults everywhere fall in love all over again with what it means to fall in love, we’re once again reminded that there’s hope for Hollywood. Despite some of the trash Hollywoood spits out and the financial failures it endures, here Hollywood has fashioned a profitable “product” with real-life hope for the planet we’re devouring.

RELATED IMAGE GALLERY
StarView our full, high-resolution “WALL-E” image gallery.

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Podcast Listen to our episode-two podcast on “WALL-E” and more.

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Hope for our present-day world from an animated film for kids? While that may sound melodramatic, Stanton’s screenplay features front and center an unexpected “green” substory. The formidable environmental message even manages not to engage in a single lick of politics.

What’s decidedly green in “WALL-E” is primarily in its imagery – actually green imagery at times – along with the underlying concept that a single plant could colonize a dilapidated Earth all over again. And why couldn’t it? That’s how we started anyway.

While the story is about 50 percent consumed by WALL-E and 40 percent centered on Eve, the remaining balance is comprised of cameos by fun-loving and hilariously malfunctioning robot companions.

Though their names are unfortunately omitted from mention in the film, there’s a vacuum named VAQ-M, a robotic beautician named PR-T, an umbrella named BRL-A, a light named L-T, a massaging machine named HAN-S and an obsessive-compulsive cleaning character named M-O.

WALL-E,” which will open everywhere on June 27, 2008 from Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios, is written and directed by Andrew Stanton and features voice work from Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy and Sigourney Weaver.

HollywoodChicago.com editor-in-chief Adam Fendelman

By ADAM FENDELMAN
Editor-in-Chief
HollywoodChicago.com
adam@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2008 Adam Fendelman, HollywoodChicago.com

Dustin's picture

Of course Fendelman would like the movie...

I’m tired of this publication pandering to the pro-Robot agenda.

HollywoodChicago.com's picture

Inside joke

Dustin wrote:
I’m tired of this publication pandering to the pro-Robot agenda.
That’s an inside joke no one else will understand (and even I don’t think is funny). Yell

Anonymous's picture

Just saw it! Completely moved me.

Hand’s down the best film of the year!

RHH's picture

"Wall-E"

I have not been so touched by a movie in years. Wall-E and EVE have emotion and romance to spare, even if the rapacious human race appears to have lost this capacity in this movie. One man’s trash is another man’s goldmine — why, Wall-E (who, let’s not forget, after “X” centuries beavering away on Earth is probably himself himself viewed as discardable trash) is even able to find the real beauty and movie magic in the stink-o movie version of “Hello, Dolly!”. Hats off to Pixar.  Highest rating:  five statues.

Cindy's picture

Best Picture of the Year so Far

What can I say? This review hit the nail on the head. I’ve seen WALL-E twice now, and it has been too long since I last had such an experience in a movie theater. I don’t think I could trust a person who did not enjoy this film. Indeed, it is just that good. My hope is that it’ll get a best picture nod, but this is unlikely because of the institution of the best animated picture category. All I can say is that this little movie about a lonely robot who finds his destiny is the best picture of the year so far. 5 statues.

AA's picture

cartoon movie that have struck me......

one of the best movie i will ever remember in my life.

wall-e has showed me how lonely human can be. his humble character gives us insights how beautiful life can be if we share and joy simple things in our life with our pure hearts.

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