WR 122 Movie Evaluation Essay
21 May 2017
Irrational Love Defeating Programming
Wall•E is the ninth feature film to be released by Pixar Animation on the 27th of June in 2008. It is a rated G animated movie for its family friendly plot and is generally considered a combination of the genres: science fiction and children/family. However, when watching the movie, it quickly became clear that there were multiple similarities to romantic-comedies. A movie about robots and environmental destruction is at heart a love story told in a very unique way including the initial “meet-cute”, a humorous sidekick, a period of courtship, and the transformation of character; all of which show the audience that love is not unanimous and there are different ways on expressing love.
One of the conventions of romantic comedies is the “meet-cute”, whereupon the couple are depicted in an initial clash of personalities or comical misunderstanding. Wall•E is love-struck with the beauty of EVE when she first arrives on Earth and follows after her mindlessly as the earthbound robot yearns to just hold someone’s hand. In comparison, her rapid fire response to disturbances and the resulting mushroom clouds leave Wall•E trembling.
There are defined social differences between the star-struck characters as well, EVE is from a world of new, while Wall•E is old and aged. With these points it is important to realize Wall•E is unique in telling their love story; Wall•E and EVE are both robots which consequently prevents the story from being told in the usual fashion. Owing to the movie relying on non-verbals, detailed animation in the faces of the robots, and musical cues are used to represent the love between the two robots.
Throughout the film, the romantic story builds through a series of actions whereupon the young couple demonstrate their care for one another. This is important in the fact that the lead couple does not fall in love at first sight. These scenes thereby allow the characters to fall in love with the personality and quirks of the other. Shortly after EVE and Wall•E are introduced, a brutal sandstorm ensues and Wall•E is prompted to take EVE to his home for safety. Here, he excitedly shows EVE his collection of objects that range from a light bulb to a Rubik’s Cube. Eventually, Wall•E puts in a romantic movie titled Hello! Dolly which at one point has two characters holding hands. This nonverbal action is later used onboard the Axiom to represent the words I love you without explicitly saying it.
Additionally, when hanging around with Wall•E on Earth, EVE meets Wall•E’s insect companion, Hal. Hal is Wall•E’s sidekick and he provides lighthearted humor, particularly because he is a cockroach. However, once the two robots leave Earth, Hal is left behind and a cleaner robot fills this role. M-O is first shown cleaning EVE and her fellow robots of any contaminates. Afterwards, this robot follows the debris trail Wall•E left behind with increasing frustration, unexpectedly providing humor.
While there are multiple music sequences including Wall•E picking up trash at the start of the film and EVE scanning Earth upon her arrival according to her “Directive”. Two particular montages that stand out from the rest fit the criteria of a romantic-comedy. The first takes place on the polluted Earth whereupon Wall•E dotes on her even to his own harm after she shuts down upon finding a green plant shoot on Earth. This is essentially the courtship period between the two.
The second montage highlights the loving care that they have developed for one another during their time on the Axiom. Their playful natures are exhibited as they fly about in outer space —Wall•E with a fire extinguisher and EVE self-propelled. Additionally, the robot couple, particularly Wall•E, is able to initiate a “meet-cute” for a human couple by simply bumping into their hover cars. Consequently, the humans then begin to look at the Axiom in a different light.
Most compelling is the transformation of character the plot resolves. In general, romantic comedies feature a protagonist undergoing a transformation or discovery, usually realizing the other person is indeed their soul mate or true love. In Wall•E, the protagonist sparks a transformation in all those around him by simply being true to himself. In other words: “…the plot evolves into something with intergalactic ramifications, wherein Wall•E and EVE create a chain of events that eventually convinces humans to get off their lard-asses and return to Earth.”
From the cleverly scripted “meet-cute” that opens the film, to delightful tie-ins to classic romantic comedies of the past, and finally to the remarkable transformations of all the characters, Wall•E is a romance against which future films in this genre will be judged. The director of the movie, Andrew Stanton, once stated, “From the beginning, I could never drop the idea that is should really be a love story.” When even the director of the movie believes that Wall•E is a love story, it is no wonder that the film has the necessary components for a romantic-comedy. Though not a traditional romantic comedy as it centers around non-human characters, the lesson we can all learn from Wall•E is that loves knows no boundaries.
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Wall•E. Stanton, Andrew. Walt Disney Pictures, 2008. Film