Last night I went to see Pixar's new movie WALL-E. I had heard much of the buzz leading up to this picture, and I've always liked Pixar films in the past...but a robot? I wasn't too certain, until I saw the trailer about a month ago. At which point I thought "hmm, looks kinda cute a quirky...it might be worth seeing in the theatre..."
Turns out that WALL-E is really, really, really good. The animation is amazing, especially for the scenes where WALL-E looks back at the Earth (surrounded by a brown haze of garbage and space junk) or out across the Milky Way. If you really need an excuse to see this movie in the theatre instead of waiting for the DVD, go for the beauty of the space scenes.
There is very little dialogue - and half of that (at least) is in robot-speak - although the music from Thomas Newman moves the story along nicely and complements the gorgeous animation. The story draws on WALL-E's "glitch" (a personality that makes him long for friendship, and perhaps a dash of romance) and casts it against the background of a cautionary tale about overconsumption and overreliance on machines, but does so without being too heavy-handed or moralistic (after all, the movie is put out by Disney, which is in the business of getting people to buy its movies, t-shirts, vacation packages, toys, etc.).
I forced my friends to stay through the credits, which are always entertaining in Pixar films. Nothing too special here, although I enjoyed the throw-back video game-style renderings of WALL-E, EVE, and others. The song ("Down to Earth" by Peter Gabriel) is definitely worth staying to listen to, even if you don't like the little robots crawling around the credit lines.
The great thing about WALL-E is that it really does appeal to a broad audience - during the day, families will enjoy the movie's more kid-themed aspects, while those coming to the movie for a light "date night" outing will enjoy the love story between WALL-E and EVE.