Starshine: Hey everyone! Welcome to another Objection. I’m Starshine!
Fenrir: And I’m Fenrir, famous for being neutral on just about everything except for animated feature films
Starshine: Which brings us to today’s topic: Wall-E. Animated classic for the ages, or a cope out from Pixar. Fenrir, why don’t you start by talking about the film?
Fenrir: Well, I wouldn’t say it’s a “cop out”, persay, it certainly was a pleasure to watch if only for the graphics and the heavy-handed enviromentalist/general commentary on the state of our health. But, it doesn’t strike me as the most memorable of Pixar films because — as we observed with Brave — pretty pictures are not everything. With a dragging story that is moved by cute scenes of robots speaking in a very Pokemon-nese language, it’s a bit tiring. I mean, I get it; they’re cute robots, doing cute things, saving the world and all of humanity, coupled with stellar graphics. But for me, it didn’t have that Pixar spark that comes with that profound mixture of great dialogue, along with art direction, and musical score — sorry, but the ‘bot language barrier was a big turn off for me and only made the movie drag on.
Starshine: I think the message is a little heavy-handed but it serves a point. We are destroying the Earth and really damaging ourselves in the process – there’s no use in being subtle about it. And it created a very genuine, very real “what-if scenario” to build a fun, but prophetic story. And really, you got tired of the robots? I genuinely felt though like they were real characters – Wall-E himself obviously has at least some form of personality. Do you think you would have liked it better if the robots actually spoke?
Fenrir: And here’s the rub: No, I would not have liked it more if the robots actually communicated. A lot can be said in gesture and is a testament to the writers if they can balance that act between action and compelling dialogue. But, for me, the movie dragged on because of the action; drawn out chase sequences were the main offender to me, but I suppose they were there as a show of: Oh hey look at what we can do! Explosions, uniquely designed characters doing all sorts of different running sequences, etc. etc.
Starshine: But there’s just no way the movie could have survived without them – in the end, Wall-E is a kid’s movie. I do give kids the benefit of the doubt, but they are still young and will probably wouldn’t have lasted the full two hours watching a small robot wandering a desolate Earth and coming in contact with Eve later. Would that have made a better movie? Yeah, probably, but no one would take their kid to see that after the opening weekend reviews were in.
Fenrir: I don’t see why it had to be two hours in the first place, though. A more stream-lined Wall-E could have been possible, I’m sure, and that would probably end my gripe with the movie if it was focused on the bullet points of the plot without the occasional divergence into whimsy.
Starshine: What about the human characters? Did you like them at all – not that even I can recall them by name – or were they unimportant in your view? Honestly, I would have liked a lot less human presence, but since we have to deal with the movie that exists and not the one that could have been, I will say they were okay, and added something to the movie, but I never understood why they never just colonized elsewhere, or had to get back to Earth period.
Fenrir: Haha, that’s the thing, I don’t remember them as much either, except that they served as a sort of “wake-up” call to the audience in their waddling stride and their dependency on machines that eventually manipulated them. Which doesn’t make the droids all that cute, if you think about it. But I suppose they were also there because — as much as we say we could colonize elsewhere — we do still long for our planet Earth, even now we hope more to fix what we have now instead of wanting to branch off elsewhere. We like to imagine that our planet can fix itself, that maybe with us gone the Earth can reset itself and we can try again. So the humans were a remnant of us as we now are in a future that we don’t want. And so where do the robots fit into this? Uh, irony? Regimes of representation instead of replication? Haha ignore that, but seriously: What makes Wall-E a good movie? Or are we going into this movie because we are fed the standard of: Hey it’s a Pixar movie so it has to be good?
Starshine: I feel like what makes it a good movie is that it weaves a good story, and uses some amazing graphics and visuals to pull it off. It’s new, and innovative, and funny, and as I remember it, way better than anything else that was playing at the time. Personally, what I like most about the movie is that it tries new things and it works well for the medium and as a story.
Fenrir: I still don’t think it’s the best of Pixar’s films. It was innovative with a main character that spoke through gesture and that still won the hearts of audiences nationwide, but it still remains an enigma to me as to why people enjoy it so much. I remember sitting in my seat waiting for it to end, and yes, there were pretty scenes, gorgeous moments enhanced by stellar visuals, but, that was about it.
Starshine: I guess we’ll have to just agree to disagree. Well that’s it for this week’s Objection! Come back next week when two of our writers enter the ring to discuss their positions on relevant topics!