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Wall-E
Another huge Pixar hit.
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Wall-E
Disney's Animated Feature "Wall-E."
RATING:
 9/10
OPENING WEEKEND: $130,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $420,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.



February 18th, 2008: The film plays 700 years in the future when Wally is a little robot on Earth cleaning the trash-covered planet after the humans evacuated it.

What to Expect: Here is a little trivia question for you: What studio has the highest average gross per movie? If you said Pixar then you are right, and no other studio is even close. Pixar averages a whopping $539 million per movie, with their worst grossing film still pulling in a whopping $361 million way back in 1995. How does Pixar accomplish such feats that have eluded all of its competitors? Well the answer is simple: They combine the latest and greatest in animation technology with heartwarming and imaginative story lines. Pixar never over extends itself, doing only one movie per year and never takes shortcuts in story development or production. They patiently develop buzz for every movie through clever teasers and marketing partnerships, and this year is no different.

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As a record number of people tuned in to watch the Giants defeat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, they were shown a teaser for Pixar's next blockbuster Wall-E. The commercial offered no clue of what the movie is about, it simply showed a cute looking robot bumbling around on screen. Well, that adorable robot is none other than the star of Pixar's most ambitious project to date. The movie will feature some surprisingly dark themes, and very little dialogue, which has some people scratching their heads. However, I would not worry too much, this is Pixar after all. Wall-E will still possess all the qualities that make Pixar movies so great.

Wall-E is the brainchild of Andrew Stanton, who has directed several Pixar movies. He actually came up with the concept while doing rewrites for Finding Nemo. Stanton said that it was his favorite character since it brought together his two favorite things, "giving life to inanimate objects and space operas." Well, when I first saw the Super Bowl ad, the first thing that came to mind was, "they ripped off Short Circuit," a charge that Stanton vehemently denies. He claims that the character is actually inspired by Pixar's mascot Luxo (the lamp character in their logo) and a pair of old binoculars he was playing with at a baseball game. I am sure these charges will fall on deaf ears since most of Wall-e's audience was not even alive in 1985 when Short Circuit came out.

Sometime in the future the world becomes completely covered in garbage, turning virtually uninhabitable. A solution is hatched which will place all of humanity on luxurious space cruises for five years, in which time millions of WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) robots will clean up the earth. Unfortunately, all the robots malfunction except for one, and four hundred years later humanity remains in orbit while the lone surviving robot attempts to finish cleaning up the entire earth by itself. Why these robots malfunction remains a secret, but many speculate that the corporation, Buy N Large, has sabotaged the robots to keep humanity in space where the company owns everything. Well, regardless of why it happens, poor Wall-E spends the entire time doing what he is programmed to do, clean the earth. Yet, while he cleans, he starts to become extremely curious about the world he is cleaning and begins to examine the refuse of the world that once was. After hundreds of years of cleaning and collecting Wall-E begins to develop a personality and feelings.

Meanwhile, up in space humanity is actually going in the opposite direction. Humans, who have been living on the ultra luxury liners, devolved into couch potato blobs that depend on robots for even the most basic of tasks. I am not really sure if I would really get on a cruise ship if it did not have a sports club, but I guess Stanton thinks we would. Four hundred years after leaving earth, the devolved humans send out a scout ship to check on the progress of the cleanup. The scout ship sends a robot named Eve to document the findings. Wall-E, who has been feeling extremely lonely, immediately falls in love with Eve. Unfortunately for Wall-E there are two problems: First, even though Eve is a much more advanced robot, she is not programmed to have feelings. Second is that the robots do not speak; instead they can only communicate through beeps and mechanical noises. He tries to show Eve how to love, but she remains as cold as a machine. When the mission is over, her program calls for her to go back, but Wall-E refuses to be left behind and stows away on Eve's ship. When he arrives, he finds humanity is quite different from the people whose garbage he was cleaning. Ironically, now he is much more human than the humans themselves, and as a result, he must now show humanity what they have been missing, even show them how to love.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Wall-E convinces people that a life of pure luxury is not worth giving up all the things that makes us human. Everyone returns to earth and helps Wall-E clean up.

END OF SPOILERS

This is one of the toughest and most daring projects Pixar has ever undertaken. The stars of this movie are all robots but none actually speak; instead they communicate through beeps and mechanical noises, ala R2D2. In fact there are only two speaking parts in this entire project: Jeff Garlin as the captain and Fred Willard as Shelby Forthright, CEO of Buy and Large. Only Jeff Garlin's part is an animated role. The character of Shelby Forthright will actually be live action, a first for a Pixar movie. Of course actor John Ratzenberger ("Cheers") will have a voice cameo as well, since it is an unwritten rule at Pixar that he must be featured in all of the their animated movies. So as you can see, there will be very little speaking, especially during the first half of the movie when it is just Wall-E and Eve on earth. As anyone who has ever seen a silent film can tell you, it is very difficult to develop characters and plot when you cannot employ the easiest communication technique of speaking. Thus it is going to be quite challenging for the film to keep the audience interested. Fortunately, Star Wars has already proven that a non-talking robot can capture the hearts of audiences. To try to tap into that success Pixar recruited Ben Burt, the father of R2D2, to work on the sounds of Wall-E. Burt liked the story so much that he agreed to leave Lucas's Industrial Light & Magic to develop all the sound effects for the movie.

The other problem with Wall-E is that unlike the characteristically happy movies that Pixar has done in the past, this one is going to be somewhat dark and deal with some serious issues. The story will focus on the fact that humanity has made our world completely uninhabitable because of our wasteful nature. Then instead of dealing with the problem, they leave it to robots while people themselves abandoned the planet to live slothful, unfulfilling lives. Meanwhile, a nice robot must toil completely alone to clean up the mess for these people while they sit around and get fat in outer space.

Despite some of these challenges Wall-E is still going to be a great movie. As usual, no expense was spared to create the sharpest animation humanly possible. Pixar spent one hundred and fifty million on this movie and even enticed Jim Reardon to leave his position as animation director on The Simpsons to direct the animation on Wall-E. As with any Pixar movie, the plot of this movie will not take a backseat to the technology going into making it. The story may be a little darker than what we are used to seeing from the studio, but it will still have a happy ending and some wholesome lessons to take away.

In Conclusion: Wall-E looks like another home run for Disney/Pixar. The animation is going to be topnotch and with a story to match. Kids are instantly going to fall in love with Wall-E, the little robot that could and the parents will still find the movie interesting enough to watch and be extremely pleased with some of the lessons that it teaches: Hard work and love conquers greed and sloth. This movie is a sure blockbuster that will set all kinds of records from opening weekend and keep going strong the entire summer.

Similar Titles: Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille
RELEASE DATE
June 27th, 2008 (wide)
November 18th, 2008 (DVD)


STUDIO
Walt Disney Pictures

DIRECTOR
Andrew Stanton

STARRING
Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, Sigourney Weaver

USER RATING
  9.5/10
Total: 272 vote(s).


GENRE
Action & Adventure, Kids & Family

OFFICIAL SITE
Click here to view site

MPAA RATING
Rated G

RUNTIME
97 min

LANGUAGE
English

BUDGET
$180,000,000

OPENING WEEKEND
$62,500,000

TOTAL GROSS
EXTERNAL
Wall*E at AskMen.com








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