Love stories come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, and concepts. In one finger snap, everything can change because, truly, “IT ONLY TAKES A MOMENT.” Touching someone’s hands can make a difference beyond our human understanding. It can feel like a lightning bolt, a roar of a lion, or a peaceful sigh of safety and being “home.” There is no rhyme or reason. It just is. This is how I felt when my future husband reached out and took my hand. It was comfort and excitement all rolled into those five fingers. It was magic, just as described in SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE. A combination of forces stronger than life itself. A bond…interlocking …unbreakable. I never saw it coming. Nor did he.
One single touch took my breath away and changed our lives forever. In the deep crevices of my imagination, I believe it works the same way for every species, including artificial life forms. I dream of their ability to understand not only logic and “directives” but also emotions. I see them as being passionate and irrational at any given moment. This full fervor must be included within all those nuts, bolts, and circuits. But it can only take place when the right person comes along, then “kapow,” you are flying in space using a fire extinguisher to get closer together while taking chances you never thought you would or could do before. It is a primal force that will move mountains to maintain. We are all so much more similar than different in the end. WALL-E and EVE felt this repeatedly. Their connection was made on Earth 700 years in the future and catapulted them through the Galaxy for all time.
It has just been fifteen years ago when WALL-E entered our world. The movie was awarded an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film. It has grossed over $500,00,000 for Disney and Pixar Studios. WALL-E got its name from the creative combination of Walter Elliot Disney, which eventually was an acronym for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Class Earth. Ben Burtt, a phenomenal soundman, created the “voice” of WALL-E. EVE is short for Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator. Elissa Knight, an employee at Pixar, provided her voice. What amazing “moments” for them. Truly life-changing.
WALL-E shares a bleak future for our society. Humanity made our entire world into a garbage dump by not doing what was necessary for our precious earth. Mounds of “stuff” that were the only things that survived our struggling climate and ecosystem. This is WALL-E’s job. He was assigned to organize the chaos left behind since our planet became uninhabitable.
The opening sequence is pure joy and humor as WALL-E digs through the waste piles. What has made it a riot…a bra, a rubric cube, a rubber ball, and paddle, a Twinkie, and a VCR recording from the musical HELLO, DOLLY! stuck in the middle of two fabulous songs. PUT ON YOUR SUNDAY CLOTHES is one of my favorites. It is a high-energy, toe-tapping number that makes anyone want to strut their stuff down Main Street with Tommy Tune and a young Michael Crawford. It never gets old. I have such fabulous memories of rehearsing my own cast of actors when I directed this show. On another note, this scene also makes me grimace at the mere thought that a cockroach is still alive. Does this really surprise anyone? Ironic, for sure. But WALL-E amazingly finds a plant living in an old shoe. This sets off the future on a whole new lifeline.
WALL-E’s expressions are what really gave this film its heart and soul. Those binocular eyes tore at my heart. They were created in honor of the binoculars the director, Andrew Stanton, received at a baseball game when he was a child. They fascinated him, and he never forgot that moment. His expressions made WALL-E work so well and win over the world. Even though he or EVE never spoke many words, audiences knew exactly what they were trying to express. It felt like they were sharing a universal language of love and joy. They overcame conflict and all the obstacles thrown their way, and still, they declared to everyone they were in love. How magnificent of a journey together. How brilliant to be able to manifest these “human” emotions through anime. Bravo!!
There are so many scenes in WALL-E that I also adored. Seeing the Galaxy, the stars, and the planets through an AI’s eyes was genius. I felt like a toddler discovering it all for the first time. It was spectacular in the scope of what the artists were actualizing. Bold and brave little robots taking on the universe.
The Axiom plot line of Wall-E was extraordinary as well. It had the feeling of living at a huge, extravagant Disney resort, except this one had terrible mental and physical results. There is truth in choosing this ship’s name. The definition of Axiom, specifically in math and science, means something unquestionable or taken for granted. This is exactly how the human race became after centuries of complete laziness and an utter lack of caring for our planet. Most things in life take a bunch of hard work to achieve and maintain. In this movie, the humans got it wrong. They gave up their control and, in turn, their passion for living. There is no magical “pizza tree.” Wanting and working go hand in hand, as Jeff Garlin, portraying the Captain, finds out. Let’s hope all of us learn from past mistakes.
WALL-E is sentimental, charming, endearing, and the perfect film for a family movie night. It tells the tale of two lost robots who find companionship and more amid the human need for consumerism. It is a film filled with hope and positivity. It brings to light that anything is possible if you “PUT ON YOUR SUNDAY CLOTHES” and take “a moment” to be the best you can be. WALL-E sure did. It is a masterpiece, a classic, among the greatest animated films. It is worth your time and is unforgettable.
WALL-E is available to stream on Disney+.