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Wall-E – Best Movie of the Year

July 4, 2008

I saw Wall-E on its opening weekend, and I loved it.  I think it is the best movie I’ve seen this year, and I would even go so far as to say it is the best movie Pixar has done yet.  Yes, Stephen, better than the Incredibles.

One of the reasons I loved this movie was the masterful storytelling.  The majority of the story is told by two robots who say each other’s names in order to convey what they are thinking and feeling at a given time.  Eve also has a two word vocabulary – Wall-E’s name and “directive”, which describes what she has to do.  I was impressed by how well the story is told by these two characters.

The story is a love story between Wall-E and Eve, and watching two robots display this depth of emotion without human features and faces was simply amazing.  In addition, the story is a standard sci-fi dystopia, executed very well.  In essence, humanity trashed the earth, and so they decided to leave on a huge starship and leave the cleanup to robots.  This really hasn’t worked, as Wall-E is the only one left running, and it is obvious that 700 years later, the earth is still a wasteland (although one in which some life has returned, such as the plant that Wall-E found that drives the plot).

The other aspect of the story that I loved is how the role of humanity is portrayed.  One sees the truth that humanity has messed up the earth in the movie, and has become fat and lazy on their starship.  Everything is run by robots, and the humans pretty much just sit there and eat (or drink).  When Wall-E and Eve arrive, the captain is faced with a decision.  Shall they go back, or stay in the comfortable existence on the Axiom?  One of the things I appreciate about Wall-E is that humanity is portrayed as a force that has a potential for good, and that perhaps cleaning up the earth is something that they should be doing.  From this perspective, Wall-E is in favor of human stewardship of the earth if done correctly, which from a Christian worldview perspective, I couldn’t agree more.  

So, better than the Incredibles?  Yes, because the plot is deeper and because the story is so well told.  The more I think about it, the more I am willing the put Wall-E at the top of the Pixar series of movies.

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