WALL-E

By Paul Bloom and Emanuel Levy

Pixars ability to create entire worlds and set new standards for storytelling, along with state-of-the-art CG animation, are again demonstrated in the charming, exhilarating feature, “Wall E,” a sweet love story between two robots set in space.

The ninth feature from Disney and Pixar Animation shows that the invention and imagination of the latter have no limits. WallE follows the studios Ratatouille, which won the Best Animated Feature Oscar. I have not doubts that “Wall E” would be a commercial hit globally, adding considerably to the worldwide box-office gross of Pixars first eight films, which is estimated around $4.3 billion.

The intriguing, whimsical comedy is based on a simple premise, what if mankind had to leave Earth and somebody forgot to turn off the last robot Filled with humor, heart, fantasy, and emotion, Wall E takes moviegoers on a remarkable journey across the galaxy.

Set in a galaxy not very far away, the story centers on one determined robot. After centuries of doing what he was built for, WallE (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class, voiced by Ben Burtt) discovers a new purpose in life besides collecting knickknacks when he meets a sleek search robot named Eve (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator, voiced by Elissa Knight).

Realizing that WallE has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planets future, Eve races back to space to report her findings to the humans who have been eagerly waiting aboard the luxury spaceship Axiom for news that it's safe to return home. Meanwhile, WallE chases Eve across the galaxy and sets into motion an incredible comedy adventure. Joining WallE on his journey across the universe 800 years into the future is a cast of interesting characters, including a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.

The voice cast includes comedian Jeff Garlin, Pixar vet John Ratzenberger (Ratatouille), actresses Kathy Najimy and Sigourney Weaver, and Oscar-winning sound designer Ben Burtt. The range of robotic voices in “Wall E” was created by Burtt, whose work includes creating the voices of other legendary robots, such as R2-D2 (Star Wars films). Drawing on his extensive experience as a sound expert, Burtt has produced an entire world of sound for all of the robotic characters and the spacecraft, as well as all environments.

Over the past two decades, writer-director Andrew Stanton has almost single-handedly revolutionized the field of animation movies. Stanton joined Pixar in 1990 as its second animator and the fledgling studios ninth employee. He was one of the four screenwriters to receive an Oscar nomination for his contribution to Toy Story in 1996 and was credited as a writer on subsequent Pixar films, including A Bugs Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo, for which he earned an Oscar nomination as co-writer. Additionally, he co-directed A Bugs Life, exec-produced Monsters, Inc. and the 2007 Oscar-winning Ratatouille, and won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature for Finding Nemo.

Based on an original story by Stanton and Pete Docter and a screenplay by Stanton and Jim Reardon, “Wall E” is exec-produced by John Lasseter and produced by Jim Morris (Star Wars: Episode I and Episode II and three of the Harry Potter films).

The original score for WALLE is composed by Thomas Newman, who had previously worked with Stanton on Finding Nemo. Peter Gabriel collaborated with Newman on an original song, Down to Earth, which functions as a clever musical epilogue.

Paying tribute to sci-fi films that have influenced him, such as “2001,” “Star Wars,” “Alien,” Blade Runner,” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” all of which had a distinctive look and feel that transported viewers to another, magical world, Stanton has succeeded in recapturing that unique experience and conveying it to a new generation of viewers.

End Note

Lasseter helped create some of the industrys groundbreaking visual effects during his 18-year association with ILM as president of Lucas Digital. Lindsey Collins, an 11-year Pixar vet, served as co-producer, and cinematographer Roger Deakins as visual consultant.

Cast

WALL-E – Ben Burtt EVE – Elissa Knight Captain – Jeff Garlin Shelby Forthright/BnL CEO – Fred Willard Auto – Macintalk M-O – Ben Burtt John – John Ratzenberger Mary – Kathy Najimy Ship's Computer – Sigourney Weaver

Credits

A Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures release and presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios production. Produced by Jim Morris. Executive producer, John Lasseter. Co-producer, Lindsey Collins. Directed by Andrew Stanton. Screenplay, Stanton, Jim Reardon; original story, Stanton, Pete Docter. Camera, Jeremy Lasky; lighting, Danielle Feinberg. Editor, Stephen Schaffer. Music, Thomas Newman. Production designer, Ralph Eggleston. Character art director, Jason Deamer. Sets art director, Anthony Christov; shading art director, Bert Berry; graphics art director, Mark Cordell Holmes. Supervising technical director, Nigel Hardwidge. Supervising animators, Alan Barillaro, Steven Clay Hunter. Visual consultants, Roger Deakins, Dennis Muren. Sound and character voice designer, Ben Burtt. Supervising sound editor and mixer, Burtt. Supervising sound editor, Matthew Wood. Re-recording mixers, Tom Myers, Michael Semanick.

MPAA Rating: G. Running time: 96 Minutes.