Posted: 07/03/2008




by Rick Villalobos

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Sci-fi geeks know that building a sexy robotic companion is far fetched. While we lack the right tools to create something so realistic like those sexy bots in the movies it is always fun to dream about the possibilities. Although, there are those who will continue working for the perfect creation, the rest of us will remain in geek limbo gawking at a Robocop, a terminator and a transformer or two.

Wall-E is the newest invention from Pixar Animation Studios. Directed by Andrew Stanton, Wall-e is a film with heart and personality much like the robotic protagonist.

Hundreds of years into the future and earth’s inhabitants have destroyed the Eco system. Now, a pile of rubbish – the planet is quickly abandoned and a machine called - Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class (Wall-e) remains to clean up the leftovers. Years pass and Wall-e develops human like traits. It is curious, it is friendly, and it requires a companion. Suddenly another machine called - Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator (Eve) lands on earth. Wall-e falls in love and takes off on an adventure.

In the movies nothing is far fetched. A robot can show emotion, intergalactic travel is possible, and the hero is resorted to a mechanical lunchbox. This Pixar fabrication is nothing like the gay robots in star wars or an out of this world transforming Chevrolet Camaro. But, this small and lovable character is a rip off of the 80’s robot – Number Five. Yes, they may be distant cousins, but Pixar has put together a robot with a heart of gold and a knack for removing any stain from any carpet. How many human beings can say they have those two qualities?

Pixar and Disney seem to make a great team. Together they can’t go wrong. Yet, while the films get better and more interesting something is lost – the dialogue. There isn’t much of it - if only the High School Musical franchise can learn something from this new film and go silent. It would be the new craze – a bunch of over aged people pretending to be teenagers moving their hips and lips to a bad song. Hmmm… It is not a big dealÉrobots shouldn’t talk anyway – it would be far more creepy and less entertaining if Wall-e regurgitated Shakespeare rather than showing how he felt. Just think of Wall-e as the new Charlie Chaplin with a hint of James Dean. It is a must see and a no hear.

Rick Villalobos is a freelance writer and film critic in Chicago.

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