Saturday, September 20, 2008


There is apparently a cute little robot movie out by Pixar. Other than that, I knew nothing of what to expect in going to see Wall-E.

There is a lot of cute to it. All sorts of saccharine sweet, laid on thick, sappy, cute. And if that's enough for you, this movie is great. But if you peak behind that curtain of cute, it's very empty. For me, the cute was way too much. I found myself rejecting it and the movie just fell flat.

Presented with a robot that had lots of personality, but no traits that would seem to lead from being a robot. In fact, some of it seemed to clash with being a robot. A most decidedly male robot although there should be nothing to make him male. He is tasked with cleaning up an Earth which, thanks to a loss of the law of conservation of matter, is quite covered in trash.

Along comes another robot. This one is decidedly female although there is still nothing about her that should lead her to thinking she is female. These humans that made these two robots seem to have adding in a lot of extra programming that serves to reduce the chances of the robot working well.

Ultimately the only robots that seemed to have a sensible outlook on life were a cleaning robot before it suddenly stopped hating "foreign contaminant" in order to save a really big clump of the stuff and the autopilot. Past that, the motivations of humans and robots were utterly mysterious leaving the action without foundation. Which is why it was quite empty to me.

I also have to love the amount of trash a ship on its 700th year of a planned 5 year outing is able to pump out. That pesky conservation of mass thing has really been kicked. Other than that, I have a couple other solutions to the motivations of the characters of this movie:

  1. Watching a sappy movie for 700 years can make a robot become sappy to a degree few humans have ever achieved.

  2. This sappiness is infectious. It may require touch to transmit, but it can transmit to other robots.

I did like the opening short. Rabbit is hungry. (Hear the tummy growl?) Rabbit would usually have been fed, but isn't. Until feeding happens, rabbit is quite prepared to do all sorts of ill to the hand-that-has-not-fed-it. Ah, motivation.

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