WALL-E: A Spiritual Cousin of Idiocracy

EVE and WALL-E in WALL-E. Courtesy of Disney-Pixar.

WALL-E, a spiritual cousin of Idiocracy, was one of the best films of 2008 and feels more current some twelve years after its theatrical release.

At a time when Disney Animation was still getting back in order, Pixar was churning out some of the best animated films ever.  This film is certainly no exception.  While WALL-E managed to take home an Oscar for Best Animated Feature, it could certainly have crossed over into Best Picture territory.  If you ask me, it’s one of the best films released in 2008 alongside films such as The Dark Knight and Rachel Getting Married.  But enough about awards…

WALL-E (Ben Burtt), a little trash compactor, is the last of his kind.  He lives a solitary life with no life surrounding him save for an insect.  Things change when a spaceship makes its way to Earth and WALL-E first sets his eyes on EVA (Elissa Knight) also known as Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator.  The duo get off to a rough start but they later come to bond with each other.  Before we know it, they make their way to Buy-N-Large (BnL) starliner Axiom.

The first thing we notice upon seeing the Axiom is how lazy humanity has grown.  Even Captain McCrea (Jeff Garlin) isn’t in control of his own ship.  No, this duty belongs to AUTO.  This doesn’t even start to say anything about the obesity on the ship.  Here it is we also have humans addicted to their video screens.  Think about where humanity is today!  Not so much on the obesity front but the screen addiction!  This is one area where the film isn’t too far off from reality.

Another area of commentary has to do with corporations.  While BnL led way for the evacuations, they were also largely responsible for what happened to the planet.  Corporations have to have some sort of responsibility with what they’re doing to our planet!  If we don’t start taking care of our planet, think of the ills that will happen.  Insert the obligatory comment about climate change here.

With the way humanity behaves in this film, Idiocracy comes to mind.  After all, corporations play a large role in both films.

Imagine the nerve to release a film that doesn’t depend much on dialogue.  Instead, characters communicate by way of body language.  I’ve got to give Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Jim Reardon a lot of credit.  WALL-E is one of the best animated films of the century.  While it still depends on characters, the environment more or less plays the largest role.  It’s also the first Pixar film I can recall featuring live-action sequences–so much that I actually did a double-take in viewing!

I have no excuse for allowing WALL-E to slip through the cracks in 2008.  Though to be fair, it’s certainly not the only film.  It also won’t be the last in all likelihood.  However, WALL-E is a film that will force one to rethink their PIxar rankings upon viewing for the first time.

DIRECTOR:  Andrew Stanton
SCREENWRITERS:  Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon
CAST: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver

Disney-Pixar opened WALL-E in theaters on June 27, 2008. Grade: 5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.