Filmmaker Andrew Stanton has overseen a director approved 4K Ultra HD release of WALL-E through the Criterion Collection.
The film, a spiritual cousin of Idiocracy, was one of the best films of 2008 and feels more current as we close in on next year’s 15th anniversary of 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.
- 4K digital master, approved by director Andrew Stanton, with Dolby Atmos soundtrack
- One 4K UHD disc of the film, presented in both Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10+, and two Blu-rays with the film and special features
- Alternate 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio and stereo soundtracks
- Two audio commentaries: one featuring Stanton and the other, character supervisor Bill Wise, coproducer Lindsey Collins, story artist Derek Thompson, and lead animator Angus MacLane
- New programs on Stanton’s cinematic influences and production designer Ralph Eggleston’s color scripts
- Tour of the Pixar Living Archive with Stanton
- Behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, including segments from early animation reels
- The Pixar Story (2007), a documentary by Leslie Iwerks
- More than a dozen documentaries exploring the film’s production and robots
- Anatomy of a Scene: The Plant, a masterclass with Stanton
- “WALL•E”: A to Z, a new program featuring Stanton and coscreenwriter Jim Reardon
- Deleted scenes featuring commentary by Stanton
- A Story (1987), a student film by Stanton
- BURN•E (2008), a short film by MacLane
- English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- English descriptive audio
- PLUS: An essay by author Sam Wasson; selections from Stanton’s sketchbooks, script notes, and drawings; and artwork from the WALL•E team
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 released WALL-E in theaters on June 27, 2008.
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