Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Verdict on "Wall*E"

So why didn't I see this on June 27, when I was such a huge fan of Pixar films prior to this? Because I felt that Ratatooee (intentionally misspelled) was one of the worst Pixar films ever made. The initial concept was good, but after you got the point it just went on and on and on and on repeating the same lame joke, again and again. Ok, ok, we get it, the mouse controls the cook and does so from under the cook's hat. Do you have anything else?

Many people may not know this but the Pixar deal with Disney was initially just as distributor. As such, under the original contract, Disney distributed the two "Toy Story" films, "A Bug's Life", "Monsters, Inc.", "Finding Nemo", "The Incredibles" and "Cars". I think that's all of them. Anyway, "Cars" was the last one made under the original deal.

In the meantime, Disney decided to create it's own CGI animation team. They put out "wonderful" stuff like "Dinosaur", "Chicken Little", "Meet the Robinsons" and this week's release "Bolt". Now, I don't know if "Bolt" is any good or not at the moment, so I reserve judgment on that one for a later time. The other ones came across as cutesy and boring ("Dinosaur") or downright annoying (the other ones).

Anyway, Pixar's first feature length release under the new agreement was the aforementioned "Ratatouille" (spelled correctly this time). I know this film has its fans, but I felt it was very weak, so when "Wall*E" was scheduled to have "cute" robots, I felt I should take a pass.

Now, I wish I had seen it in the theater. Certain negative comments I have heard about it, I don't see. I didn't think it was too long, which is a surprising comment by me, who usually thinks many movies are too long. It does have a slower pace, and that's what I liked about it. It didn't shove its message down your throat and rush through things with stupid jokes like other non-Disney CGI films. Apart from "Shrek", most of those make me gag.

I've heard comments that the first part is great with the basically silent footage, and then it bogs down later with all the talking. I disagree. I would have to admit that this is perhaps my favorite Pixar film, even more so than "The Incredibles", "Cars" and the two "Toy Story" movies. THAT is an impressive accomplishment.

I LOVE the irony of Disney releasing a film that shows basically a futuristic EPCOT in space!!! I am referring to the original EPCOT concept as created by Walt Disney, not the World's Fair concept of EPCOT Center that stands today.

I LOVE it that everyone's a fat blob and doesn't do anything.

If I had ANY quibble, it would be the fact that the people in the beginning look like people, and that later they look like cartoons, but I guess blobs do look like cartoons. MINOR complaint. I'm such a Fred Willard fan, this small point it forgiven.

The only other complaint and if you haven't seen the movie, this may be a spoiler. If they had no plants for 700 years, how did the humans survive?

Otherwise, EXCELLENT film. I wish animated films could still win for "Best Picture".

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