Wall-E, the newest Pixar gem, doesn’t rank up with the best of their movies but it is a charmer nevertheless. In the future Earth is such a garbage dump that the people have long since abandoned it for generations of pampered life about gigantic space luxury liners leaving robots to clean up the mess. 700 years later only one intrepid little robot, Wall-E (“Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class”), is dutifully working on the daunting task with a seeming indestructible cockroach as his only companion and a treasured videotape of the musical Hello Dolly as his favorite entertainment.
Wall-E’s routine…collecting and compacting garbage into cubes and collecting bits of stuff he finds interesting…is turned upside down by the arrival of Eve (“Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator”), a sleek robot from the Axiom, one of the aforementioned luxury liners, tasked with looking for signs of life on Earth. Wall-E has indeed found such a sign and the action shifts to outer space as he tags along with the ship taking Eve back to the Axiom (which is run by robots and computers leaving the humans as pudgy, pampered people who don’t think, walk, or do much of anything for themselves.)
The visuals are, as is par for the course with Pixar offerings, dazzling and the story…romance and action with a dose of fairly heavy-handed social commentary (the mega-corporation which left trash all over the Earth and which runs the luxury liners is a not so subtle allusion to Wal-Mart)…zips along nicely.
Wall-E and Eve have limited vocabularies and there is almost no dialogue in the first half-hour or so but it is still very easy to follow the story; in the Sunday morning showing I went to there were a lot of small children and none of them got bored or restless watching the movie.
Wall-E is a grand little entertainment as is Presto, the hilarious short (a Bugs Bunny-esque battle of wills between a magician and his rabbit) that precedes the main feature…all in all, yet another winner for Pixar.