I recently had a hankerin’ to revisit the world of, WALL-E, Pixar’s gorgeous CG animated love letter to the human spirit told almost entirely through robots. I thought I understood what the film was about but that’s the thing with revisiting the past, the destination almost always changes depending on where you’re walking from.
At the time of its release there was a certain section of the population who were highly critical of WALL-E‘s political agenda. Oddly enough you can attack the film from both sides of the partisan divide. It’s either a satire of capitalism out of control and in decline made by a bunch of free-lovin’, tree-huggin’, socialists, or it’s a spoof of what a nanny state big government spoon fed society would look like. The freeloading fatsos in the film, for example, presumably can’t do anything for themselves specifically because they were urbanite, no-nothing parasites who needed Uncle Sam to do everything for them -including wipe their ginormous asses. Not to mention that WALL-E was made under the Disney umbrella, just the kind of massive, anything-for-a-buck conglomerate the film criticizes.
They cried hypocrisy, they did!
How can the movie be about two things that diametrically oppose each other? It can’t. You chowderheads.
Forget for a moment about the role government, business and even the environment plays in the film. These are just story elements that help cast the film’s humanity in relief. WALL-E isn’t about them. At its heart it’s the story of what happens when a foreign contaminant is introduced into a perfect system and when we choose not to learn from the past, and live only in the moment.
When we first meet the robot, WALL-E, he is literally digging through our past and selecting moments to learn from. He arrives on the ship as an ambassador of our past but is immediately identified by the janitorial robot, Mo, as a foreign contaminant. Interesting…