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…
Even the title of Pixar’s Up is a risk. Just one, single syllable word and one predominantly used as an adverb at that? Preposterous! Like 2008′s Wall-e, which was dialogue free for a good 45 minutes into its runtime, Up dares to start its adventure story on a complete downer. The movie opens by introducing us to a boy and girl who could well be the plucky main characters of any generic coming of age saga in which animal friends are met, bad guys get their comeuppance and pirate gold is found. But none of that happens. Instead the boy and the girl, grow up, get married, and face difficulties that propel them farther and farther out of the orbit of their childhood dreams.
The trailers for UP did absolutely nothing for me. The visual look of the film was cartoonish and the characters were ugly and old and the ten year old in me was yawning. I went to see it anyway. In 3D no less.
The less said about 3D the better.
I was not blown away. Nor was I lifted away or any other weather/balooning metaphor you might think of. I did however really, really, REALLY like it. I went in expecting one kind of movie and got several different movies that were more or less nothing like what I was expecting. From the first 20 minutes, which is a brilliant betrayal of the audience by the way, the movie kept me guessing and then the second act happened and I wasn’t sure what the fuck the movie wanted to say anymore. That elderly people are just young people in old person skin? That we’re all susceptible to the poison of our passions? Or was it as Miley Cyrus said, “it ain’t about what’s waiting on the otherside. It’s the climb?”
UP was typically chamring and heart warming but the thing that really changes the Pixar playing field is… UP is FUNNY. Deliriously so.
I want a talking DOUG keychain right now! but I, I gotta be strong… just keep pushing on…
I know what you’re thinking… “Boo, I can’t make a balloon sandwich. I never graduated from Rubber Culinary Arts School.” You know what I say? Screw Culinary Arts School. Bunch of know-it-all “chefs” with their fancy recipes and ingredients. With F is for Film Episode 4, anyone can learn to make a balloon sandwich with our easy step-by-step instructions. Just visit our YouTube page for more information.