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Andrew StantonFred Willard

Synopsis: In the distant future, a small waste collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

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WALL-E Review
2008 is shaping up to be a solid year in my ever so never humble opinion. There have been a couple of mis-steps...sigh, Indy...but there have also been some slightly solid surprises ala Wanted.

However the nicest surprise so far in terms of art and commerce finding some common ground has been Wall-E.

Pixar has a track record that is the envy of any studio...even with Cars which I personally thought was not only a waste of time but shockingly forgettable. I understand that John Lassiter really likes cars, but he has also really liked to tag strong storylines and characters together and that time he dropped his storyline.

This time though Director/Writer Andrew Stanton has brought those two elements back together with a lovable hunk of metal and a laser-toting iPod-like love-interest (that's a lot of hyphens) with the mission of trying to say life on earth has found a way and the humans can come back and junk the place up again. And fie on those who say this is a green agenda film, that's like saying Soylent Green is a green agenda film...it's sci-fi at its core so suck it up.

Aside from the solid storytelling, interesting characters and gorgeous art design WALL-E does something else that is unique for Pixar, it brings in live action in the guise of Fred Willard as Shelby Forthright, the CEO of Buy N Large. So, they just popped a live actor in for a couple of scenes, what is the big deal right?

Well let's step away from the praising review that this will eventually become and look forward into Andrew Stanton's rumoured next project, that of John Carter of Mars. This project was once a big green screen fest of Robert Rodriguez then it became the computer project of Kerry Conran's (the man behind the ultimately disappointing but nice to look at Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) and now it seems like Pixar will be bringing their talent to the Edgar Rice Burroughs tale. Perhaps WALL-E's fusing a live actor and their style of animation was just a great way to do test the acceptance and look for a future project...perhaps it is me just speculating (more likely).

Oh, and the movie itself...one of Pixar's best...it's not The Incredibles, it';s not the Toy Story films, but it is also heads and tails ahead of Bug's Life and Cars. If only everyone paid as much attention to detail and craft that this studio does we would see a lot less of movies like Get Smart (sorry Steve Carrell, that movie was below you) and hopefully a few more with as much heart, fun and inventiveness as this.

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