(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from WALL-E)
Doug (vo): Well, you either love WALL-E or...actually, I can’t think of anyone that hates WALL-E...but there are some people who are indifferent to it. Bottom line, there seems to be these two camps in terms of talking about the movie: Those who love the movie from beginning to end, and those who liked the first half but don’t really like the second half that much. And, sad to say, I’m kind of in that second boat. I don’t hate it, it’s just, after the first act, it...okay, let’s go ahead and take a look at it.
Doug (vo): It’s the future, and mankind has abandoned Earth. Why? Because we polluted it with so much garbage and everything else that nothing can actually live there. They start building these robots to try and clean up all the garbage, but they all eventually died out, that is, except for one. That, of course, is WALL-E. Despite the fact that he’s really the only survivor left on Earth, he still continues on with his everyday job. He does have a personality, though, including being incredibly lonely, kind of a hopeless romantic, and an absolute fan boy for Hello Dolly. Things start to change, though, when another robot named EVE approaches the planet. At first, she seems very destructive, but WALL-E manages to find a way into her heart and form a strong friendship. But their friendship has to be put on hold when she discovers a plant growing. She takes this back to where mankind is now living, on a sort of space cruise where mankind has now grown very accustomed to being fat and lazy and just letting technology do all the work for them. Look, they don’t even have to use their legs anymore. WALL-E comes along, and it’s a hair-raising adventure to see who can get the plant to humanity first and show that Earth is still an inhabitable planet.
Doug (vo): You can probably guess which halves people seem to like or dislike with this movie. A lot of people seem to really enjoy the first half where there’s little-to-no dialogue, a lot of atmosphere, a lot of quiet moments, and all we have to focus on is the friendship/romance of these two machines. It’s very slow, and I think a lot of people thought they’d be bored by it, but actually, this is the part that most people seem to enjoy the most. The second half, I don’t think goes downhill, it just isn’t as good as the first half. We see what mankind is up to, we see they’re not totally beyond hope, that they do, in fact, have some likeability and, yeah. We want to see them return to Earth and repopulate the species again. I guess my major issues with the second half is, one: we know what the lesson is gonna be. Hell, we know what the lesson is in the first second of the movie. It’s a cautionary tale about the future and technology and pollution and, yeah, it’s good, and it was much more powerful when you didn’t hammer it in; the environment is all you need. My second issue is that the world that they create for humanity is not all that interesting, and I don’t know why. The ship should be really cool with all the hi-tech gadgets and technology and all the funny little jokes they have going on, and they’re by no means awful. It’s just not Pixar’s A-game joke material. The humans all sort of look the same and act the same, and a lot of the other robots aren’t really that memorable, and the commentary is pretty clear and, yeah. Is it awful? No. I think a lot of people just thought after that first half, there was something even stronger than it was building up to, like an even bigger conspiracy. And there is one, sort of. The ship’s computer does sort of a HAL 9000 and doesn’t want humanity to return, but, eh. There’s nothing that much to it. I think a lot of people would have been happier if they either just kept it on Earth the whole time and humanity was sort of the great mystery, or maybe if the second half was like a space adventure where they go through all sorts of different worlds and planets and galaxies and, I don’t know. Just something a little stronger than this. But honestly, I think it’s just the Lilo and Stitch effect. It’s not that one part is necessarily bad, it’s just that one part was so unbelievably good, it overshadows the other half.
[Several live-action scenes of the film are shown, as well as showing the scenes with EVE firing her gun]
Doug (vo): Some points are weird, like, I don’t know why they have live-action people at some times and then computer-generated ones at others. They don’t try to make the CG people look like real people, so it’s kind of distracting. I also never got how if EVE is supposed to be the machine that goes down and tries to find life, the delicate life that she needs to protect, how come she keeps blowing up everything? Like, if anything moves, she just destroys it. Is that kind of going against what the mission is?
Doug (vo): Well, outside of that, I think WALL-E is a very enjoyable picture. I think it could have been an unbelievable film if it kept the tone it had in the first half, but it’s still smart enough and it still has some creativity and it still keeps your interest. So I like the film. I don’t know if I see it that many times again, but I think it was enjoyable once. It has some entertaining, as well as mature, moments for kids, and it has some great atmosphere for adults. And in my opinion, that’s more than enough to recommend it.
[The scene where EVE is calming down after blowing up a boat, and WALL-E nervously sliding closer to her, is shown]