Are you really gonna be the dude to talk smack about Wall-E
? Think before you criticize. This is one of those movies that when you say you don’t like it, people size you up differently. You become lessened in their eyes. Kind of like with “The Lion King”
. Is it worth it to rationalize your dislike, however malformed it may be, or should you just keep it to yourself? There are some movies that are kind of a litmus test for douchebaggery and Wall-E
is gonna be one of them.
Now that the gauntlet has been thrown down, I’m willing to admit that this isn’t my favorite Pixar
film. That’s not a fault of the movie, they’ve just made films that spoke to ME more. Cyrus
. Superhero fan. I don’t have to spell it out for ya, do I? Even the weakest of Pixar
’s films (*cough* Cars
*cough*) is worth a look, for the beautiful background animations if not anything else. Wall-E
is amongst their best.
Hard to believe a cartoon with so little dialogue (and no Merrie Melodies
playing) could be as popular as it is, but the little robot gets it done. The story is simple enough: robot meets robot, robot follows robot to space, robot discovers fat humans, robot and robot bring fat humans back home and everyone gets on with their lives especially whoever reinvents the fashion industry and dieting accessories. Yes, there’s a message and no, not everyone will agree with the conjecture that people are getting too fat and lazy and we’re letting our own planet be destroyed by sitting back and doing nothing but...um...it’s actually true so SHUT THE HELL UP
. Take your kids to see VeggieTales
if you want them to live in that fantasy world you call existence. Your call. But when the revolution comes...
Now that I’ve thrown down the other gauntlet, my hands are cold. Damnit. I never think these things through. Frakking November.
The remarkable thing about Pixar
films is how ever single detail is subjected to such scrutiny and care. Said scrutiny being given by the biggest bunch of geeks you’ve ever seen outside of Warhammer
night at Carlyle
’s house, but that’s not a bad thing. The first disc menu page has a easter egg
logo) that leads to a fun short about the geekiness level of the staff and all the stuff they sneak in to the film
. There’s another floating logo there that shows a few seconds of a proposed title screen that is the only thing on the entire set that seems pointless. I guess that’s why it’s an easter egg.
But for the ACTUAL extras, as usual with a Pixar
film, they’re made more for grown-ups, on the whole, than for the kids, with detailed docs on how many different aspects of the production were achieved.
“Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds From the Sound Up”
How lasers come from slinkies. This short feature is concise but one of the most fascinating and entertaining ones I’ve seen on foley/sound editing: the back bone of a film like Wall-E
. Academy award winning sound designer Ben Burtt
takes us through a tour of what he used to create the sounds for the film and compares it to the days of Disney
yore and how they did things then. You let your kids watch this and be prepared for a noisy house afterwards as they’re going to go around banging on everything. Everything. Be warned.
“Behind the Scenes”
This is divided up into six different sections that cover most aspects of the production thoroughly and as entertainingly as I’ve come to expect from Pixar
featurettes. The coolest thing here is “Life of a Shot: Deconstructing the Pixar Process”
where they show how many people are required to do even one scene in a Pixar
film, dividing up the process visually for us. Every last one of these people so clearly LOVES what they do that it’s positively infectious. Watching them just makes you appreciate it all that much more.
Both disks of the set include two deleted sequences a piece. Disk one’s ‘extended’
version of the trash compactor room is great (and completed) and disk two has a rougher sequence with an early version of the Auto Pilot robot and a more gelatinous, stupider captain that’s interesting but hardly essential viewing.
“Presto: Theatrical Short”
This is that frelling hysterical magician and the rabbit short that accompanied the feature in the theater. Honestly, this may be my favorite of the Pixar
shorts. It’s certainly the most Warner Brothers-ish
“Burn-E: All New Original Short”
Yep. No cheapy here either. This is a seven and a half minute bit about another robot who is trying to replace a light on the outside of the ship and is continually thwarted accidentally by the actions of Wall-E
during the events of the film. Full CG goodness from the Pixar
“Sneak Peeks: Wall-E’s Tour of the Universe”
Sneaky peeks more like it. This is a short clip montage to try to get you to go to their website. For something. I didn’t go. Find out yourself. My internet porn gets all haughty and doesn’t want to open anymore after I go to kid’s sites. And that is COMPLETELY unacceptable.
Remember all those ads you see on TV screens and monitors throughout the film for the Buy N Large
company who runs everything? This is them in their complete form. Some of them anyway. They fill in a lot of the back story for what exactly happened to the human race. And they’re entertaining as hell. Check it.
“Wall-E’s Treasure & Trinkets”
A bunch of cute prop gags with Wall-E
, and EVA
. While this is ostensibly extra stuff for the kiddos, I found myself mesmerized as well. Nobody anthropomorphisizes like these dudes. Nobody. And now you learned a new word.
28 gorram different robots to click on that each take you to a different screen with info about it and what it does. If there’s something hidden deep inside this, I didn’t take the time to click on everything to find out, but I’m sure kids will get distracted for an hour or so while you finally get the time to write that email to all of your friends telling them about Spill.com
. There's my blatant plug of the week, boss, now can I get paid please?
“Lots of Bots Storybook”
Oh, HERE’S the stuff for tiny tykes. Even this cute little Seussian
rhyme fest clearly wasn’t just an afterthought.
“The Pixar Story by Leslie Iwerks”
This full-length documentary about the history of Pixar
is enough reason alone to buy this three disk set, even with one of the disks being merely a digital copy (get used to it, they’re preparing for Blu-Ray
to die). You can check out a full-length review of this wonderful movie here
where I wrote it up after the bad-ass folks at the Alamo Drafthouse
here in Austin got a copy for Fantastic Fest
badge holders to watch (we get bonus cool free stuff all year long).
Is that enough coolness? Even the packaging is unique and neat, with panels that slide out of the sides of the box with the disks. I can’t imagine not wanting to own this admittedly thinly veiled diatribe against consumer culture gone out of control, which is ironic in and of itself. But hey, when they’re right, they’re right. Kids are going to either be at the age to not understand at all the subtext, or old enough to ask questions and make up their own minds. Even if my hypothetical kids took Pixar
at their word, that’d be fine with me in this case. I kinda like my planet more than the the protection of the “rights”
of giant ba-zillionaires to get even richer. Sorry.
I hope MY not-so-sub text DOES get to some kids.
Click Here to Buy "Wall-E (Three-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy)"