Tuesday, 7 October 2008
I have been fairly resistant to the modern animated and computer animated feature films despite glowing reviews and success for such films as The Lion King and Toy Story.
I didn't see any of the films in this genre until Ratatouille and then The Simpsons. I fell asleep during both.
Today I ventured into the world of computer animation feature films for the third time. WALL-E has received strong reviews in Australia. The trailers for it are appealing and I read Yani's strong recommendation (but not at the time Muzbot's contrasting view).
It is the 28th Century and the planet has been trashed and become uninhabitable. Humankind has deserted Earth leaving WALL-E behind with the forlorn task of cleaning up waste. WALL-E is a mechanical device with an odd infatuation for the dance scenes and love songs contained in a video of Hello Dolly. It's only companion in a trashed city of the ilk of New York is an indomitable cockroach. Into this world of desolation enters EVE, a high tech probe sent from outer space to find any evidence of life on planet Earth. The two mechanical devices develop a friendship amongst the ruins.
Now all of this sounds ridiculous but the animation is extraordinarily effective and I quite happily settled in to be engaged by the personalities exhibited by the mechanical objects.
The film borrows strongly from other films. Apart from the ongoing Hello Dolly references - what gay man could resist these? - the opening scene is reminiscent of West Side Story and the second half of the film is almost a complete steal of 2001, A Space Odyssey.
WALL-E is a message film but even if you are of a mind to resist it's environmental message, to me it works on it's own as a tale of friendship. This time, unlike Muzbot, I did not fall asleep.