Wall•E and Presto talkback

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The professional critics have had their say (a huge 98% positive on Rotten Tomatoes). Now it’s your turn to weigh in with an opinion of Pixar’s latest feature film and short subject.

The purpose of this post is to solicit readers opinions of Wall•E and Presto. Please respond below only if you’ve actually seen the film (we will not post comments here by those who have not).


  • http://dtoons-pro.com Alex Dudley

    The film is deep and it has heart.
    Not only is it one of the best animated films of all time, it will be put up there as one of the best sci-fi movies of all time.

    Presto was hilarious! The best Pixar short yet!

    Bolt………..I’ll see it in theaters, but it doesn’t look that good.

  • http://www.pegbarproductions.com Simon Stahl

    Both were amazing! Making a movie with a non-anthropomorphic robot star, very little dialogue in the beginning, and live-action bits took guts coming from a huge studio. Stanton pulls it off expertly, and shows that Nemo was just the tip of the iceberg of what he can accomplish. Presto was hilarious, and was animated gorgeously. It was great to see Pixar go really cartoony. This one’s sure to be a hit. Congrats to everyone who worked on Wall-E!

  • http://www.flummoxed.org Geoff Evans

    Loved it. Its right behind The Incredibles as my favorite Pixar film. I think the lack of dialogue helped its sense of wonder, and the sound design was spectacular. The buzzes and whirrs of all the robots really gave them more personality than I was expecting. Presto was great as well.

  • Ben Z

    I saw a midnight screening last night. I am a bit surprised by the universal raves the film is receiving, though I noticed something common to a lot of them. They praise the first 40 minutes effusively, but don’t say much about the later parts of the film. Here’s my thoughts:
    I found the first 40 minutes or so absolutely marvelous. They were fresh and exciting and I felt like I was watching something unlike any other movie (though the live action Fred Willard was a little strange. I’m not sure why they thought live action was a good choice for the past).I was absolutely entranced. And then they left Earth, and the movie started to lose me.
    The character of the captain was, I thought, completely uninteresting and unbelievable. His transformation from lazy blob to gung-ho for Earth, made little sense to me, nor did I much care for it. He was a function more than a character, lacking a personality half as compelling as WallE himself. And the little robot began to vanish for large chunks of the movie. I was frustrated to be treated to the story of human renewal as if I should care merely by the fact that they were human.
    I perked up when WallE and Eve inspired a tender moment between the two humans, thinking that the this was how the robot would be the impetus for change, but looking back at the movie, I don’t really have the feeling that WallE, through the force of his unique personality or through his own experiences, really changed the course of events. Yes, he held up the shaft to allow the plant to be scanned, but it was hardly the sort of big character catharsis/climax that I expect in a movie. Instead, the big catharsis is the captain’s- standing and fighting with the autopilot, reversing his earlier traits in a flurry of self improvement, and risking everything for a chance at betterment. I understand that WallE is not subject to great change in his personality, but he doesn’t make strong choices at the end, either.
    There were other things that nagged at me, too. The asylum robots were poorly differentiated and developed. After yet another confrontation with the sentry-bots, we see that the boxing robot has kicked their butts. I might have been more thrilled if I knew enough about the robots to know there WAS a boxing bot. These were a great opportunity for WallE to rally an army behind him, to show leadership, even inadvertent, in his single minded quest for Eve, but the story never took advantage of that opening. They just kind of tagged along and worked towards his goal without much conflict or reason.
    So my feelings at the end of the movie were mixed. I was so entranced by the first act that the visual monotony and dramatic intertia of the spaceship sequences were a huge letdown (after the initial sequence, which I loved, of WallE chasing Eve en route to the captain’s quarters).
    Most reviews- NYPost, Village Voice, etc. – focus on the astoundingly good first act, and I loved it so much that I can still recommend the movie wholeheartedly, but I know I can’t be the only one who found the latter sections lacking. Not when part one includes such a potent demonstration of the unique storytelling power of this medium, and the rest loses sight of its endearing main character for endless stretches.
    Presto, I thought, was their best short yet. Brilliant.

  • Steve Gattuso

    Just got back from it. Oh man, this will go down as one of the best Science Fiction movies ever. I hope the Pixar people bought more shelving, since it will be getting awards of all kinds over the coming year. Absolutely astounding acting from mechanical beings, and a plot that never fails to please. In a crowded audience of kids and parents, not a bored face in the house.

    And “Presto!” I want an Alex doll! I can’t say it any better than how one fellow put it: Tex Avery directs “Portal.”

    Everyone responsible for either production deserves applause and can take a well-earned bow. I can’t wait to see them again.

  • http://www.stephenneary.blogspot.com stephen

    I feel strange about saying this . . . but I think Eve is my dream woman.

    it worked. it all worked. amazing stuff.

  • Artisticulated

    Presto – My favorite short since Knick-Knack. W-B timing. Loved the Walt caricature.

    Wall•E – One thing I haven’t seen mentioned yet; this one film has jokingly included almost every neophyte/film student “message meme” ever done, and does it so lightly and effortlessly that most viewers won’t even notice them. I’m not talking about the larger Eco and human devolution stuff, but the small, self centered “Mary Jane character” things that early sci-fi filmmakers want so desperately to tell the world. I wish I could remember a specific example, but none stuck after just one viewing. There will, of course, be more viewings.

    It is also the ultimate guy romance fantasy:
    Meet beautiful unfeeling girl
    Overcome her initial resistance
    Teach her how to love
    Be rewarded with her love

    In the middle of the movie, Stanton & Co. held off kicking in a story-line till after a bunch of shipboard procedural scenes. This was the only problem I had with the film.
    Kudos to Ben Burtt.
    See it on a great screen.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I saw the midnite show. I got a Wall-E watch with my ticket!

    A fine movie but it would have been a great one if the advance publicity and buzz had not given away so much of it. A primarily visual story can’t have a lot of plot details so when they reveal one or two of them they are giving away a lot. But i understand the dilemma for the marketeers. Without advance cliff notes, the very young viewers will have trouble following it.

    If I had walked into it not knowing anything of what I was going to see i would have been knocked over, much like when I saw Iron Giant. Wall-E doesn’t quite reach that level of “makes grown men cry.”

    That said, every shot is a marvel of modeling and lighting. I wonder how they got it all done. And I admire that they did so much with so little gab.

    Surprise to see live action people in a Pixar movie, but imagine trying to re-animate Fred Willard.

    If you want a prequel to Wall-E… it’s already been made! Check out Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy” which is about how that debacle you see at the opening of “Wall-E” happened.

  • hibbity bibbity

    I was left during the credits to the sounds of my satisfied, and contented sighs. Better then …

    No. Not that good, but almost. Especially the first 45 minutes. Fantastic film making. I have not been that drawn into a film, in, I can’t remember how long.

    Presto gets a 9.8/10 Laugh out loud, time and time again. Energy, fun, great stuff.

  • Alex

    Somebody mentioned Idiocracy here, and that’s a great connection!

    Wall-E has some very honest, very likely and very brilliant things to say about the human condition in the modern world. One of the best flicks in the past decade, and absolutely charming and friendly in a business that confuses dark with meaningful, or loud with funny. The animation was mindblowing, and the story was deepest. Plus, Fred Willard!

    Wall-E will be the #1 Box Office flick for a while, and studios should really pay attention, as it will be one of the highest grossing flicks (like Nemo or Incredibles or Toy Story, etcetera) where the audience is coming in not to see beloved characters like Iron Man or the Hulk, but to see a great story. So here’s hoping the artists have more power in this sick controlled McDonald’s marketing business. Or movies in general.

    Take a look at this for example–> http://www.avclub.com/content/hater/hilarious_things_to_put_in_kung.

    Presto! was great, but considering how nifty the features are, it would kind of be nice to see something diffirent than the ‘wacky gag elaborated’ toon. Can’t complain. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an audience laugh that hard at slapstick. Very clever toon.

  • http://meridiandream.com/testing/45seconds/Assets/Special5Seconds/ex-girlfriend.html jim m.

    I just caught the midnight screening at the El Capitan theatre (and accidentally stole a free Wall*E t-shirt from the grip of the woman next to us. oops, sorry anonymous woman in seat CC7!)

    The first 40 minutes are brilliant cinema. It’s apparent that Stanton was trusted by everyone just as much as he trusted his own team. The acting really is brilliant: the sort of humor that can only be pulled off by great timing. And great timing is there in leaps in bounds.

    Personally, I think the movie does have its story problems. There were a couple times where I was confused as to why Eve & Wall-E were struggling so hard to save the plant. I understood that the plant was the key to Wall*E & Eve being finally together on Earth, but at times I didn’t feel like they knew that. I didn’t quite understand why the Axiom’s Autopilot system refused to obey the Captain’s orders to return to Earth – I felt like it was already set up that the Autopilot “had” to follow the Captain’s orders (he showed the Captain confidential information that was originally for the Autopilot’s eyes only), but then was able to break that command when the Captain ordered a return to Earth? Was autopilot a conscious being or not? He skirted the line enough to be unclear, and there was no definitive “Autopilot is alive and says no” moment that I remember.

    Also, the ending didn’t quite ring true for me because of the same setup problems. However, the main characters are so strong and entertaining that they pull the film and the audience through what I thought were story problems. Stanton sets up a number of story points early that are waiting for resolution, and it’s those story points that carry the audience to the end.

    All that said, it’s probobably the ballsiest movie Pixar has done, and certainly the most interesting commentary produced by the studio. I wish I could have worked on it.

    Wall-E’s characters were among the strongest ever created. Fantastic entertainment. I’m going back this weekend to see it. Made me tear up 9 or 10 times.

  • http://persistenceofvision.blogspot.com/ Ethan

    Presto was amazing. One of the best shorts I’ve seen.

    Wall-E is good, but it didn’t grab me. The first half is amazing but the second half isn’t as good. It’s a good film and the animation is some of Pixar’s best. It just didn’t do it for me.

    Oh and Wall-E is definitely not for young kids. Anyone older then 7 or 8 should be fine, but it’s not for anyone younger.

  • http://weblogs.swarthmore.edu/burke Timothy Burke

    I agree with all the love to Presto, which I think was the first animated short to really recapture the Tex Avery aesthetic since, well, Tex Avery. It’s like the perfect marriage of highwater-mark Warners with Pixar.

    I loved Wall-E as well, but I do agree with the story criticisms of the middle act, primarily the point raised above about the character of the Captain. Even *one* short scene that made him out to be a bored dreamer, long obsessed with Earth, or anything that would explain why he becomes as passionate as he does. I understand that the story wants to stick with Wall-E’s POV for the most part, but there could easily have been space for Wall-E to get a look into the Captain’s private world.

  • http://www.kellykilmer.blogspot.com kelly

    My 11 year old son and I saw the 9:30 screening this morning. We enjoyed both Presto and Wall-E.

    My advice: Don’t go to an early showing with young children present. A girl about 4 or 5 sat behind us and her and her mother talked NON STOP throughout the whole film but ESPECIALLY the first 45 minutes “Why is he doing that?” “What’s that?” “Why?” “What?” every few seconds. I agree with Ethan-most children in the U.S. under 6 will have a hard time with the lack of dialogue.

  • Altred Ego

    Saw a 10 AM screening:

    1. Presto was excellent.

    2. Wall-E was flawless. I am not a Pixar-superfan by any stretch of the imagination. Cars had was an unwatchable mess and Ratatouille was terribly flawed and childish. But Wall-E, a film I didn’t know anything about beyond there was a robot in it, was all out fantastic!! It never got childish or annoying. It was funny and genuinely engaging and sweet. There was enough material for adults. In fact, the film was so counter-cultural in a way that Dreamworks can never be, that I was honestly suprised that they made it. The fat pampered human civilization, the planet filled with trash, lives run by corporations. It deserves all the praise and the countless awards it will go on to win.

  • Alison Lures

    Presto reminded me so much of the old-school Merrie Melodies cartoons. I loved every minute of it, and the over-the-top animation really knocked my socks off. Not my favorite Pixar short….but most certainly up there.

    I absolutely loved Wall E. Not only did everything look gorgeous, but the story had so much symbolism and depth to it that there’s no doubt in my mind that this movie will go down as a Sci-Fi classic. I went with some older friends who wouldn’t normally go see an animated movie, and they all agreed that this was by far one of the few movies that had ever touched them in a deeply philosophical and emotional way. I could go on about the many levels of symbolism and meaning, but I’ll save you all the trouble.

    I personally found the Captain’s character to be very engaging. Every human being in the future had become something that wasn’t human at all. Where most Jungian stereotypes of ‘The Captain’ are courageous, active, and driven, the Captain at first was no different than the rest of the humans — droll, cut-off blobs of consumption. Every human that Wall E met was awakened to their humanity—John Ratzenberg’s, character, the woman, and once the Captain meets Wall E something sparks in him. The sheer irony of a man being awakened to his own humanity courtesy of a robot is something I find fascinating. He was HUMAN at last. The Captain becomes curious, engaged, and wants to fight to prevent him from losing the one thing and the one idea that made him MATTER. His feelings are justified by his lack of humanity before he met Wall E or found the plant.

    I worry that people will see this movie and miss out on all that glorious symbolism (Eve is the ideal female–not just because of the Biblical symbolism, but her personality, attentive caring for Walle E, and even her shape is reminiscent of a fertile egg). This movie is so much more than JUST an animated movie, and I hope by now the general public has realized that animated movies can have just as much depth and realism as live-action.

    All in all, this is an absolutely spectacular movie, and is certainly one of my favorites. Everyone at Pixar should be damned proud of creating such a masterful piece of cinema.

  • http://meridiandream.com/testing/45seconds/Assets/Special5Seconds/ex-girlfriend.html jim m.

    Interesting point about the Captain. I didn’t have a problem with the Captain’s change nor his personality… I felt like a general human urge to break out of routine was strong enough to bring him to action. I think basically every generic Romantic Comedy pulls off the same change – it always starts with a man and a woman who are broken out of their daily routine with the meeting of each other. Then they go to great lengths to establish a relationship.

    Also, we have a Captain that has a basic master/slave relationship with robots. When that position of power is threatened, anything can happen, especially when a robot that has been following your orders for your entire existence defies your orders.. The Captain also saw a true path to happiness through the holo-viewings of old-Earth. The only thing the Captain had to lose was his morning announcements, and even those were taken away from him very early. He had nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Hence the action.

    I didn’t mind the World Changing events piggybacking on Wall*E’s singular quest for Eve, even if it was a slightly weak link. I don’t think it would have been a stronger film had Wall*E been a true leader of robots – he was a simple garbageman and had basically no reason to lead a real revolution. I don’t think he would have cared that Earth could be terraformed and repopulated. In fact, it would have left him with no purpose except to be with Eve. At the end of the film they can both continue their dual purposes – to love and to work.

    Captain vs. Autopilot (Man vs. Machine) battle worked strongly enough for me. Wall*E & Eve versus Axiom (arguably Man vs. Machine again) didn’t quite. I still didn’t get the impression that they clearly saw the placing of the plant as the path to their happiness. Yes it was obviously the solution to deactivating the Axiom’s security systems as we see in the end, which achieved their own happiness. However, I don’t feel like they knew the plant was the key to their goal. Maybe on repeated viewings I might get it.

    But still, a fabulous film and a masterwork.

  • MattSullivan

    A truly great sci-fi/romance movie. Everything about it works. What i found strange was I found myself almost tearing up in unexpected places. If Pixar can make robots emote so well, well, we ought to consider it an AMAZING achievement. Wonderful acting. Wonderful sound ( Go Ben Burrt! ) and really great cinematography. I love movies that are epic in scale.

    But I think by far was that this film had NOT A TRACE OF SARCASM. Thank…God. Between cable, the internet, radio, and even books, Ive had more negative “entertainment” to last me a lifetime.

    This film should be nominated for BEST PICTURE. Screw the best “animated” category.

    And as a calArts grad I appreciated the A-113 nod ^-^

  • Barbara

    Incredible, incredible works the pair of them. The first movie this summer that I’ll have to see a couple more times.

    Did anyone else find the predicament of humanity a little more than disturbing? It reminded me of Soylent Green or some other false-utopia sci-fi, where humanity has been reduced to an infantile-like state and is nursed by their own technology. Except it’s all the more diabolical in this movie because instead of feeding us our dead or killing us at 30, they’re robbing us of pretty much everything. The humanity portrayed here is not scoff-worthy, but pretty pitiful.

    My friend and I discussed afterwards, and the message wasn’t clear-cut “America, this is what you will become” but rather that the situation they were in slowly turned them into what they looked like. They were on a cruise ship, not (to them)the last vessel of humanity. It’s like the longest cocktail party ever in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy–there’s no reason to stop partying, so why do it? They were led by the cruise ship into a sedentary existence, and no one objected because they saw no immediate danger at the time.

    But those are not faults. I think this is far more “adult” than any of their other works. It’s still for kids, but yikes, the future is a scary place (to me at least).

  • http://meridiandream.com/testing/45seconds/Assets/Special5Seconds/ex-girlfriend.html jim m.

    A question : What would you have thought had Wall*E & Eve had a little more direct contact with the Axiom’s autopilot and the Captain? What if Wall*E & Eve had seen something on the Captain’s holovid system that had made them realize that their life would be perfect if the ship returned to Earth? Let’s say they saw an old film of The Carousel of Progress from Tomorrowland where there were two robots “living” in a home together with a human and through some graphical trick looked like they were holding hands.

    And let’s say that it had been established that the Captain was tired of the crappy food on board. That same video shows a housewife (this is the 50′s, remember) picking home-grown spices and making dinner with them. The captain sees the plants growing, realizes that they’re part of the key to his real happiness. And Wall*E & Eve show him that the plant they’re holding is the key to growing food on Earth. But Autopilot sees something in the same film that makes him realize that returning to Earth would be slavery for robots. (Remember, he’s basically Jafar throughout the film: holds the real power, but is still somewhat at the mercy of his master).

    The Captain’s character becomes a stronger character, Autopilot becomes stronger, a relationship between the Cap’ and Eve/Wall*E is established, and the rest of the film becomes the playing out of their respective goals.

    I think that would solve some criticism of the Captain’s character, right?

  • Ben Z

    jim m: yes! that’s exactly the sort of thing i felt was missing. the captain is being asked to basically give up everything that has become his nature. he’s lost bone via generations, for crying out loud! he can barely stand! so the idea that he suddenly becomes enamored of this place he has never been seemed odd. we don’t get a real sense of deep dissatisfaction with his current life, a sense that there is a huge whole that can only be filled by earth.
    And the motivation of the “bad” robots was never clear. why didn’t they want to return to Earth? To clarify my earlier point, i didn’t so much want to see WallE become a leader of a robot battalion, as I wanted to see the robots grow in their allegiance to him. His whole appeal is his single minded-ness so I don’t see him training them or anything. i see him an an unwitting leader, a bit oblivious to his effect on his followers.
    I think you nailed the missing pieces for me, Jim, in you last paragraph above. Thanks!
    i did love the film. In the end, I just didn’t love it as much as I had expected to after being swept away for the first 40 minutes.

  • Todd

    Jim and Ben – I think you need to see it again because it is all there. The captain had no hope before Eve returned positive, so there was no reason to think that things would be any different. Eve bringing the possibility of return opened his eyes to what could be and also his role as “the captain”.
    The “bad” robots motivation was being programed that way. They had their mission and that was it. Why would they need something else some other motivation? Isn’t that the point though. What does it mean to be human and what it means to be a “robot”.

  • John

    “And the motivation of the “bad” robots was never clear. why didn’t they want to return to Earth? ”

    Because the CEO of BuyNLarge secretly overrode their programming in the belief that Earth would never recover the ability to sustain life. They weren’t bad, they were just following a hidden directive.

    Personally, I think this is the best film of 2008. Loved every bit of it.

  • mantaray

    Awesome, it lagged a bit when they reached axiom but the commentary on the human race was spot on and hilarious. Little or no dialog but conveyed every human emotion – that is great animation! I was completely captivated until they reached the mother ship and even though it lagged a bit it – it still entertained – I thought the 2001 gag was hysterical.

  • Mike

    Presto is really really really good. Wall-e character and eve character and most of the robot characters are really good. Individual scenes are really good. The interaction between Wall-e and Eve is the best.
    Bad: The live action parts don’t belong in the movie. The stacks of garbage and mega store looked too much like the movie idiocracy. The fat blobby people of the future were disgusting and unsympathetic. I dont really care much for the message: we will all be dumb and fat and lazy in the future and the earth will be less inhabitable than a spaceship because we consume too much and have advanced technology- Boring and preachy. But the love story with Wall-e and Eve was enough to make it a great movie in spite of everything that I did not like about it.

  • acetate

    I had the same type of audience as Kelly mentioned and I dont think that bodes well for this film. It’s one thing to entertain us sci-fi/animation folks, but the theatre was full of kids who were totally bored. They were yacking walking around or asking their parents why the robot was doing whatever. I think it will do well this opening weekend and then quickly die off once parents tell their friends not to take their kids. My advice is to go during a saturday matinee instead of a midnight screening for a more realistic view of what the average family thinks of it.

  • http://meridiandream.com/testing/45seconds/Assets/Special5Seconds/ex-girlfriend.html jim m.

    “Jim and Ben – I think you need to see it again because it is all there.”

    I’m definitely going to see again, and am fully open to the possibility of seeing it this time. :)

    The thing is, I didn’t quite “feel” it the first time. To me, if I’m asking myself “why?” during the movie, something isn’t quite right. And no, I didn’t go to the bathroom during the film. :)

    “The “bad” robots motivation was being programed that way.”

    For me, the Axiom/Autopilot itself rode a fine line between having a consciousness and being a straight program. And it was pushed a little too far to the Conscious Being side to feel that their motivation was straight programming. Again, I point to Autopilot’s “decision” to show the Captain confidential material. Because there was no clear defined line, I was a little confused.

    Ben, I’m glad you and I are on the same page, and I’m glad this is continuing to be a constructive discussion with “pluses” flying.

    Again, I wish I was good enough to work on it. :) But I’m trying, hence all the decontruction.

  • Gabe F.

    Wow. I was enthralled by the first half of the movie, and the rest was like icing on the cake for a perfect theatrical experience. Big props to Ben Burtt for his sound. Presto was hilarious, and all the little kids in the theater were cracking up. When Wall-E lit up the screen, I could hear little voices around me saying “Wallleeee!. It was great.

    Kudos to Pixar for another statement to the power of animation, one that should be hugely rewarded for its originality, vision, and design.

    Bolt on the other hand….ugh.

  • http://www.thevalve.org/go/valve/archive_author/bbenzon/Bill%20Benzon bill benzon

    I agree with Tim Burke about Presto and Warner Brothers. That’s how Presto made me feel.

    And I agree about the let-down after the first act of Wall-E. I thought things were a bit draggy in the last half; lots of motion, but it was mostly physical. But that first act, really wonderful and imaginative. Wall-E and Eve make you think about character design. It’s all in the motion.

    I also liked the end-credits, which continued the story through a pleasing variety of visual styles from van Gogh to Pac Man.

  • Ben Z

    i, too plan on seeing it again. maybe you and i should go together jim (i’m in burbank). glad to hear someone else with similar reservations.
    for me, it all comes down to i loved the little robot, and i wanted to movie to continue to be about him.

  • Jason K.

    Well, this is a first post on a website I read quite regularly.

    I admire Ben Z. for pointing out the weak spots in the story. In a film as lauded as Wall-E, one has the feeling that you arrive already liking it (especially when it is a brilliant spot on a horizon of sub-par animated films; the same occurred, in my opinion with Persepolis: a very imperfect film sculpted by popular criticism and fanboy glee into a critically untouchable one even before it emerged from the marble block). And the following is harsh criticism coming from one of the biggest Pixar geeks around. I often list Pixar as not just a hero of animation, but of film in the broadest sense–I was eager to leave Wall-E proclaiming: movies will never be the same! And perhaps they won’t. Certainly after, and there are few detractors concerning this point, those first 45 minutes. Do we remember how irksome the speculation was concerning Passion of the Christ, when it still was to be unsubtitled? And here is Wall-E, a family film in its final product eschewing the same comfort. But yet without dialog it is still universal, it is still a visual wonder to behold, it still cuts across all demographics–it still will, mark my words, be a box office boon. Essentially, if Wall-E changes anything, and I’m still talking about Film here, its diluting the stigma of risk-taking in popular cinema.

    But I was less than impressed with the film. And a lot of it had to do with Ratatouille. Who, when walking into Ratatouille, after that more-unappealing-than-not trailer (a mouse? gags about how they eat trash? um?) expected to find perhaps one of the most compelling film about artists ever created? And once again: film, not just animated film. What about it was so perfect? The answer: its subtlety. The delicate understanding of Gusteau’s playfulness, even in the sack. The meager, but precious bachelor-pad meme of Linguini’s apartment. A handful of spices into a vat of soup a catalyst for the deepest emotions. Even a kitchen full of rats–what a gentle way to muddle the audience’s preconceptions! About our interactions with the Other! About high and low art! It performed better in Paris because I think they understand these things better than we do. Subtlety in the cinema is more of a trope on their side of the Atlantic.

    So right after this pleasant surprise, we are given Wall-E. An earth with skyscrapers of trash. A future of tremendously overweight people with such horrible losses in bone density they travel around by hover-recliners. This isn’t subtle, this is absurd. This is, dare I say it? Completely expected. The story line does not have the murmur of an arc that Ratatouille had: it is sweeping and epic, in all the wrong ways. Ben Z. is right–we’re given archetypes that just carry out their narrative function. The man, the woman, the clueless captain who helps save the day, and the evil robot. Not a rat with an unusually adept palate who battles adversity and in the end–get this–doesn’t win any more than the favor of one lonely critic.

    Sure, Stanton admits the archetypes are all homages to sci-fi movies, but that doesn’t cut it for me. The subtlety of Eve and Wall-E’s interaction in the first 45 minutes was breathtaking, rivaling even that of the relationship between Remy and Linguini, between Mike and Sully (perhaps the relationship with the most subtle chemistry out of all the Pixar films). Once they go into space, everything becomes too predictable and blatant. Even Wall-E and Eve are reduced to their narrative functions (love story counterparts and eco-heroes), and we’re left wondering if we saw two different films. One in which we were unsure he and Eve were ever really gonna get along–and another in which we just knew from the get-go that boy was going to get girl, the heroes would save the day, and all the heartbreak would be validated by a happy ending.

    Alright, Pixar: we’ve seen you experiment with storytelling. You’re good, we’ll give it to you. After nine films, we have storytelling coming out of our ears. How bout some more thematic experimentation a la Perseoplis? I’m tired of hearing: ooh, what serious themes for an animated film! I want to hear: what interesting thematic territory, period, animated or not. Isn’t that the answer, and this concerns animation specifically: if we begin to more carefully develop our themes, won’t a revolution in storytelling and style have to follow?

    That’s my two cents.

  • Saturnome

    Presto was terrific: best short I’ve seen in a long time. It was furiously fast, funny, never stopping, I’d watch it again and again!

    Wall-E … I loved it, toward the ending it got a bit more conventional than what I expected but still, all I had in mind was a little robot on earth.
    I was surrounded by kids, I found them really quiet, which may be unusual. Good or bad, I have no idea.
    It certainly deserve praise.

  • Larry

    The problem with “Idiocracy” is that it was a HORRIBLE movie. I don’t care that I paid $9 bucks to see it–I want those 2 hours back.

  • Ken Jones

    What percentage of the film was altered after the initial sneak screenings last fall? Were the changes done in the second and/or third act? The first act is so solid, it’s hard to think any of that needed tweaking.

  • Bryan T.

    I saw it at a 1:50 show that was not only full of kids but had an entire summer camp group there. They were completely quiet and in their seats from beginning to end other than the toddler adorably asking “where is he?” in the opening moments.

    I guess other people had opposite experiences, but it’s funny because as I was leaving I mentioned to my friends the claims I had read that this movie was risky or might not work for kids because it has little dialogue. It seemed to me like another in a long line of humorously out-of-touch backseat marketing of Pixar movies. I remember reading that A Bug’s Life would fail because bugs are gross (because, as you know, kids hate bugs and gross things) and that Ratatouille would fail because rats are gross (because of course kids are horrified by adorable blue talking cartoon rats) and now this one (because kids do not like robots, especially adorable robots, and go to movies mostly looking for quality dialogue).

    At any rate, I think this movie is pretty much a masterpiece, probably Pixar’s best, and I can’t imagine it not being a huge smash hit. I’m even thinking best picture nomination although obviously the animated feature award (which it will obviously win) reduces its chances.

  • http://www.virgiliovasconcelos.com Virgilio

    Just got home, and I’m still amazed. Really.

    Presto is really really magnificent.

    Wall-E shows that Andrew Stanton is a genius, not only a lucky guy that made a brilliant movie about fish.

    Can’t wait to go to watch them again.

  • Old Fogey

    Such long drawn out paragraphs of people talking about how much they disliked the latter parts of the film. Can noone simply sit down with a tub of popcorn and enjoy a good flick without overanalyzing it? Its disturbing.
    I personally think its the best scifi film in at least a decade. And I found the captain to be a loveable oaf.
    That’s MY two cents.

  • http://zekeyspaceylizard.blogspot.com Zekey

    I have found that nitpicking a film causes me to dislike it. I wouldnt change a thing about this movie. And I loved this film.
    Cute, sincere, and as Matt said in the comments above, made without a trace of cynicism or meanspiritedness.
    This stands with the Incredibles as my favorite Pixar film. And I loved the Captain. He was just a normal guy who found something that sparked his interest.
    This film was innocent but not naive.

    My favorite character was MOE, that little cleaning robot that followed Wall-E around the spaceship when he and eve go to the axiom. MOE’s voice and flustered personality made me grin.

    And Presto, as everyone else has said, was some godly stuff. More gags crammed into a few minutes than some whole feature length comedy movies have had.

    I wouldnt change a thing. Wonderful.

  • B.C.Moffitt

    I was really impressed by Presto; it combined the storytelling maxi Pixar is known for with the wild, hilarious comedic timing of the best Looney Tunes and Tex Avery shorts. I think it’s become my favorite out of all of the Pixar shorts, and I think it’s one of the two definitive answers to the question, “Why does everybody say that Pixar is so good?”

    The other answer is Wall-E. After coming home from seeing it, I personally feel that this is one of Pixar’s best films, if not the best one it has produced to date. I loved the characters and the story, especially how human they made the robots themselves.

    What I also liked about the movie was that it was a more original post-apocalypse movie. Usually, movies like that are rather bleak, but I liked how Pixar gave it a hopeful feel; yes, humanity’s sloth and gluttony caused the Earth’s desolation, but I got the feeling that at the end, things were looking up.

    The mere fact that they took such a serious (often over-preached) topic and created a love story around it, made Wall-E’s story even better for me. From what I’ve heard, the next Shrek movie might have an environmental message; if they do it nearly as well as Pixar did with Wall-E, I’ll be highly impressed.

  • http://odwwart.blogspot.com PCleland

    I read some of the reviews on this site before I went to see Wall-E tonight and near the end of the movie I said to myself, wow what a long 40 minutes. That’s because I was waiting in my head for the movie to switch gears and become less good just as many had claimed.. for me it never really happened. The movie had no issues at all first or second half. I sat quietly (plus some giggles) through the whole movie grinning like an idiot awestruck by just about everything the movie had to offer.. I’ve found that every single pixar movie ever made have been my favorite for one reason or another. I always imagine what it would be like to be a part of that and it always makes me want to work harder to improve my pathetic skills.

    Also Presto was so fast and furiously funny that I HAVE to see it again to catch every tiny little nuiance in the animation,… ooooh man that rabbit was so adorable.

  • Dan O

    Okay, I’ll be this guy:

    I predict that in years to come, this will be seen as one of Pixar’s lesser efforts. As much as I like watching a male lead with the IQ of a four year-old pining after (and winning) a capable woman (the old nerd writer fantasy done to death on half the sitcoms of the last ten years) I felt the story was as satisfying as a bread sandwich.

    Buster Keaton learned early on that the lead should never ASK for sympathy. He should be himself and get empathy. He shouldn’t be one-note “loveable” and ply the audience with sad, puppy eyes. He had no use for those tactics, and in 2008, neither do I.

    Wall-E’s character was one-note, and everything about him was geared to make the audience say “aww…” I’d have preferred a character more like many of the other Pixar leads — someone who does not always show the attractive side, someone who has flaws and deals with them.

    That said, I did love the vision of mankind’s future. When we got to explore that, it felt like a real Pixar movie instead of a love note written by a high schooler.

  • jess

    absolutely amazing. And for a pixar movie, surprisingly dark and gritty. I just hope that it’ll make enough money to appease the higher-ups at the company

  • MattSullivan

    I’ve seen the movie three times. Partially because I love good movies. But also to watch and listen to ordinary people’s reactions to them.

    Every scene in this movie that was designed to get a laugh gets one.

    Every scene in the film designed to make you go “awwww” got it :}

    When the fat humans were revealed, I heard several “Oh My God”‘s That was a gutsy thing, pointing out humanity’s sloth.

    Hell I heard many women fawning over the damn cockroach :P

    And yes, at all three screenings, there was thunderous applause at the end, and 90% of the audience stayed for the credits. Despite any dissection on our parts, this movie is a hit, and deservedly so.

  • http://www.abelboddy.com C. Edwards

    Just came back from a late screening and… I’m underwhelmed. The first act was strong… I’m not really a fan of inferior, nerd-type wins the heart of a superior, beauty-queen love stories.

    A good movie with a great lead, but not really my speed.

    The Bugs Bunny short in the beginning was cute.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    LOVED Presto! I thought it was the funniest short I’ve seen in a long time!

    As for Wall-E, I was shocked at just how much I cared about that little robot when it looked like he might die. For the first time in years I had to hold back tears while watching this movie. Thank you Pixar!

  • http://makeanappointment.blogspot.com Stephen S

    I was blown away, even with my high expectations for the movie. WALL-E the character was wonderfully endearing without being cutesy, and a perfectly awkward romantic. The story made an important and impossible to miss statement without being preachy about it. One of the things I loved the most was that it only used dialogue when it was actually needed; visual language was used whenever possible.

    Presto was brilliant; possibly Pixar’s best short to date. Considering that it was essentially an escalating series of gags, it was enormously clever. Doug Sweetland proves to be on par with the likes of Clampett and Jones.

  • sweetheart of a movie

    We saw the 9:45 show and the kids we saw coming out of the 9:00 seemed happy and excited. A lot of them were wearing Pixar paraphenalia and I considered that there probably hasn’t been such devotion to an animation studio since Disney in the ’50s. My peers and I went to see everything from “Great Mouse Detective” to “the Lion King” but we never wore the t-shirt. I half-expected to see a trailer before the show: “Hey, Kids! Come to the PIXAR club, every Saturday noon at this theatre!” Neat.

    “he can barely stand! so the idea that he suddenly becomes enamored of this place he has never been seemed odd.”

    Odd? Universal, I should think. A human’s a human regardless of skeleton size! Utopians long for a world that has never been and never could be. Politicians promise “Change”. Believers “can’t feel at home in this world anymore”, though they’ve never seen the one to come. More to the point and raison d’etre of the film, artists are always envisioning, even longing, for other, better worlds than the flawed one we inhabit, and trying to spark that longing in others. I thought “Cars” and “Toy Story 2″ dealt largely with reclaiming a world that was lost. The closing credits of “Wall-E” Challenged us (especially, I think, the youngest of us) to imagine a place we’ve never been, where the saner, gentler ways of the past and the technology of the future co-exist.
    Sorry for the long post. I done said what I aimed to say, and I ain’t gonna say no more.

  • http://www.jessica-plummer.com Jessica Plummer

    All I will say is, I’ve never heard a packed theater so absolutely, deafeningly silent (at least a quarter being children, as well), when the film was near the very end. So absolutely simple, yet probably the best example of how simplicity can be stunning I’ve ever seen.

  • Mr. Semaj

    WALL-E bares a few similarities with Idiocracy, with the main difference being that Disney and Pixar had the guts to show everyone the grim ugly truth.

    It’s great that we finally get an animated film that doesn’t tell everything that happens. We get to figure everything out for ourselves (even though the preliminary trailers and reviews tend to spoil things a little), and we we find is a story told much more different and more expressive than anything Pixar has done to date.

    I might see this again, just because it’s so beautiful!

  • http://bustacappa81.blogspot.com Mike Caracappa

    Wow, thanks alot Pixar. Thank you for making me fell totally guilty the next time I decide to order a milkshake. What kind of stuck up morality play was that? After a wonderful first act, all the fun and enjoyment went down the toilet to teach us all a lesson about corporations making us fat lazy blobs. I’m glad you were so subtle about it. Sheesh…doesnt anyone remember a time when cartoons werent saddled with blatant moral themes? Or they at least managed to say something without getting in your face over it? The second half of this film is just awful and degrading. How exactly are overweight people supposed to react to this? Honestly, I felt kind of depressed and hurt after leaving this movie. It just becomes totally didactic. I miss the days when cartoons were actually fun without beating you senseless with some kind of moral. Now it seems like every animated film I’m just waiting for the filmmakers to spell out the “message” for me. I’m not saying these films should be mindless entertainment, but God, sometimes its like school. Is this really what you guys went into the cartoon business for?

  • http://www.pigeonimpossible.com Lucas Martell

    Presto was amazing. The kind of amazing that makes me feel ashamed to even call myself a filmmaker.

    I loved Wall-E as well. In retrospect, yeah there are a few things that I missed, but it is what it is and I really enjoyed it.

  • acetate

    Matt maybe our kids have less patience here on the east coast. (Baltimore), but no one said awwwww, there was no applause, and to top it off 6 people walked out of the screening at about the 30 minute mark. A first for a Pixar film that I’ve seen ! Like I said earlier. I personally liked the film alot, but I’m an animator and an illustrator, not an 8 year old kid.

  • http://doujinshiland.blogspot.com Adam Van Meter

    This film was wonderful to watch, not just for it’s stunning visuals, but because it was fun, exciting, and sweet.

    Wall-E has flaws – they didn’t make The Perfect Movie. Noone ever will. Admit it. That’s reality. But they did make a lovely, well crafted piece of science fiction which seemed to come from the heart, despite the very obvious IMPORTANT MESSAGE spelled in all capital letters. And the film was funny, for the most part, while also being gentle and kind to both the characters and audience, which lately – in a time when snide sarcasm and cruelty are about 95 % of comedy – was so refreshing. And a lack of over the top violence AND a lack of long winded, boring dialogue in a science fiction film? Thank you, Pixar.

    I saw it with my wife and child, and while our son slept through it, we both enjoyed it very much. I’m sure he would have enjoyed it as well, if it hadn’t happened to be showing very close to nap time. I don’t see why people think this movie is inappropriate for children.

    A few questions I overheard kids asking during/after – “Why is the world dirty?” “Why was everyone fat?” “Where’s Wally?”

  • http://www.thevalve.org/go/valve/archive_author/bbenzon/Bill%20Benzon bill benzon

    Just a minor note: There were two 2001 references in the music track, Blue Danube and Also Sprach Zarathustra. I forget just what was going on during the Danube, but it was on the Axiom, may have been during one of the scenes on the captain’s bridge. They played Zarathustra when the bloated humans were finally waking up from their slumbers.

  • http://www.boumerie.com Boum

    Presto was loads of fun, it probably is my new favourite Pixar short.

    Wall-E was pure genius. It had amazing backgrounds and effects and loveable characters. I think I even wish there’d be no talking at all; I love the part before the humans came in.

    I think my only reserve is the live-action for scenes happening in the past (the musical was fine, for some reason). I find it a very strange stylistic choice, and while I do understand why they chose to do it that way, I still think it was out of place, overracted, and useless since we know Pixar can make good-looking humans nowadays.

  • Jim

    Presto is better than Wall-e. I would have liked to see 80 min of Presto and 4 min of Wall-e. Presto is so much more fun.

    It’s hard to believe that so many people are praising Wall-e. Sure it looks good, but Pixar movies always look good. It’s usually the story that sets them apart. The kids I saw in the theater were bored, very few laughs at all. The jokes were the ones we saw in the trailer. For the first 20 min I don’t think they knew what was going on. There’s no dialogue- and relating to robots is hard to do. I think this isn’t Pixar’s finest hour at all. There are holes in the story and a doom and gloom message about overconsumption that by mid-movie you are tired of hearing about. And enough already with the 2001 homage. We got it. I would love to hear Jerry Beck’s review for an expert opinion.

  • http://www.neptoonstudios.com Mark Thornton

    Loved both films — surprised because the trailers for WallE sure didn’t instill any desire in me to see it. never been so glad to be wrong.

    My only comment would be one of confusion:

    why would a movie showing the demise of a planet due to over-consumption and billions of tons of garbage — be handing out disposable wristwatches wrapped in plastic and containing little paper stickers?

  • Fred Sparrman

    I’m thinking the decision was first made that it wouldn’t work to recreate the “Hello, Dolly!” scenes with computer animation; it was powerful to see those real, flesh and blood actors representing “the past”. And so the choice was made to have a live action Fred Willard as a “transitional link” between the real humans seen in the “Dolly” clips and the animated obese humans of the film’s present.

  • http://michaelspornanimation.com/splog/ Michael Sporn

    The NYTimes has an interactive piece which has Andrew Stanton breaking down a sequence from the film. Watch it. He says, “It is tough to define the idea of effects because the entire movie is an effect.” He’s right.

  • http://ebay-movie.blogspot.com Steve Schnier

    Pixar has laid out such a wealth of riches – how can I comment? The worst moment in the worst Pixar movie surpasses the best offered by the competition.

    Not only do they have the artistry, but the story telling is top notch. The attention to the tiniest details (example: the evolution of the art styles in the Wallâ™ E end credits) — these are Pixar’s “throwaways” – that would be showcased in lesser productions.

    I was delighted, wowed and amazed.

  • http://tstazer.www4.50megs.com tom stazer

    Old Fogey, thanks. I am surprised too at the criticisms aimed at the second half – most of them over not pursuing a darker ending or motivating the captain, or explaining every little thing.

    Bambi didn’t have to end with Bambi strapped over the hood of a car to send kids home thinking about whether or not hunting was cruel. And Wall•E doesn’t need to beat us over the head either. While enjoying the film, kids will absorb a suggestion that endless comsumption has repurcussions and corporations may not have their best interests at heart.

    I’d also say the captain is motivated; Stanton shows us how, once their personal screens are shut down, people are fascinated by the real world; we then are shown in a series of cuts that the captain has been watching the earth vids. Reason enough for me.

    Also loved all the in jokes; Macintalk getting a screen credit as the vilain. Is Stanton biting the Jobs that feeds him? Eve sure has an apple, ipod design style; Wall•E makes the mac startup chime, and the villain is an 80s mac voice program.

    LOVED it. and i am NO fan of cute robots, especially cute robot love stories. Rememeber Hearbeeps??!!

  • Andrew

    WALL-E is Pixar’s most original and experiemental film to date. Though, there is actually MORE dialogue than they let on in their promotion for it- the captain and the other talking characters get a lot of screen time. The film was cute without being overly sentimental. The ending gets a bit preachy- moreso than I had come to expect from Pixar- but I guess the clearer the moral, the better.

    And Presto. The audience barely had time to breathe before looking at the next gag. Though, I had wished there was more variety in the way the rabbit outsmarted the magician (they were all basically reaching through a hat and grabbing something somewhere else), but it makes that simple I guess.

  • http://www.octop.com Aleksandar Vujovic

    Presto was great in every respect. The animation was goofy, reminiscent of many looney tunes shorts.

    Now Wall.E.

    Wall.E would’ve been perfect had it not been a whole lot of Apple commercials. The ipod? (after 700 years, oh, look honey, they have an ipod, and it’s the oldschool one, they must be really good, let’s get one KAPOW!) and the Mac chimes that walle does when he powers up. All that stuff really ticked me off.

    Was I the only one who thought that it was ironic, given the movie’s morals?

    That said, Wall.E was awesome. It was amazing. It blew me away with cinematography, soundtrack, editing, colors, texturing and lighting. Concepts were brilliant. It was just a superbly done tip top movie. And if I can get the bluray in a few months and edit out the iPod commercial and change the stupid mac chimes to something less commercial-whorey, I’ll be stoked.

    I know Steve Jobs is funding Pixar a alot, but COME ON! Is the guy that daft? Does he have that little vision?

  • JasonJ

    Oh brother. Jobs hasn’t “funded” Pixar for quite some time. 1995, I believe, since it went public.

    And it’s far better than a fart joke.

  • http://classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com classicparamountcartoons
  • Chuck R.

    I saw a matinee with my girls aged 2 and 3. They were bored. I thought the first half was amazing — Oscar written all over it. I’m glad people are comparing it to films of its own genre like 2001 instead of Cars. (I’m sure Brad Bird is too.) In fact, it took an occasional A113, or a Bob McCrae reference to remind me I was watching animation, which is a real achievement. I agree mostly with Ben Z and Jim M above. I don’t try to let the details ruin a movie for me, but some of the emotional weight evaporates in the final half.

    I like Mark Thornton’s comment about the freebie watch. Yes, this movie is full of ironies. It takes gentle stabs at our need to be catered to, our obesity and our herd mentality, which I applaud, but its premise beaks down, mostly because the film doesn’t admit to what’s driving much of our consumerism —our need to be constantly entertained.

    Unlike every person praising this film, the people on the Axiom never crave information or entertainment. they just want to be in fashion (whether red or blue) and to relax. The aren’t exposed to the everyday trappings that are part of our culture. They suffer a loss of humanity. WallE on the other hand unearths all of our folderol from landfill (musical videos, Rubik’s Cube) and gains his humanity through it, later to give it back to people aboard the Axiom. It sort of links consumerism with our loss of humanity, but presents it as the key to restoring it, which is puzzling.

    I also think it’s funny that the Axiom returns to a barely recovered Earth with its retro rockets blazing and begins the cleanup. If emissions are truly the bane of earth, the ship would have instantly crippled it a second time. It’s as if a vehicle can have no bad emissions if it’s carrying well-intentioned green-minded people. Sort of reminded me of Al Gore pretending his mansion doesn’t have a carbon footprint because he’s Al Gore.

  • Aldon Spears

    To put it simply, Presto and Wall-E exceeded my expectations. I remember hearing some opinions about how Wall-E might fail due to the lack of dialog, but I believe that the pantomime only made the film better. Such strong motion and expression in the animation conveyed every feeling of the moment, and the occasional dialog between characters only made it stronger.

  • ovi

    great film-making, great first 40mins of film, terible last 40mins of film.

    i go to church to get preaching and go to the movies to get entertained, NOT the other way around.

    did Al Gore direct this movie? im getting sick of the GREEN propaganda. just stop already.

    great filmmaking, but an “An Inconvenient LIE”.

  • http://persistenceofvision.blogspot.com/ Ethan

    Just be clear, when I said Wall-E isn’t for kids under 7 it was because the film is to frightening, for little one not because they’d get board. It’s not Texas Chainsaw Massacre, there’s just a lot of things that explode and stuff.

    I’ve never seen my daughter so frightened of a film, and keep in mind we’ve shown all 3 Pirate of the Caribbean movies to her and she loves them.

  • MattSullivan

    C’mon, just because it’s a movie about a FICTIONAL polluted future doesn’t make it a propaganda piece. I have my own complaints about the hoax that is global warming ( in my opinion) and i didn’t read any of that in WALL-E. I think it was just a story device.

  • Bill Sauder

    I saw Wall-E yesterday: I don’t plan on seeing it again – I got the message in one showing.

    If Jeffery Katzenberg worked at Pixar, this is the type of movie he’d produce … Pixar’s very own Pocahontas. Not content with producing mere entertainment, Pixar Corporation is all grown up now and makes “important” movies. Oscar-worthy movies. Movies with a message.

    The problem with the film is there is a visible fault line runs right through the middle of the movie. We realize that the audience is the victim of a shell game: The charming concept of a “small, lonely robot on an empty plant” was used only as a set-up piece for the big movie behind it. The movie with an important message: “Fat, lazy, self-absorbed Americans and their out of control corporations are killing the planet”. The French loved Ratatouille, but they are going to go *wild* over this film.

    My reaction was a little more like a stifled yawn. “America is killing Mother Earth … again”. Like I haven’t heard that one a million times in the last 40 years. What a lazy piece of story telling! How many beers at the Hidden City Cafe did it take to dream *this* one up?

    There’s no doubt that Wall-E himself is as charming and entertaining as any character Pixar has created, which is no small complement considering the vast number of appealing characters and vignettes they’ve come up with over the years, and the fact he expresses himself in mime.

    However, Wall-E the robot has to play against a disturbing background that undercuts him: A dead and discarded world makes for a bleak backdrop for the first half of the movie. The chorus line of bloated, slug-like Americans behind him may be an accurate prediction, perhaps even a timely warning but this is the wrong forum and the message for the Pixar Corporation to be preaching.

    It is also slightly tone-deaf for one major American Corporate Conglomerate (Disney/ABC/Pixar) to be preaching to another sprawling Corporate Entity (Wal*Mart) about the evils of American corporate excess, when at the root of it, they are alike as two peas in a pod. One just has better image management.

    Taken as a whole the movie reminds me of the “important” segment Disney did a few years ago where Winnie the Pooh talks to children about genital fondling and child molestation. Yes, its needs to be addressed, but not coming from Winnie the Pooh.

    I have no doubt this will be a popular movie but there were other ways to tell the story without its obvious contempt. Director Andrew Stanton was well aware that many in the audience would see his message as a polemic, and has thrown in a few fig leaves in the story to hide behind and deflect criticism.

    However, his instant defense of the movie points out that he knew parts of Wall-E weren’t going to go down well and that the criticism didn’t matter. According to Stanton, I didn’t see what I saw, I saw only my interpretation of what I saw. Exactly Andy, it’s called art, and there’s no guarantee I’m going to like it.

    Families came in good faith came to see a summertime family flick and got a preachy infomercial about the environment, exercise, and Wal*Mart: And the message was more important than any possible hurt feelings.

    And now a private message for the director (so you all shut your eyes and no peeking):

    Andy: You can have contempt for your audiences’ sensibilities if you want. They’re just red state nut jobs anyway (Nice zinger with “Stay the Course” BTW. That took nads.)

    It’s your right as an American and prerogative as a film maker to say what you want. Sneer at what you want. Preach what you want. You can make a lot of money that way. Michael Moore does just fine.

    But please leave Pixar the next time you get the itch to do another “message” film.

  • Mando

    I have seen Wall-e twice and even the second time I felt as if I was watching it for the first time. It was candy for my eyes. The attention to detail both in the foreground and background was amazing. I thought that the use of “Hello Dolly!” was well-fitting, even though I don’t think it would have made a difference had it been any other love song.

    I agree with those that questioned the use of live action. I found myself thinking why the future was computer animated as opposed to the past. What caused this change in form/style? Maybe this question is irrelevant to the story.

    Had it not been for the genius behind sound, the character’s emotions and actions would not have been as believable (esp. the robots).

    Although Wall-e makes the mac chime when he’s powered up, I can’t help but look at him as reminiscent to a PC (Eve’s design obviously being Mac-esque). Maybe it is true, opposites do attract!

  • Nipplenuts McCurk

    Why do certain people get so mad about a film with an eco-message?

    Do you like waste? Do you like pollution? Do you like disease?

    Who the hell is pro-filth? Why is being green and resourceful “PROPAGANDA”? I mean…really, I wish one of the cliche angry rightwingers would explain why being clean and responsible makes them so angry.

    Anyway – Wall-E and Presto were both fantastic. I haven’t laughed and enjoyed myself that much in a while. I do think the Live-Action Fred Willard thing was weird though…took me out of the movie a bit. …aside from that, it’s ace.

  • Brenton

    I enjoyed it, but I’m bummed that there was no short for the ASIFA screening.

  • ovi

    to Bill Sauder,
    AMEN. that was what i wanted to say in lesser words.

    Nipplenuts McCurk SAID:
    “Why do certain people get so mad about a film with an eco-message?
    Do you like waste? Do you like pollution? Do you like disease?Who the hell is pro-filth? Why is being green and resourceful “PROPAGANDA”? I mean…really, I wish one of the cliche angry rightwingers would explain why being clean and responsible makes them so angry.”

    i dont want to get off topic but ill try and answer your questions.
    ill try and explain why people(not only “rightwingers”) don’t like propaganda feed down their throat. Ill also tell you why you don’t have to be an “angry right-winger” to not like the old bait and switch trick. I went to see a fun entertaining film, not GREEN propaganda. ESPECIALLY from a company that probably makes (Disney corp) 90% of that trash you saw wall-e cleaning up. HYPOCRASY! How much money and many toys, napkins, clothes, drinks, food, and merchandise altogether will Disney make from this film? and what % of it will be sold at wall-mart???! is that very green? How much oil and energy will Disney use up to make all that CRAP we don’t need???
    No one likes to be preached at at gun point. Especially from a hypocrite. I bought my ticket to go see a fun film with great characters (which is what it was up until wall-e left earth). Id say the movie left entertainment as well and flew right into green propaganda at that point.

    First, you DON’T have to be a right winger to smell crap. All you need is a good nose. Do I like waste? pollution? disease? NO, of course not. My family grew up on a farm and were self-sustainable and self-sufficient. We owned over 20 acres of land, had crops to feed an army, animals you name it.
    You wanna meet a REAL tree-huger? go talk to a farmer who plants, nurtures and takes REAL CARE of the earth. Not these fake “green” propaganda yuppies that don’t know the first thing about how to save the earth. All they know is that Hollywood and al gore think its cool so they buy into it and don’t have a freaking clue what they are buying into. But hey its trendy right? Its cool, so it must be right.

    I don’t want to hear a thing from green yuppies about the earth, plants, and energy until they have planted their own crop. And I especially don’t want to hear it from a hypocritical company that’s responsible for making a good % of that junk polluting the earth to begin with. They wouldn’t know what green is if it hit them in the face.

    Anyway, that might sound harsher than I meant but im just tired of agendas being force feed down my throat when all I wanted was to watch a good movie. I got that for the first 40mins, then my eyes started bleeding.

    Hope that answers your question.
    >oVi

  • ovi

    to sum that up, being “green” and respnsible doesnt make anyone angery.

    being preached at against our will to be green from Gluttoness hypocrites does make people angry.

    it would be like going to a pixar film and all of a sudden the characters start talking about SINS and how people souldnt do this or that. sure it might be good advice, but no one wants it against their will and especially from a hypocrite.

    anyway, to each his own.

  • Pedro Nakama

    WALL-E’s future looked bleak and horrendous. Just like Tomorrowland at Disneyland.
    I feel in the next couple of weeks there may be some critical fallout from this film by certain groups that feel insulted by some of the content. I thought it was a great social commentary wrapped in a G rated kids film.

  • http://cartoongeeks.blogspot.com/ Michelle Klein-Hass

    Brenton said: I enjoyed it, but I’m bummed that there was no short for the ASIFA screening.

    Yeah, wasn’t that a bummer! No Presto! Dang!

    However, you have to balance it with the sheer fan appeal of it being a screening at Disney. And walking out from the theatre and seeing the original Disney Animation building…wow. Even my buddy Jim Smith was impressed. And he’s a jaded pro.

  • Nipplenuts McCurk

    Ovi – see, you just got more angry again….how is the movie propaganda? It’s simply a story, using a polluted deserted earth as it’s backdrop. All this nonsense about hypocrisy ….c’mon. There’s absolutely nothing preachy about Wall-E.

    But hey – if it makes a kid want to plant a seed or clean up their mess – is this something to get angry about?

  • http://thelink.concordia.ca Christopher Olson

    Take a chill pill, please. We’re talking about a Disney film for pete’s sake. And I don’t understand what’s wrong with having a corporation espouse an environmentally conscious attitude, unless they’re the ones doing the actual environmental devastation (e.g. a car company deriding oil consumption).

    Re: Bill Saunders: Why would someone who grew up on a farm deride a film that idealizes your childhood and derides the destruction of all the things you claim to hold near and dear? Just because we haven’t experienced a childhood like yours doesn’t make us “phonies,” or tree huggers.

    All I know is that I enjoyed WALL-E tremendously.

  • Dan Edwards

    I also saw the ASIFA screening at Disney’s today. It didn’t bother me that there was no “Presto” short nor “Bolt” preview with the print they showed. I wanted to see the main event without such tonal distractions. Those who were mystified by the live action snippets in “Wall E” puzzle me. The bits played fine. There were tons of filters over the footage itself and it worked. As for the argument that live action humans of the past did not resemble the CGI blobs of the future, did anyone note the clear visual devolution of the species in the Captain’s portrait gallery of those who preceded him? Many points in “Wall E” are made once and not bludgeoned home, which respects the audience. A beautifully written and directed picture that raises the bar of pure filmmaking. And Thomas Newman’s score was brilliant, as was Ben Burtt’s sound design.

  • david

    “(Nice zinger with “Stay the Course” BTW. That took nads.)”
    Yep. Totally lame that. It gets on my last tit when preachy Hollywood types write strawman roles for typecast idiots, villains, psychos, or whatever in a medium (film) that is naturally bereft of evidence and argument for the sole purpose of spoonfeeding an intellectually dishonest position to the masses through the backdoor of their emotions. Here we have a typecast buffoon standing at a podium..there’s the flag..the seals..okay..he’s saying to “stay the course”,where have I seen this before… and I will be rewarded with “getting it” if I can only make some horribly flawed inferences. Well, Mom, Dad and Teacher never taught me how to use my God-given nut, so, Yay! I did it! Now my emotions are satisfied and I enjoy the illusion of having thought something through. I’ll be a Frenchman in no time! Meanwhile, just forget that the Captain, Wall-E and Eve all “stay the course” but I guess that’s okay because the course can keep changing when the directive ultimately comes from within.
    Oh well. I liked the cute robots.

  • Keith Bryant

    I hope none of you think that I’m “blaspheming” here, but Uncle Wayne and I just saw the film a few hours ago and to say that we were dissapointed is a gross understatement. We both laughed out loud at “Presto” but our hopes were dashed a few minutes into the feature. True, the animation was exceptional, but neither of us found the characters appealing in the least. So intense was our dis-interest I found myself eating my milk duds in rhythm with Uncle Waynes’ snoring (no joke, he was sound asleep!). I also saw at least three or four children begging their parents to leave. Granted, this is just my opinion, and thousands, nay , millions may disagree with me, but I wish that our coin toss would have been directed towards Kung Fu Panda at the IMAX.

  • http://www.emergencystoppingonly.com chris berdoz

    I had super high hopes for wall*e after seeing a bunch of material at wondercon, long snippets of the film that i don’t believe were available on the internet even now. That convention completely changed my mind about the film that I was not excited about at all when i saw the teaser trailer for last year. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of people wonder about if the film will be any good because the commercials and trailers don’t seem interesting.

    So I finally saw it on opening day, and afterwards I thought “that was okay”. I felt it didn’t live up to my expectations, perhaps only about 80% or so. I still felt like the Incredibles was my favorite CG movie of all time. But as I got home I couldn’t get the film off my mind. I started thinking about the message behind the movie. I started thinking about parts of the movie. The more I thought about it the more it settled in that the movie really did live up to my expectations. It was kind of a delayed reaction, I guess. Then I really wanted to watch it again. I decided I’d buy the DVD when it came out, which is pretty major because I never buy DVDs unless I seriously love a movie. And then I started reading people’s interpretations of the film and that got even more excited.

    I am now going to attempt to watch the film again in the theater, which is unheard of for me. I am an incredible scrooge and I don’t particularly like wasting my time watching movies. Seriously, the movie is that good and I think if I see it again I will see more that I didn’t before. I honestly can’t get it off my mind, I really have to go back and see it once more. I almost cried at the end of it.

    The one thing I’ve noticed a lot on imdb are posts by people who think the movie has a ‘liberal’ political agenda. This is incredibly ridiculous, because the messages behind the movie aren’t political, they are universal concerns held by everyone. Politicians put spins on the issues presented in wall*e and make them political, but the cores of the issues themselves are global and morally sound regardless of political position. Anyone who thinks this is a political movie is seriously narrow-minded and outright silly.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    In defense of “Idiocracy” I’d just like to point out that it had a VERY amusing IQ graph at the beginning. Best IQ graph in cinema history.

    Whatever. I see the “green” theme of Wall-E as just a premise on which to hang the main idea, robots in love, rather than the robots in love story being a sneaky way to brainwash all you gullible movie goers into recycling your soda cans and having positive thoughts about energy saving lightbulbs. It’s about as worrisome to me as the premise of “Planet of the Apes”. It’s not a piece of prophecy on which you should base any future plans.

    Some of these commenters need a nap, I think.

  • Mike M.

    I just saw it, and I think Ben Z’s comment was right on. It was a very good film, but (upon reflection–I was gushing when I got out) the movie could have used more fleshing out once they got to the space ship (the asylum bots, Wall:E’s affect on people, the captain) only because it the action got a little too big by the end.
    Still, I think it’s the best picture pixar has done yet, and one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.

  • Cabel

    Ovi,

    You’re a super talented guy, and I’ve always admired your work from afar — but I genuinely don’t understand why you’re upset.

    Every film — well, every meaningful, good film, every film that sticks with you and keeps you thinking and means more to your life than just two wasted hours eating popcorn — has a “message”, a point, a purpose, something a little bit meaty to chew on.

    The Incredibles taught us that sometimes it’s OK to special — that it might not be great to underachieve just to fit in.

    Ratatouille taught us that not everyone can be a great artist (gasp!), but great art can come from anywhere.

    Finding Nemo taught us that sometimes you need to “let go” and let your child be a child.

    Wall-E taught us that Earth is an amazing, rare resource that we’re incredibly lucky to have, that human potential is infinite and should never be squandered, and that love endures.

    That’s all.

    All of these ideas are equally bold, and all of them are thought-provoking.

    My question for you: why does Wall-E’s thesis upset you so much more than any of the others?

    I think you need to look inside yourself and try to discover where this strong reaction is really coming from. I don’t think it’s entirely from Wall-E. Maybe, you might have opinions about life that differ from what you often hear in the world, and you’re (somewhat understandably) over-sensitive to certain “messages”. But to project this over-sensitivity onto Wall-E is really unfair. I recommend you watch it again. You’ll be surprised to see just how little “preaching” exists — and how pure the message truly is.

    I say: thank god Pixar makes movies that make us think — as well as move us, entertain us, and enchant us.

    PS: If you’re just lookin’ for a good time, did you catch that hot hot trailer for Beverly Hills Chihuahua? Mark your calendar! ;)

  • amid

    Future off-topic posts will be deleted. The discussion is YOUR thoughts about Wall-E and Presto, not drawn-out back-and-forths arguing about other people’s thoughts.

    Thanks,
    The Brewmasters

  • http://billdrastalblog.blogspot.com/ Bill Drastal

    Wall E was a fun, nice and easy going no danger at all, happy happy movie. Not a bad movie, its everything one should expect from any movie but nothing spectacular that you’d expect from Pixar. I wonder what the movie would have been like had Pixar not sold out to Disney ,grabbed life by the horns and lived instead of just survived.

    And I’d like say something about Presto but for some reason they didn’t show us Presto at the Asifa Screening today, so Pbbbbhhhhht!! :P

  • Peter

    Wow, I never got a sense that this movie was “preachy” or “hypocritical” in any way – it’s a story of the triumph of individualism and the power of the human spirit, given the right soil to germinate in. Even though it sues the tropes of a preachy, apocalyptic sci fi movie like “Silent Running”, in the end it turns the downbeat assessment of humanity in a movie like that completely on its head — given the choice, the humans and machines in the movie want to do good, want to challenge themselves and help each other, and the entirety of humanity makes a bold, unprecedented choice to make a gigantic leap of faith and give up all of their security and a standard of living that has made their lives an unthinking blur devoid of wonder and imagination.

    WALL*E was a singular robot, unique among his kind, that was somehow able over hundreds of years to develop a personality that is infectious and contagious, so much so that only seeing him for a few moments causes machines and people alike to suddenly break centuries of programming and start acting autonomously and spontaneously. The Autopilot is his exact opposite, a powerful machine desperate to force stability and order based on its powerful programming for “the common good” — it thinks it’s doing what’s best for everyone by forcing them to exist in a safe, monotonous stasis devoid of risk, forever.

    The genius scene on the Axiom has the secretary-bot, one of many pointlessy-tasked machines performing the same typing behavior it has likely always known, noticing WALL*E’s friendly wave, a quick gesture that acknowledges it as an individual which in turn inspires the secretary-bot to suddenly become aware of its own ability to use its extremeties to try doing something unprogrammed and unscripted — it waves back. Later, it waves enthusiastically as WALL*E and the “broken robots” escape — if you pay attention, WALL*E has this effect on virtually everything and everyone he encounters.

    The sprouting seed and the flame and the single musical representing all that remains of human culture are the same symbol as WALL*E himself – hope to break the cycle and dream up a better tomorrow, or to set out into uncharted territory with no idea what happens next.

  • http://vincemascolianimation.blogspot.com Vince

    i loved wall-e and presto. both were animated so well in a visual language. i didn’t enjoy the second half as much as the first, but it didn’t ruin it for me. i didn’t feel it was preachy, and i felt it is pixar’s best film. to each their own i guess. i felt that there was some real artistry behind the film, not just graphically, but just how the characters move. it was a good gutsy first half and the second still left me feeling happy. i don’t want to pick it apart much more because i feel like i’m convincing myself not to like it, when i really did like it a lot. i want to see it again.

  • Scott Teresi

    Pixar’s best work yet… both the short and the feature.

    “Presto” was pure skillful entertainment and “WALL-E” was masterful entertainment mixed with IDEAS. The film had vision, personality, themes and ideas… clearly the end result of a singular artistic mastermind and exceptional creative process. Bravo!

  • http://kellyloftus.com Kelly Loftus

    I saw this movie twice today. Both audiences were very quiet and laughed/clapped/aww’d when it was appropriate. I was really impressed because there were a LOT of kids of all ages. The second audience burst into applause when WALL•E came up through the trash heap with the plant and, of course, at the ending. Presto got an amazing response as well. I laughed hard both times.

    I don’t have anything intellectual to add but I wanted to say I loved this movie very much. I found myself beaming throughout and tearing up at both screenings. WALL•E and his character have touched me like no other Pixar film has ever done.

    Bravo, Pixar. Bravo.

  • Ed Thompson

    I don’t have a straight ‘up or down’ on Wall-E. To me, it was not the best Pixar movie I have seen, but it was very good. Here are my ‘groupings’….

    Toy Story, Toy Story II, Incredibles- These to me, with their combination of story, voicing and animation, are Pixars best.

    Finding Nemo-Did not expect to like this film. Was very pleasantly surprised when I was dragged to the theater to see it. Not as good as the top tier, though.

    Monsters Inc, Ratatouille, Wall-E- To me, a good films, but not great. I know that the technology for the animation got better for each of these films, but that alone does is not enough. On a side note- Why was anyone in Disney marketing afraid of the ‘mostly’ dialog-less first half of Wall-E? People, especially children, pick up of tone, body expression and activity just as well or better than they pick up on dialog. The path chosen by Pixar in this regard was the correct one.

    Bugs Life, Cars, etc – To me, these are films which aimed a little too much at children. They were very good films, but didn’t manage the universality of the 2 Toy Stories when it came to appealing to adults as well. I will admit I am not a racing fan in reference to Cars, but the film was too derivative of ‘Doc Hollywood’ for me.

    My opinion of the Short Presto-

    An excellent short. Very funny, and reminiscent of Tex Avery’s Magical Maestro, without being a copy. I don’t think Pixar has had a bad short and I would not want to try to rank them.

  • Gobo

    Presto was brilliant and exactly the right length (just like a classic WB short). Haven’t laughed that hard at a cartoon in ages. Just perfect timing.

    WALL•E is my favorite Pixar movie to date. I felt it worked on every level: as a great sci-fi film, as a great love story, and a great silent movie. Andrew Stanton and crew took their love for Blade Runner, ET, Star Wars, Tomorrowland, Syd Mead, early Epcot futurism, and yes, Hello Dolly, and mixed them together into an amazing package.

    “Safe?” Judging by the talk here, this movie’s anything but safe. I’m kind of fascinated to see all the reactions from people who were offended and angered by WALL•E’s message… people who felt it wasn’t appropriate for children, people who think the movie is nothing but “liberal propaganda”. The fact that a Disney cartoon is causing this kind of debate says a lot about its worth as a film and a message.

    Can’t wait to see what Pixar does next.

  • Dan

    I loved it. I just want to know what those circuit boards were that Wall-E didn’t want to accept. Coming from Pixar, I know there’s an inside joke there that I missed. I’m guessing they were early PC “brains”. Any nerds know the answer?
    In those opening shots I nudged my wife, “This could be a live action pic!”. I was kind of proud of myself when there was live action later. It was a beautiful picture.

  • Oluseyi

    “The movies are so rarely great art, that if we cannot appreciate great trash, we have no reason to go.” – Pauline Kael

    It’s funny to hear the charges of “preachiness” (really?) or “green hypocrisy” (you *do* realize this movie was written long before Al Gore got fanboy love for his giant powerpoint presentation, right?), but to each his own. I decided to comment to address only one thing: the motivations and nature of Autopilot.

    I’m a software developer, and I am intimately familiar with how a bug such as “overly literal interpretation” can have surprising unintended consequences. That’s what I feel happened with Autopilot: he was so literal in his interpretation of commands – all commands, which explains why he overrode a classified document directive and showed it to the captain, but refused to change course and return home, because a captain’s direct orders are likely superseded by his predecessors… implicitly making the direct orders of BNL’s CEO akin to the Voice of God.

    Artificial intelligence is a very interesting field. Even without intending to create a specific trait, the interaction of necessarily imprecise logical constraints can sometimes yield adorable or alarming results. Give Autopilot a break, eh? :-)

  • ovi

    i just want to make it clear that i REALLY liked the first 40mins of wall-E. really i did. it just turned into a different film after they left earth and i felt thats right about the time it got preachy, and hypocritical.

    Cabel.
    nothing wrong with being “green” and respnsible.

    being preached at against our will to be green from Gluttoness hypocrites(disney corp who makes all that merchandise that kills the earth) makes people angry.

    nuff said.
    lets all be friends now and talk animation.

  • Charlie

    Saw Wall-E last night. First, all the previews sucked and made me groan. Bolt was the most interesting one, and that’s not saying much really.

    Presto was an amazing short! Loved it. A for Wall-E, I thought it was a good film, but that’s about it. The first Act was breathtaking! Loved it so much! But I thought it went downhill into mediocrity after that. Except for the environments and character animation. They stayed top notch throughout. But story-wise, it didn’t have that Pixar polish I expected.

    And the ending! I HATED it! The ending itself ruined the film for me! But overall I still have to say it’s a decent film. If we’re looking at films as a whole though, I loved Kung Fu Panda much more than Wall-E.

  • Andy

    I thought it was terrific! My only complaint was the robot revolt sub-plot – it seemed poorly thought out for a Pixar movie. The boxing robot was a great gag, but its set-up was confusing. I think that the whole robot repair section was so full of ideas that the Pixar imagineers were overwhelmed. It could have used Walt’s editorial prowess.

    That said, it was a great and groundbreaking movie.

  • acetate

    I saw the film friday and the thing about the second half that still nags is how different visually it was from the earlier earthbound scenes. The first part of the film is very photorealistic in every regard, right down to atmospherics, but when the action switches to the spaceship it all seems very cartoony and unreal looking. Why? I can kinda buy the use of live action in those earlier scenes because that whole world looked real, but on the ship when we have a live action Fred Willard on screen in front of the cartoony captain it just looked way out of place. Its almost as if the two halves of the film were done by two different directors, although I know thats not the case.

  • http://www.slitherandfriends.com MisterSpook

    For a film that I originally felt fairly apathetic towards, seeing the film has entirely shifted my view. Pixar has done an amazing job with “Wall-E” tapping into themes that transcend a normal kids movie. If nothing more, the novelty of two machines discovering love in the crumbling dystopia of civilization has secured the film as a classic in my mind.

    I will agree that the first half of the film outshines the second, but I was not as turned off by the “political message” that seems to bother a vocal minority of viewers. In fact, I see the idea of politicizing the film as counter intuitive to its core message.

  • http://cupojo.net Jo

    I haven’t felt this warmly about a film since the Iron Giant. The characters were all so elegant and easy to adore- I had tears streaming down my face in the end when Wall E appeared deprogrammed. I don’t want to argue about the message of the film- I think it was pretty obvious when the Captain said:

    “I don’t want to SURVIVE- I want to LIVE.”

    I love this film and everyone at Pixar should be bursting with pride.

  • Tiger Bauer

    I loved the movie, and the short entirely.
    both were beautifully animated, and truthfully I would like to see more of the snappyness around that presto had.
    Wall – E was wonderful, very cute, and quite the in your face social commentary.
    I’ll definitely be adding this one to my movie collection when it comes out.

  • http://www.daganm.blogspot.com Dagan

    The film was amazing!… I was absolutely ABSORBED from the very first second all the way through to the rolling of the credits.

    WALL-E and Eve were both such engaging characters… They had me glued to the screen!

    I thought the film’s messages were presented in a fairly strong, “no-nonsense” way, and BRAVO for that! I think the Pixar peeps found a way to say what they wanted to say but NOT come across as preachy… That’s a tough ball to hit, and they really knocked it out of the park for me! :)

    The story was crafted so well… I wasn’t bored for a fraction of a second! My wife and I were truly engrossed throughout.

    Visually?… Stunning! The timing and the acting were some of the best I have EVER seen… You care so much for this little robot, they really made him LIVE up there on the screen!

    This is a really classy movie, and gets top-marks for quality in EVERY department! I think it’s one of Pixar’s finest, for sure!

    Incredible work, WALL-E TEAM!

  • Brianne

    I loved it!

  • http://ryuuseipro.deviantart.com John Paul Cassidy

    I saw it today, and Pixar’s done it again! I LOVED it.

    PRESTO was a cute and funny short, definitely reminiscent of Bugs Bunny and Tex Avery shorts! It was fast and furious. And the rabbit was just adorable!

    WALL-E is yet another Pixar masterpiece! I found nothing wrong with the environmental and social message in the film, and never found it to be preachy. I also thought the inclusion of live-action actors in some scenes was odd, but funny. I wasn’t scarred by any of this. Aside from that, it was a great sci-fi love story that really touched me, even at the end.

    Congratulations to Andrew Stanton and his team at Pixar! And the late Justin Wright would be proud.

  • Dan

    I keep thinking about the film, I basically agree with Acetate, about the jarring visual of live action Fred set against the very cartoony human characters. My hunch is that they initially were going to use live-action, because as I said earlier, the intro could very well have been a live-action pic. But, this is where that “suspension of disbelief” comes into play, because the story was strong enough for most to overlook that aspect. Furthermore, the blob like form they became is better suited to that cartoony look anyway. I think that’s why that worked for me. The fact that our (sleepy) 2 1/2 year old was riveted up until the humans came in, is telling.

  • droosan

    I saw WALL-E four times this weekend. It’s absolutely an amazing film, and I caught more details I hadn’t seen before in each subsequent viewing (look for TOY STORY’s ‘T-Rex’ amongst WALL-E’s collectibles! .. I still haven’t spotted the ‘Pizza Planet’ truck; but it must be in there, somewhere).

    The last screening I attended (which I’ve just come home from) was a DLP presentation in Burbank, at 11 PM on Sunday .. and it was SOLD OUT, to a completely adult crowd. That’s pretty amazing for any film, opening weekend or not.

  • http://www.marcosgp.blogspot.com Markus

    Pixar took a huge risk doing this movie and it doesn’t feel preachy…

    It’s just the setting for the story, sure there’s an eco friendly message but is more about being responsible and embracing the risk of living.

  • http://fieldofcandidates.blogspot.com/ Bill Field

    It was enjoyable- but it wasn’t a risk for Pixar. 2001 was considered a risk for Kubrick, due, also to the lack of dialog and narrative- it was his biggest success in many respects- but it wasn’t a risk for him either. Why? Because Pixar and Kubrick both never thought it was beyond their audiences to watch a movie that told a story like it unfolds in reality, with the viewer left to connect the dots by paying attention, rather than a V/O re-emphasizing everything your eyes are watching, and your brain has already processed and stored in your memory. It’s a visual narrative that we are easily able to process- so, where’s the risk?

  • joecab

    ANY CGI movie that doesn’t have some recently popular person doing a voice, or looks like they thought of its merchandising potential before working on a story is a risk if you ask me. A movie where there’s no dialogue for the first half? No risk? Really? One that relies this much on making you think rather than just running there on the screen before you?

    Uh uh. No way. It was a helluva risk, and a great story. Absolutely can’t wait to see it again. My only fear is overselling it to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.

  • http://thehorrorsofitall.blogspot.com/ Stephen

    After groaning through the turd-like trailer for some flies as astronauts atrocity (could anything be more far off the mark?), Presto and WALL-E erupted onto the screen displaying everything that is right about great animation / filmmaking. The writing and design, the scope, the emotion, it’s all there and makes for some of the most compelling movie going in all of animation (or live action SF.)

    This is seriously Pixar’s finest moment yet because they take animation seriously, unlike the clueless people who made the singing chihuahua movie which I can’t imagine anyone being actually interested in.

  • http://blog.al.com/nightlife M@

    A number of people are bemoaning the weaker second act of the movie for its in-your-face environmentalist themes, but I don’t think that was really the story. The real story was about Wall-E and Eve — it was a love story. The rest was a background in which that love story was taking place.

    For those confused about the “motivation of the ‘bad’ robots,” you need only look to Kubrick’s/Clarke’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The steering wheel robot was clearly an homage to Hal 9000 in both its design and behavior. The robot has been told by BNL that it must obey the orders to remain on autopilot forever. On the other hand, it must also obey the captain’s orders to return to Earth. The robot cannot process the conflicting orders properly and, as such, malfunctions — in both cases leading to violence against humanity.

    Wall-E, too, was a malfunctioning robot. Remeber the trailers? “… he’s developed one little glitch — a personality.” It’s the same with all the misfit robots — their malfunctions give them a spark of humanity, and they rally around Wall-E when he inadvertently rescues them.

    The humans are like the malfunctioning robots. In their case, they already have built-in personalities — they’ve simply forgotten about them until they encounter Wall-E. His defiance of what was expected of him was an inspiration.

    There were elements I didn’t care for in the movie: The live-action sequences felt like a cheat, and they reminded me of the end of “Happy Feet.” It was a shame that with so few words spoken in the movie, the lame “Get ready to have some kids” line made it in there.

    Overall though, I adored “Wall-E.” It was sweet.

  • http://www.markmcdermott.com Mark McDermott

    So much discussion that makes me nod my head and say “yes, yes,” so just a few more points:

    Yes, the Pizza Planet truck is there in the huge piles of trash during the first part of the film. I THINK it shows up after EVE arrived.

    I apologize to anyone who might have seen the movie in Chicago Heights on Saturday, as my 8-year old was the one who kept asking “What’s that?” “Why is he doing that?” And I was trying not to get too loud in shushing him. But even there the audience applauded at the end.

    I had to wonder myself what made the humans suddenly want to go back to earth after meeting WALL*E just once. Part of it may just be due to the fact that they were always intended to go back to Earth in just a few years, but things just got in the way (a better analogue from “Hitchhiker’s” would be the ship transporting telephone sanitizers and documentary filmmakers to a new planet, where the captain stayed in his bathtub for 20 years because he never saw any reason to get out). Some may whine about the movie’s “massage,” but at the end, these fat, blobby humans stood on their feet and stepped out onto an Earth that didn’t look very recovered at all (was the long pan out at the end showing the field of plants just the other side of the river bed supposed to indicate that the rest of the Earth HAD recovered, or was that supposed to be a time lapse showing how quickly the returned humans had managed to spread new plants?).
    Anyway, guess what! The “ruined Earth” has been a meme of science fiction for several decades now. It’s why WALL*E is there in the first place. Next time, look at the trailers so you can avoid being “preached” to.

    Frankly, what helps this succeed as a “movie” and not a “cartoon” is yet another theme of Pixar: there’s no real villain whose defeat is necessary for the story to succeed. Auto-pilot was just following its programming, Fred Willard was his bumbling self (one suspects he was made CEO of BuyNLarge by the executives who really screwed thing up before they evacuated early). Just as Skinner in “Ratatouille” was looking out for #1. As with many Pixar features, the plot involves the characters achieving something instead of fighting “evil.”

    So what made WALL*E different from any other robots encountered in the film? The first part showed WALL*E doing his job, skuttling past several other WALL*E units that had long since broken down and that he was salvaging replacement parts from. Somewhere he was blessed with the human power of curiosity, which he passed on to any being or robot he met. Hit by lightning? The power of musical comedy? Fodder for a prequel?

    And I ran through the many other films this one has been compared to, from “Silent Running” to “Heartbeeps,” and no one has thought to mention this movie in the same breath as… “Robots!” Meantime, Pixar just put out its ninth successful feature without feeling compelled to hire Robin Williams.

  • I like to draw

    Im not gonna overanalyze this at all (since there’s already plenty of that here already is you wanna read it ).. I ENJOYED THE HELL out of this movie!!! I took my 5 year old god son who was just fixed to the screen and only asked one question throughout the whole thing ( Can I have more popcorn? ) I love that there was so little dialog ( cartoons are too damn talky these days anyhow as are movies in general, for me ) and it was visually stunning. I’ll chalk this up to being another Pixar movie I dig.

  • http://www.tommyday.com Tommy Day

    I just got back from Orlando on my honeymoon, and we caught Wall-E at Downtown Disney at the first midnight showing , and loved it!

  • Jon

    Saw the flick last night! It rocked!

  • http://tsutpen.blogspot.com Stephen Cooke

    For those upset about the green theme of Wall-E, just consider it karmic balance for the promotion of the aimless, gas guzzling and rubber burning, consumerist sport of auto racing in Cars.

  • Petyo

    One part Star Wars. One part City Lights. Add a dash of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and 2001. Let the mixture sit until the garbage begins to pile up and serve with a side of Chuck Jones. Presto!

  • http://justkyle.com Kyle

    Presto was fantastic. Absolute genious. The most fun I’ve had in a theater in years. As for Wall•E, It was great, although I had to fight from letting the live action ruin my opinion of it. I had really high expectations, so I did leave a tad underwhelmed, but nevertheless a stunning movie.

  • T Brown

    Clearly there’s allot to discuss about Wall E, rather than join the discussion about story, I’d like to point out one of the artistic choices made.

    I tried to read most of the previous comments, and find it interesting that there was little discussion about including live action roles in the film. Some one correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the first time live action was used in an animated film the way animation is used in allot of live action films (unless you consider Star Wars 1,2,3 to be animated films). Its definitely a first for a Pixar film.

    I’m not sure that it was necessary, but I found it to be a deliberate choice, one that makes a statement about current practices in animation. The argument “why use CG to depict realistic humans when you can just use real people?” was confronted for the first time.

    Definitely, allot of experimenting going on in this film. I can’t wait to see it again.

  • http://www.clenchandcheese.com josh carrollhach

    I was stunned by every aspect of this movie. It’s very difficult to pull off inanimate objects with minimal dialogue, especially with a cautionary motto that could easily turn into hackneyed preaching. Add into this the challenge of meet-cute and action and you’ve set a high bar.
    Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter have more than pulled it off in this case: they have triumphed. Pixar has suffered in the post-Ranft era (look at Cars and the barely-rescued Ratatouille to see this) but it seems they have hit their stride. The direction is crisp, the action is direct and there is a great deal of physical comedy, but the salient feature is Pixar’s legendary character development.
    Oh yeah… it looks pretty good, too. I won’t be surprised if this whaps Nemo at the box office. I think it’s the best American animation yet, Brad Bird included (right up there with Iron Giant).

  • MattSullivan

    Love the film. But I DID find it odd that a company that proudly proclaimed “No motion capture or other cost-saving device” decided to use live-action.

    A minor quibble, I know.

  • Yargle

    I myself thought Wall-E was depressingly prophetic. In the future the Earth is ruined, our lives are run by businesses, and everyone is fat and apathetic . Which of these things isn’t already set in motion?

  • http://www.clenchandcheese.com josh carrollhach

    I neglected to talk about Presto. The William Powell magician and the Hoodwinked-style evil bunny were great foils, and the reference to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice hat was great… but it was the cruel Tex Avery timing (complete with ladder-to-the testicles gag) that made this a winner for me. Something about seeing a guy you kinda like and kinda hate get it onstage (to applause) makes me feel good.

    We’re watching Droopy as I write this and I see that great physical comedy legacy in Presto. Pixar has been frugal with gags of this kind in the past and it’s great to see them develop some of the mastery we can seen in the short features of the past. Disney itself sadly abandoned short subjects years ago, so it’s really comforting to see Pixar carrying the torch. I also like seeing CG stuff have the same timing as cel animation, hard to do and rarely seen these days.

  • zim

    Another exceptionally well crafted Pixar movie. The animation was breathtaking.

    However, the decision to mix live-action completely ripped me out the of story and broke continuity too drastically. Being a huge Andrew Stanton fan, I am baffled and disappointed by this decision…

  • droosan

    I think the decision to make WALL-E’s videocassette of HELLO DOLLY! an integral plot element somewhat necessitated the inclusion of live-action for the ‘pre-Axiom’ humans. Mightn’t it have been a bit more bizarre for Pixar to have ‘re-rendered’ the included scenes from HELLO DOLLY! in a ‘cuddly’ Pixar style? IOW, using live-action to depict the humans of 700-800 years prior was likely an ‘artistic’ choice, NOT a time/labor-saving choice.

    It certainly made a heck of a lot MORE sense than seeing live-action footage from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK in CHICKEN LITTLE, or Louis’ Albert Einstein ‘portrait’ clock in MEET THE ROBINSONS.

  • Dan

    T. Brown: “Some one correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the first time live action was used in an animated film the way animation is used in allot of live action films (unless you consider Star Wars 1,2,3 to be animated films). Its definitely a first for a Pixar film.”

    I think Happy Feet used live action in a similar manner. And the faux 35mm camera work at the beginning of Surf’s Up had a similar effect. When the visuals are so nearly photo realistic it seems almost natural to try and meld the two mediums. I guess the usage in Wall-E was of an experimental nature. And, apparently most felt as I did that it didn’t work all that well, probably because the juxtaposition of Fred Willard and the blobby, cartoony humans was too dissimilar. I’m glad that Pixar was taking chances though. It certainly is a movie that stirred up some opinions. That’s a good sign. I don’t understand why Disney stock didn’t get a boost from the great opening box-office figures.

  • http://thadkomorowski.com Thad

    What an awful little film. I reviewed it here, and if this is commercial animation’s greatest hope, we’re in big trouble. And yes, I am prepare to be flailed for thinking it stinks. Go to it already.

  • Ross W

    Presto is a great addition to the pantheon of on-stage cartoon shorts by the likes of Tex Avery, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Disney, Hanna-Barbera, et-al. Jerry (or any else), feel like compiling a list of these?

    AND PRESTO IS NOW ON SALE ON ITUNES!

  • http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/mjf7583 Michael F.

    I saw it earlier today at a matinée show (i’m off work today). Amazing film, I think that the film is more emotional than other animated films. Heck, these characters were more emotional than most characters in blockbuster films these days! In fact, this film really goes all over the place and does very well in them – comedy of watching Wall-E trying to attract EVE, romance in them hooking up and adventure in the robots flying through space, chasing out guards and other stuff.

    I don’t mind the live action parts because they actually works to advance the story. Plus, the visuals were done very well, and that is extremely important for a film that has not much dialog in it. Although a good part of the dialog was clever, particularly people going around the ship being lazy.

    What makes this film for me though is that it really hit the spot on our consumer culture. As a retail employee (i will not mention the name but i will say it is about 2% the size of Wal-Mart, which is what was obviously parodied here) I know that people are getting lazier and dumber by the minute (and fatter!). And let’s not forget garbage; you won’t believe what I’ve had to clean up in the aisles. I bet that unless something happens we’re going to go to the same way as that of the movie. Scary…

    Plus, Presto was a great short too. I think it was better than Lifted, which says a lot. Plus, that rabbit is so cute…they should make little stuffed versions of him with a wizard hat included!

    You know, this film is getting huge reviews on Metacritic as well. It’s got a 93 there with a few perfect ratings from the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly. I know that some people don’t take the animation genre seriously, but if it did get a Best Picture nod I wouldn’t be surprised. (hey, it happened once, who knows what’ll happen)

  • http://www.dribbleforkids.com Nick Nitro

    Personally, did anyone not make a connection to Speilberg’s (and Kubricks’) Artificial Intelligence?

    The only reason why I say this is that, the boy, in the smallest ways, and really, at least, it’s what I take from the movie, brought life and evolution to the robot race. Giggalo Joe (what do you know?) broke directive of pleasing girls, etc, by helping the boy.

    The movie of Wall-E is really, at least to me, about love and life, finding a way. Earth is important, because life is found on earth. Not just the plant, but Wall-E is the life that found a way, in this little robot. And everything he makes contact with, even for a few seconds, he brings or awakes life anew, in John, or the other girl, and the typing-bot. While it is not spelled out clearly, itself is very subtle. By being in the room, playing a song, barely being there, he helps awakes life in the Captain, in John, EvE, and anyone else.

    The only thing I felt that Stanton cheated on, in a way, was the ending. The fact that, **spoiler alert**, that Stanton left Wall-E to be Wall-E and not a mindless droid trash compactor like the rest, was a bit sad, truly it would of made the film ultimately poignant, but instead, Stanton continued, at least to me, the theme of “life finding a way”.

    It is also to note too, the first time I saw the movie, I thought Wall-E trying to make EvE take the plant back to the captain was for her, but it was in fact, upon the second viewing, seemingly that Wall-E knew if the plant was put in the whatever device and it gets them home, EvE can get a new mother board.

    the film is my favorite movie of Pixar and possibly ever, is truly touching. My own father was even moved by the film and he doesn’t usually get moved at films like this… (aka animated films.)

  • http://www.bustacappa81.blogspot.com Mike Caracappa

    I want to talk about this film seriously, and I think the only way I can tell you about it is to share my experience. There’s no doubt from anyone who’s seen this that the first 40 minutes of the film are absolutly wonderful. It was like getting to watch a Chaplin film, only if the Tramp were a broken down little robot, spending however many 100′s of years just doing the same job, only after awhile feeling a sense of loneliness. He’s simply a robot doing his job, but his feeling of isolation gives him an emotional depth…a lot more starts to develop from this little robot than just as a mindless drone. In a way, it’s sort of like The Iron Giant where as he develops his personal interests, the more human he starts to become. The more he opens up and starts to find himself as an individual. The machine, we discover, actually has a soul. And that’s also how I felt about Walle. I loved and empathized with the character, and once we meet Eve, a greater purpose to his life seems to awaken. Watching these two robots interact with one another, Walle finally has a chance to show off and share all the amazing things he’s collected. The interaction between Walle and Eve is actually…beautiful. And profound. It’s two machines falling in love. And the audience believed in it as much as I did. I think it was one of the most amazing and beautiful things I’ve ever seen portrayed in an animated film.

    …and then the plot kicks in.

    When Eve suddenly took the plant from Walle and went into hibernation, it built some interesting suspense…until, that is, we actually discover where we are being taken. The moment I saw the highway of fat people roaming through the halls of the ship, I started losing my feeling for Walle’s story….whilea completely other film starting to take it’s place. And I think that’s exactly what happens. Walles whole story suddenly takes a backseat as this social commentary suddenly emerges. It becomes about how about how all of humanity has lost it’s individuality, programmed to lead the exact same lives as everyone else…as blobs of jello so to speak. And how it’s kept this way by a corporate machine. The corporate machine even tells its ship’s captain what to do. By some accident, a man and a woman happen to meet on the ship who had never noticed each other before. Admitedly, a lot of this stuff is interesting, and it reveals a lot how we let outside influences control our lives instead of taking responsibility for ourselves as individuals. So why do I feel that all of this doesn’t work for this film?

    It turns the film from something that actually had emotional depth into a completely superficial message. I mean, in the first half of the film we’re watching two robots FALL IN LOVE. Isn’t that pretty damned profound? I wanted to know what was going to happen with Walle and Eve. I didn’t know who these humans were or why were suddenly asked to get involved with all of these characters we have no investment in. Sadly, it turns out the movie really isn’t about Walle and Eve at all. Really, why was this detour on the spaceship nessicery when there was clearly something much more interesting and beautiful at work with these two robot characters? I hated that we lost the connection of this relationship. It felt like a cheap cop out. For those of you that argue that the connection wasn’t lost because of Walle’s “Sleeping Beauty” return at the end, it still doesn’t change the fact that everything that was built up to connect with those characters was suddenly put on hold for this compeltely other story.

    When it was over, I was furious. I actually teared up, because I felt the film had completely manipulated my emotions. I didn’t know why at the time I got so upset, because apparently the film had expected me to go along with it’s social commentary. I also considered the fact that there might have been something about the second half that just set me off personally. But really, I think it’s more than that, and judging by most peoples reactions, I think a lot of people can sense it too. I felt the whole second half of the movie took away everything wonderful about the relationship of the two main characters. It’s like none of it really mattered to begin with, except as a catalyst to ‘teach the humans a lesson’. You’ll notice that absolutely no one had any complaints or doubts about the first 40 minutes. And I bet if the movie had continued that way, everyone would have surrendered to it.

    Pixar is the one studio that actually has the power to make a difference in the kinds of animated films we see. To actually watch a character act in pantomime for almost 40 minutes is something we NEVER see in animated films anymore. It’s something any other animation studio executive would fear, because they thing if the main character isn’t a chatterbox, the kids will fall asleep. The characters in Walle could have gone so much farther just on that, but it’s as if the filmmakers put such a dark theme put in so it could be considered more adult and taken more seriously. But I think because they did that, they missed out on what these characters were really all about. They set us up for something truly amazing, but sadly I don’t think they paid it off.

  • Dan

    I thought it was brave for them to portray the humans as obese. And, while I was watching it pinching my chubby belly, I was wondering how morbidly obese people might react to that. But, I think it was really more about consumption and gluttony rather than anything superficial. They took the repercussions of our lifestyle to the logical extreme. So, I think rather than take offense about that aspect of the movie, it would be better to ponder the truths that lie in the subtext.

    And one more thought: Why should we really care about Wall-E and Eve anyways? They were just robots. That could be why Cars never hit the right nerves. People shouldn’t and really don’t care about the emotional lives of cars, because they don’t exist. But, it’s a great tool for expressing emotions and telling important stories. And, it’s remarkable that they (the machines) could emote, but the human part of the story is what we really should care about. The robots never were human.

  • Nathan Strum

    I just saw Wall-E today (better late than never), and loved both it and Presto.

    Presto was a wonderful throwback to making silly, fun cartoons, just for the sake of making silly, fun cartoons. It does my heart good to watch something like that, with such an obvious love for classic animation behind it.

    Wall-E was absolutely a delight to watch. At times it was truly touching, yet managed to be still funny, exciting, and even captivating. It was a great movie, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    I’ve skimmed a lot of the comments here (frankly, I just got tired of reading some of them), so I’ll try and keep mine short(er).

    The story, at it’s heart, is a love story, and I bought into it, hook, line and sinker. Yes, part of that story is about consumerism and the environment, but I never felt “preached at” about it. It’s satire, and I took it as such. Buy’n'Large is every hated corporation (Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, etc.) rolled into one.

    I actually felt empathy towards the fat, atrophied humans of the future. To my mind, they were the victims of a machine-world gone out-of-control, where every aspect of your life is taken care of by a giant, manipulative corporation (long since run by auto-pilot), whether you actually need it to or not. The character turns (e.g. the captain) were abrupt because these people had become so used to the exact same thing every day of their life, that anything out of the norm would be a shock to their system. In the end, the film has hope for them. The people are of good character, and redeem a lost planet. I don’t recall a single human in the film (save for Fred Willard) being mean-spirited.

    As for live action being used, it really didn’t bother me. I was taken aback a little bit when I saw photos of people in some of the debris and in some of the BnL ads, but after a short time, I just accepted it. I think they could have worked around it, but as mentioned elsewhere, it might not have worked with Hello Dolly not being CG. Certainly, this had to be a decision Pixar did not make lightly.

    I liked the entire film. I was captivated by the first half, and happily along for the ride for the second. I related to Wall-E’s loneliness, shyness and longing. I never felt he was in real jeopardy though, because hey – it wouldn’t be a Pixar film without a happy ending. But that didn’t make the animation any less emotionally impacting. Maybe time will color my opinion of it later, but for now, this is my favorite Pixar film.

  • Connie Pinko

    Saw it. Twice. Loved it. I’d say more, but I feel it’d be redundant.

    To Pixar, and especially Andrew Stanton, I will grant you the sincerest compliment I can muster:

    Thank you for making the world more beautiful with your films.

  • Tommy

    If Pixar does something that doesn’t work, they’re experimenting and that’s so bold of them and they deserve tons of praise for it. If Pixar does something that both doesn’t work and has been done a bunch of times before, they’re still experimenting and blah blah etc.

    Pixar is clearly above criticism, just like Apple.

  • Dan

    Have you seen the new iphone? You can probably download Presto right to it. Brilliant! Can the Zune do that too?

  • Richard

    I’m not up to writing a big review. But I would like to say it was my third favorite Pixar movie made (behind Toy Story and Finding Nemo). And favorite short.

  • http://www.myspace.com/crumbcrispcoating Jonathan the Bellboy

    Am I the only person who felt gypped by the lack of a teaser for Up!?

    The Pixar package includes a feature, a short, and a teaser. I saw no teaser, just the usual assortment of horrid trailers for pics my kids and I will not see. (I chided some kid next to me for excitement at Beverly Hills Chihuahua.)

  • droosan

    Chiding kids for getting excited about a movie is the essence of manliness.

    I think BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA looks like fun. At least as entertaining as CATS & DOGS .. or, to use an animated equivalent, OLIVER & COMPANY. Which is to say: light, ‘safe’ movie fare. You know .. for kids!

  • http://www.myspace.com/crumbcrispcoating Jonathan the Bellboy

    Never saw it, mine were too young, but Cats & Dogs had a positive buzz. We’d have gone.

    BH Chihuahua just looks like a bunch of trends (celebutards with tiny dogs!) thrown in the blender with the easy money of Garfield-type CGI animals with people. Bleagh! I guess we’ll be dipping into those old Disney live action films for movie nights this summer.

    My children are raised to be little cineastes. I have no problem offering my regrets to a kid who’s been fed a steady diet of nothing.

  • Barry

    I enjoyed the first 40 minutes. My son and I walked out after that, it was all too much for the little guy. Suckered again by marketing, this film is totally not for young film goers. To bad there wasn’t a 90 minute version of Presto.

    We got are money back and so I will go back and see it again, without the family.

  • Keith Paynter

    The trailers for the metal-munching moon mice, space monkeys and offensive chihuahua’s I could have done without.

    Presto!: Magnificent! Right down to the homage to vintage RKO Disney cartoon titles with the cloth-style background.

    WALL*E worked very well for me. I had some trepidation at first, but understood the bleak color choices of the opening act. Definitely a bit much for the underage crowd. (I saw it tonight as the last screening of the evening to avoid the parents with screaming kids). The atmospheric animation on Earth (dust, clouds, smoke, etc.) was very well done. I think the only thing I disapprove of was the ILM digital work on the footage of Fred Willard. I would have preferred an animated character to his appearance, it took me out of the moment trying to analyze the digitized footage.

    Not the best, not the worst, but high marks from me. Well done, Andrew & co.!

  • Nichole

    Let me say first that Ratatouille is easily one of my favorite films and Wall-E comes close, though doesn’t surpass it in my opinion. I saw Wall-E on July 11 and I have to say that I LOVED IT. Not just the first 40 minutes, but the entire thing. I especially enjoyed the small sub-story of the man & woman who turn off their TV-like screens (well, one gets broken) and find pleasure in real human company and other things). This really rang true to me.

    The opening short, Presto, was also wonderful. It doesn’t surpass my favorite short, the old man playing chess but it was quite good.

  • http://www.rocarts.com/sabrecat Meredith

    I know I’m late to the party here, but I just saw the movie and needed a place to air my thoughts.

    This movie really seemed like the culmination of all that Pixar has been trying to accomplish. It was deep, but not too deep, sweet, charming, funny, beautiful, moving, and a real masterpiece of animation art.

    That said, it doesn’t have all of the whiz-bang (Incredibles), cuddly characters (Finding Nemo), or mass appeal (Cars) as some of the other Pixar films, which limits its marketing potential. In a way, this makes me respect Pixar more, since it seems they just care about making good films. I hope the guys who write the checks see the intangible benefits of making this kind of film, but I won’t hold my breath.

  • captain murphy

    I’d like to see Presto at about 80% of its current pacing. Probably better in a theatre, and with audience, than on computer screen.

    But I still wonder if the timing is always right.

    I’d also like to see a render of Presto completely from the audiences point of view, once the magician is on stage. They should do this for the DVD release of Wall-E.

    Haven’t seen Wall-E yet.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    I agree with Michael F. Completely. I don’t have any problem with the message itself, but the second part is actually kind of boring. The designs of the humans didn’t fit visually with Wall-E and EVE design IMO. I love cartoony humans but the robots are designed in a more realistic way. On the other hand if they were going for cartooniness really fat humans could be a lot more exaggerated than that.

    Presto was ok, I enjoyed it but it wasn’t my fave Pixar short either.

  • Anthony

    Wall-E and Presto were two absolutely perfect pairings. While Presto took on the slapstick humour cartoons (LooneyTunes) are mostly known for, Wall-E became the showcase of computer animation maturity. I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of Wall-E more because earth was so deceivingly realistic and the whole film was very atmospheric. The second act wasn’t as strong, but it was important to represent the worlds of Wall-E and the humans visually different so that one could draw comparisons from the artificial world (Axiom) to reality (earth).

    I think we have a real winner here; Pixar, you were brave to risk conventional story telling and as a result raised the bar for not just animation but the entire film industry.

    Personally I was absolutely blown away at what my favourite animation studio is capable of.