Wall-E Criterion Wall-E Criterion

The upcoming physical media release of Pixar’s 2008 contemporary classic Wall-E marks the first collaboration between Disney and The Criterion Collection, but those hoping it might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship shouldn’t hold their breath, according to the film’s director Andrew Stanton.

When first announced, Wall-E’s inclusion in The Criterion Collection was met with varying degrees of delight and concern. While fans of the film were thrilled that it would be getting a high-quality physical media release, Criterion fans expressed concern that it was another step towards the broader commercialization of the company’s efforts as it partners with the likes of Disney and Netflix.

Comments from a recent Indiewire interview with Stanton might have those on both sides of the debate reevaluating their stances. When asked if Wall-E’s addition to the Criterion Collection is part of a larger Disney-Criterion partnership, Stanton said, “Not at all. It was filmmaker-driven. If it’s anything, it was driven by my own filmmaker ego of wanting to be in the club.”

Speaking about the qualities he believes made Wall-E the right fit for Criterion and the process of making the special edition happen, Stanton explained:

It felt like it was a love letter to everything from cinema that I took in from youth. Because of that, I felt like it had a chance to be appreciated by Criterion. So, I put out an olive branch or a bat signal to them, and that was just before the pandemic. They said they were interested, which was exciting, but then the pandemic hit. We got serious about it last year. It was a real endorsement that they thought there was a there there.

Pre-orders for the 4k UHD and Blu-Ray special editions of Wall-E started in September. It will be released on November 22.

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