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Wall-E Supervising Animator Tells His Story

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  • Rated G! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by toxyouxunknown (1291032) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @09:26AM (#24227761)
    Actually, Wall-E was much different than I expected. I know the critics really liked it, but I found it to be a bit heavy for younger kids, and probably not enough to grab very young kids' attentions. As an adult though, I thought the movie was incredible. I hadn't really read up on it before viewing it and had no idea it was going to be an entire social commentary-esque movie.

    Definitely makes you think, though! And the animation was absolutely breathtaking at times.
    • Re:Rated G! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @09:33AM (#24227843)

      Kids don't take much to be entertained. "Oooo Robot Moving." or anytime he goofs up or does something silly.

      Here be some spoilers, kind of.

      I think this movie had more in it for adults than any other Pixar movie I've seen. The first thing I thought of when I saw the movie was Idiocracy. I imagine that the animators were probably fans.

      Short Circuit, 2001 (I was really hoping they'd work in a "I'm sorry captain, I can't do that", Apple startup chime, references to all previous Pixar movies and of course Cliff Claven (John Ratzenberger).

      From the beginning everything was very well done and even small details weren't over looked. I can't wait for the DVD to watch it again and just watch some things in the background to see what I missed in the theater.

      • Re:Rated G! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by norminator (784674) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @01:48PM (#24231661)
        Actually, I have to disagree, I've taken my kids to see all of the Pixar movies since Finding Nemo (when my oldest was about 14 months old). I'd have to say that Ratatouille was by far the most adult-oriented Pixar movie. I mean a rat... in a fancy French restaurant?

        Most kids don't dream of eating fine cuisine in a 5 start restaurant, but they do play with toys, imagine monsters, play with bugs, dream of exploring the ocean, obsess over superheroes, play with cars, and aspire to go to space. The only thing that was really kid-friendly in Rat was the sappy "you can be anything you want to be" moral lesson, and the fact that it's a cartoon about a nerd and his rat. The setting and the plot didn't really involve anything that kids are really into. Even all of the artwork, backgrounds and animation, as visually stunning as they were, still seemed kind of high-brow and adult-ish for a kids show. When we left the theater after Rat, my kids weren't quoting it or talking about it, I think they liked it, but nothing was really memorable to them. I really liked Ratatouille, but I didn't feel like it was one for kids to really enjoy.

        We went to Wall-E on opening night after my kids had been watching the trailers for months, and they loved it. My daughter giggled uncontrollably through about half of the movie, whenever the robots would talk, or whenever Wall-E would do something silly. We'll be sure to buy this one when it's released on DVD. But Ratatouille is one that we're ok with just seeing once in our lifetimes.
    • Re:Rated G! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 192939495969798999 (58312) <<info> <at> <devinmoore.com>> on Thursday July 17, 2008 @09:44AM (#24227983) Homepage Journal

      The rating doesn't mean that it's "for" kids, it just means that it won't "offend" them with the particular things that make the other ratings required for a movie. A documentary on beans could be rated G and would be so boring as to make kids run screaming from the room. Put the F word in that documentary a few times, and it's rated R, but still heinously boring to kids/etc.

    • Re:Rated G! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @10:00AM (#24228187)
      For the sci-fi geeks, it really paid homage to many of the films that we consider classics. I read somewhere that they consulted with Oscar winning filmmakers to affect the look of the film. For example, they adjusted their software to simulate the look of the 70mm Panasonic cameras from the 70s to even include their imperfections.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "70mm Panasonic cameras"

        um, I think you probably mean Panavision there...

      • Panasonic? (Score:3, Informative)

        by MsGeek (162936)

        I think you mean Panavision [wikipedia.org].

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Yea I was just thinking.
        This a Silent Running II. What happened after the Valley Forge blew up. Maybe that is why I didn't think it was great. It all seemed way to familiar to me.

    • Re:Rated G! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by digitalhermit (113459) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @10:29AM (#24228597) Homepage

      I enjoy many of the Pixar movies and "The Incredibles" is still my favorite. Wall-E is second though, displacing "Monsters, Inc." It grew on me.. I've seen it a couple times so far and enjoyed it far more on the second viewing (not that I didn't enjoy it the first go round).

      I understand what you're saying about social commentary though. If not handled properly it can be annoying. This may sound like a copout, but I think science fiction has to handle it differently. In other genres the commentary is best hidden beneath layers of abstraction. Want to protest the madness of war in a drama and you make a "Romeo and Juliet" piece that ends in tragedy. Want to comment on the deterioration of the environment and you write about the flower girl that gets sick because a factory blocks her view of the ocean.. Not in science fiction.. In SF the skies turn violent because of pollution. The people wear gas masks. The effect of the disparity between rich and poor are farmed organ donors.

      IMHO, this commentary on the cuff is what distinguishes SF. Traditional literature teachers scoff at SF because the themes and messages are so brazen, but it is precisely this "obviousness" that I enjoy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I disagree. In SF the useful commentary is still hidden deeply. It just takes place in a world taken to the extreme. Some people call the extreme world ham-fisted, but that is just the environment which allows more creativity to permit more allegorical setup and therefore the higher amount of useful commentary. Those who object to it are too easily distracted or not comprehending of how handy it is to have a fantasy world.

        In other forms of literature the amount of commentary is small, weak, and puny, becau

      • by Hatta (162192)

        IMHO, this commentary on the cuff is what distinguishes SF. Traditional literature teachers scoff at SF because the themes and messages are so brazen, but it is precisely this "obviousness" that I enjoy.

        I agree. The purpose of the English language is to communicate. If you hide your meaning behind symbols, people spend all their time arguing about what the symbols mean and not actually communicating. It's totally backward and wrongheaded. The best writing should be completely obvious, what value is ther

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It wasn't social commentary. The parallels to real life are obvious but the director and writers have taken a beating over whether this was social commentary. NPR's Fresh Air did a fantastic interview with the director who went out of his way to explain the genesis of the story and that it was NOT social commentary of any kind. In fact, the story was written long before global warming/pollution was even a hot topic. This movie shouldn't get shackled with popular politics just because of the coincidence.

    • Re:Rated G! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @11:09AM (#24229267)

      Actually, Wall-E was much different than I expected... I found it to be a bit heavy for younger kids,

      I hear this a lot. Frankly, I don't understand why a movie that doesn't pretend to be a kid-friendly movie gets dinged for, well, not being very kid-friendly. My 8 year-old liked it (the messages were a bit over his head) but my 12 year-old really liked it and he understood the deeper themes. What really bothers me about bad reviews of this movie is the claim like, "I didn't laugh out loud one time!". Gee, maybe that's because it doesn't rely on low-brow humor to get its point across?

    • Re:Rated G! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Temujin_12 (832986) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @11:27AM (#24229517)

      I hadn't really read up on it before viewing it and had no idea it was going to be an entire social commentary-esque movie.

      Actually, I listened to a really good interview NPR did with Andrew Stanton (director and co-author of Wall-E) [npr.org] and at one point he discusses that the story never was intended to be a social commentary on environmentalism. The story was written about a decade ago and while it certainly has the universal theme of protecting nature, he primarily used the concept of a polluted planet to avoid having to give some other explanation for humans leaving the planet that would have been to heavy for a children's movie (ie: global war).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kerkyon (584936)

        It was a social commentary on consumerism and corporatism, not environmentalism.

        It might not have been intended to be a social commentary on environmentalism (nor, quite frankly, did I think it was particularly a commentary on environmentalism regardless of the intent), but there's no way anyone could convince me that it's not a particularly violent commentary on consumerism and corporatism.

        • What creates the trash? People buying and disposing of stuff.
        • Who's the apparent ruler of the world who screwed it up
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chrysrobyn (106763)

      I took my two kids, aged 4 and 1 (well, 22 months old) on the opening Saturday at 9:30. They both were entranced. Visually speaking, it was enough constant motion and humor and bouncing around for the 1 year old to love it. The 4 year old immediately bonded with the main character, Wall-E, and his interest, Eve.

      Sure, it might be a bit heavy for kids, but they're just going to miss all the heavy stuff anyway. Pixar wasn't shooting for social commentary, they've come out and said they were working on thes

  • Excellent Movie (Score:5, Informative)

    by D Ninja (825055) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @09:27AM (#24227767)

    I will admit - I don't watch too many movies. However, I am extremely glad I spent the money to see Wall-E and I will be buying it on DVD when it is released.

    The animation of this movie is amazing. Using almost no words (two?), the animation team captures a wide range of emotion: love, sadness, fear, humor and anger. What's even better is that they capture these emotions in the form of robots - something that typically is not associated with emotion. The storyline itself is fantastic. Not only is it simplistic enough that even a child can understand it and enjoy it, there is a definite adult theme throughout the entire movie which emphasizes taking care of this planet that we live on.

    Additionally, this movie starts up with a great short (haha...that rabbit is awesome), the ending credits are absolutely beautiful and genius (how many different art styles can you spot?) and the soundtrack is great.

    I would highly recommend that everybody check this movie out in the theater. It's definitely worth it.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      You see I just wasn't that thrilled with it. The main reason was the "message". Yes I am all for "taking care of the planet" but at the same time I am tired of being beat over the head with it. I find it really funny that Disney/Pixar is making out "mega marts" as the root of all evil.
      Then putting out Walle happy meal toys, and selling Walle everything at Walmart.
      Was it a good movie yes. Was it beautifully done? Yes. Was it a heavy handed morality story?
      I would just rate it as good. I really enjoyed Cars a

      • I would just rate it as good. I really enjoyed Cars a lot more.

        Of all the Pixar films, Cars was the only one I thought only had appeal for children.

        I like your sig (All spelling and grammar errors are intentional. Grammar Nazis' need entertainment.). Note the grammatically incorrect use of Nazis' instead of Nazi. That's subtle, dude.

      • Re:Excellent Movie (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DeadCatX2 (950953) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @10:18AM (#24228413) Journal

        The main character's directive is to compact trash, but for the most part the "message" is an incidental passive voice in the background of the movie. The last half of the movie is spent in outer-space (away from the planet), and a lot of the first half is setting up the romance between the two robots. This movie is way, way, way more than just "take care of the planet".

        There's also social critique of how lazy humans are getting (fast food smoothies, etc). There are a lot of other smaller parts in the movie that are charming, as well (like Wall-E teaching the robot on the Axiom how to wave).

        I find it really funny that you think the people who wrote this story and brought it to life are the same people who want to milk the franchise for all it's worth.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          "I find it really funny that you think the people who wrote this story and brought it to life are the same people who want to milk the franchise for all it's worth."
          The people that wrote and brought this story to life are employees of Pixar and Disney.
          Pixar and Disney are already are merchandising this for all that it is worth.
          I find it really funny that you can separate the two.

          • Re:Excellent Movie (Score:4, Insightful)

            by DeadCatX2 (950953) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @12:04PM (#24230091) Journal

            The people that wrote and brought this story to life are some employees of Pixar and Disney.
            Some other employees at Pixar and Disney are already are merchandising this for all that it is worth.
            I find it really funny that you can't separate the two.

            There, fixed it for ya.

        • by valintin (30311)

          I like to imagine that Pixar made the movie and brought it to life. While Disney is the monstrous parasite that is sucking all the life it can from the movie and shitting out toys for consumption.

      • by nomadic (141991)
        I would just rate it as good. I really enjoyed Cars a lot more.

        Really? I thought Cars was actually Pixar's only truly bad movie. Horribly boring and cliched.
        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          I enjoyed it but I do like auto racing. The amount of research they did show that they really seemed to care about the subject. Things like the King being Richard Petty's Superbird and Doc being a Hudson Hornet. The fact that a lot of the buildings in Radiator Springs are based on real buildings on Route 66 I also enjoyed.
          I found the characters likable and the movie over all was fun. Not deep but if I want deep I will watch a great movie like Judgment at Nuremberg or Gentleman's Agreement.
          If Walle was a lif

      • Re:Excellent Movie (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Achoi77 (669484) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @10:36AM (#24228697)

        I thought the message was 'geeky socially awkward guy robot gets the hot chick robot.'

        IMO the whole 'taking care of the planet' business was nothing more than a macguffin [wikipedia.org]; the movie doesn't revolve around B&L, but around the interaction between Wall-E and EVE. You could have replaced B&L with anything, such as a post-apocalypse setting, or widespread disease, or simply running out of food (or space).

      • Re:Excellent Movie (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Sethumme (1313479) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @11:38AM (#24229703)
        I've run into a number of people who's enjoyment of Wall-E is immediately overshadowed by their dislike for the message.

        1. There's more than one message in the movie. Yes, the prominent theme is taking care of the planet, but the movie also advocates (*Warning: spoilers*): active awareness and participation; improving the world; disobeying a stagnant and narrow-minded regime; and of course, love, compassion, and teamwork. Not to mention the initial concept of being less wasteful generally.

        2. Yes, there is some irony in using mass-culture happy-meals and sedate audiences to convey a message of active participation and environmental conscientiousness. However, there is nothing stopping you from enjoying that happy-meal and then doing your part to contribute to your community. We don't have to be paragons of excellence in order to live up to whatever message you read into the movie, just make an effort toward making a difference.

        3. The movie has a lot of unique qualities that make it worth seeing, such as the remarkable characterizations and emotions created without so much as a word; or the fairly unique (or at least rare) storyline that engages our imagination (which is not something I can say about Pixar's Cars' "big-city chum gets stuck in backwater village" scenario). Wall-E is full of invention and creativity, and offers a lot to the audience besides morals.

        4. I don't think you are simply tired of hearing the message, but rather you are explicitly offended by the particular message you read into the movie. It seems like what really turned you off from the movie was the suggestion that our current lifestyle is the cause of world's destruction. I'm not sure why you are unable to look past that one nerve that the movie struck and enjoy the film for all the reasons that make it a charming romantic-adventure story, but take solace in the fact that no matter what you do with your life, you won't actually turn into a mindless blimp in a hover-chair.

        As a side note, the movie does not claim that mega marts are the root of all evil. Rather, they are simply a little jab at current culture as Pixar illustrates the dystopia. The causal force behind the destruction was humanity's lack of care.

        It's a good movie with lots of charm. Go see it for its entertainment value.
        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          You and everybody else seem to miss one thing.
          I didn't say this was a bad movie. Just not great. I thought it was ok.

          As to the message. Well maybe it is because I have watched.
          All the Planet of the Apes.
          Solent Green.
          Roller Ball. "the first one"
          Logan's Run.
          Mad Max.
          And the movie one reminds me the most of. Silent Running.
          To me there was very little new or original with movie.
          I have seen enough movies in my life that I guess that it is just a lot harder to trick me into thinking the story is original.

          As I have

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by bjdevil66 (583941)
            "What really bugged me was if we could build starships that could run themselves for 700 years why didn't they keep building new robots to clean up the earth? Eva was a marvel why where there not millions of Eva style robots restoring the planet? Frankly it should have been an Eden by now with that tech." ****************

            Two reasons:

            1. They didn't know they needed to send more help because of the cover-up. The company sent everyone away, saying, "Don't worry. We'll take care of it and call you when it's done
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Destoo (530123)

        >Then putting out Walle happy meal toys

        Hey, this month's happy meal toy is Tranformers.
        No. Wall-e is not a transformer.

    • by jamrock (863246) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @10:23AM (#24228505)

      the ending credits are absolutely beautiful and genius (how many different art styles can you spot?)

      I absolutely agree; this film is a masterpiece, and what I find amazing is how Pixar turned the end credits into such a subtle and beautiful coda to the story. The art styles, and the scenes they depict, reflect the progressive rebirth of the newly-recolonized Earth, moving through hieroglyphics to a scene reminiscent of a Van Gogh painting, with Wall-E and EVE gazing up at the large tree, which one realizes is the same plant they struggled to protect, growing from the boot deep in the soil. I can't say enough about this wonderful film, and I continue to be stunned that Pixar keep outdoing themselves with each release.

      • by Arccot (1115809)

        I absolutely agree; this film is a masterpiece, and what I find amazing is how Pixar turned the end credits into such a subtle and beautiful coda to the story. The art styles, and the scenes they depict, reflect the progressive rebirth of the newly-recolonized Earth, moving through hieroglyphics to a scene reminiscent of a Van Gogh painting, with Wall-E and EVE gazing up at the large tree, which one realizes is the same plant they struggled to protect, growing from the boot deep in the soil.

        It's frustrating when people automatically begin walking out of Wall-E as soon as the credits start rolling. I don't get it... are they pre-conditioned to do it due to almost universal fade-to-black-cue-music in every other film? I kept looking at them as they passed and wanted to yell "What are you doing?! The movie isn't over!" The ending was one of the coolest parts. 90% of the theater had left before the clips were over.

      • That boot and tree (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wall-E is an ayahuasca trip. Right after Wall-E finds the vine in the boot (traveling vine) a bunch of explosions right out of Altered States happen. Then we meet a white angel/alien thing right out of psychedelic literature. Then they undergo joseph Campbell's archetypal hero journey, complete with death and rebirth and the experience of the self as an object in the machinations of a higher order self. When wall-e and eve are watching that tree with the root in the vine in the boot, that is much more a

    • by xzvf (924443) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @10:32AM (#24228641)
      The most important message wasn't taking care of the planet, but individualism and personal responsibility. Notice that all the people were dependent on the corporation (or it could have been government) for their every need. They all had the same clothes and ate the same food and lived in the same size rooms and had communal access to same facilities. The only individuals (and heroes) were the robots and the captain, plus John and Mary that broke out of the sameness. It's the theme of most Pixar movies: Incredibles - Exceptionalism should be rewarded, Cars - taking a different path is a good thing, Nemo - importance of family and not being afraid of life, Bug's Life - break out the the commune and use new ideas, Toy Story - freindship, loyalty and service. They may have thought they were making an environmental movie, but underlying Pixar theme of individual rights and personal responsibility shone through.
      • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Thursday July 17, 2008 @10:53AM (#24229011) Homepage
        The only individuals (and heroes) were the robots and the captain, plus John and Mary that broke out of the sameness.

        Ok, spoilers I guess:


        Actually one thing I really liked about Wall-E was how all the humans were shown as fundamentally decent people willing to give up ultimate comfort once an alternative was offered to them.

        Incredibles - Exceptionalism should be rewarded

        I really had issues with the Incredibles message. Unlike Wall-E the average human was portrayed as weak-willed, contemptible, and ungracious for not heaping glory on their superhuman betters. The line from the kid, "when everyone's special then nobody is" I found to be a pretty horrible statement, the implication being that he can't really shine unless everyone else is inferior in every way. And the race at the end, I didn't really see the point; it takes no effort to win, all he gets from winning is the dubious recognition of having won an elementary school race.

        Cars - taking a different path is a good thing

        I wish the writers had taken a different path instead of hitting every cliche along the way. Five minutes into Cars you know everything that's going to happen in the rest of the movie.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by aperion (1022267)

          Incredibles - Exceptionalism should be rewarded I really had issues with the Incredibles message. Unlike Wall-E the average human was portrayed as weak-willed, contemptible, and ungracious for not heaping glory on their superhuman betters. The line from the kid, "when everyone's special then nobody is" I found to be a pretty horrible statement, the implication being that he can't really shine unless everyone else is inferior in every way. And the race at the end, I didn't really see the point; it takes no effort to win, all he gets from winning is the dubious recognition of having won an elementary school race.

          I think you are sort of missing the something/being overly critical

          "when everyone's special then nobody is" was said by Flash (the youngest child) in response to his mother saying "everyone was special". IMO he said it in a way that I could see any child near his age saying.

          I never felt like they were trying to glorify that statement, in fact the same thing was said by the main villain later in the movie. I can see it as an attempt to get children to associate the statement with flash, then show that it

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by norminator (784674)
            Actually his name is Dash, and when the line comes up again later on, it's worded slightly differently... Syndrome talks about how he's making inventions to rival the Supers, then he's going to give them away to everyone when he gets old, because "when everyone is Super... Noone will be".

            In Dash's case, he's complaining about having to lower himself to the level of regular people (and thus competing on regular human terms), while Syndrome is talking about raising regular people to the level of superhero
        • by Rakarra (112805) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @12:19PM (#24230289)

          Actually one thing I really liked about Wall-E was how all the humans were shown as fundamentally decent people willing to give up ultimate comfort once an alternative was offered to them.

          I agree. The humans weren't willfully destructive or lazy, they simply had developed to have every care or whim taken care of for them. Basically, living on a cruise vacation for 700 years.

          The line from the kid, "when everyone's special then nobody is" I found to be a pretty horrible statement, the implication being that he can't really shine unless everyone else is inferior in every way.

          Completely disagree here. :) It's a disparagement of our modern focus on claiming that everyone is equal. Everyone isn't equal though -- some people are clearly better than others at certain things. Dash is obviously much better than any of the other kids at running, but he's being held back because excelling goes against what they've been taught to believe, that we're all equal. He knows he's capable of doing better, and he wants to be "special." The phrase "everyone's special" is insulting. The point of the final race is that Dash now has another outlet -- hero work with his family. He doesn't need to show off anymore, and he doesn't need to flout his powers. Now that he can run elsewhere, he doesn't need to "win" the race. He can, but doesn't have to.

          Five minutes into Cars you know everything that's going to happen in the rest of the movie.

          Yeah, Cars is more about the characters (including the town as a character) than the plotline.

        • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:06PM (#24233013) Journal

          Incredibles - Exceptionalism should be rewarded

          The message of the film is that mediocrity is celebrated.

          I really had issues with the Incredibles message. Unlike Wall-E the average human was portrayed as weak-willed, contemptible, and ungracious for not heaping glory on their superhuman betters. The line from the kid, "when everyone's special then nobody is" I found to be a pretty horrible statement, the implication being that he can't really shine unless everyone else is inferior in every way.

          s/every/some. But yes, that is true. It may not be pleasant, or nice, but it is true. It's kind of the definition of special really. And you know what? The average human is weak willed, ungracious and contemptible. In the film, it's not that they didn't heap praise, it's that they forced them away. They forced the incredibles to be as mediocre as they were. That is what people are like.

          Much as I don't particularly like it, I'm like that too, to some extent. Have you never felt ill will towards someone who got/achieved something you didn't manage to do? If you ever have, then you have those tendencies too.

          And the race at the end, I didn't really see the point; it takes no effort to win, all he gets from winning is the dubious recognition of having won an elementary school race.

          So the best guy shouldn't win, so everyone else can have a chance? Why shouldn't he win? Because there's nothing special about special? Because the mediocre people should be celebrated too? Your comment is the point of the film.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stewbacca (1033764)
        I thought it was genius that all one had to do to break from the mold was to fall out of the chair. That was a stingingly accurate comment on where we are heading.
    • I haven't seen the movie yet, but I heard an interview with Andrew Stanton [npr.org].

      It was interesting where he got a lot of the ideas for the movie. He also talks about traditional animation versus CG and how CG really helped his career because
      his drawing skills were ok but not great.

  • Best. Movie. Ever. (Score:2, Informative)

    by nomadic (141991)
    Well maybe not best movie EVER, but close to it. And I'm someone who's always found Pixar's stuff way overrated.
  • Blew me away (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbacon (1327727) <jcavanagh617@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday July 17, 2008 @09:55AM (#24228107)

    To be quite honest, I wasn't all that thrilled about going to this movie. I walked into the movie by request of my little brother, and I figured I'd at least get a few laughs out of the movie.

    What I got was a masterpiece.

    Not two minutes into the film, I was enthralled by the sheer beauty of the landscapes. The incongruity between the cheerful opening tune and the devastated Earth landscape is absolutely delightful.

    Also, Pixar has gotten so good at what they do that they don't even need words to tell a story. The first 45 minutes of the movie has pretty much ZERO dialogue with the exception of BnL ads for background. Oh, also a word or two (literally) from the robots.

    Particularly well done were the flight scenes - the part in the beginning where EVE watches the ship leave and start cruising around while WALL-E watches in awe, and when the two of them are dancing around the Axiom. I could watch those two scenes over and over again and still be thrilled.

    Also, the (oft overlooked) soundtrack is phenomenal as well. I bought it the instant I could, and I've had it on repeat for about a week now. (2815 AD and Define Dancing are my favorites)

    I can honestly say that this is the best (in terms of sheer all-around quality) film that I have ever seen, and I fully expect this to just rake in its well-deserved awards.

    • Also, Pixar has gotten so good at what they do that they don't even need words to tell a story. The first 45 minutes of the movie has pretty much ZERO dialogue with the exception of BnL ads for background. Oh, also a word or two (literally) from the robots.

      Y'know, I haven't seen the movie, but I really find this to be impossible. Indeed, the lack of dialogue is the single biggest reason I'm not going to see the movie until I, at the very least, pirate it to see if it's any good: stories without dialogue don't work. Period. There's a reason why we quit making silent movies, and it really disappointed me that Pixar is taking a step backward in that regard.

      Maybe I'll be surprised, but even without having seen the movie, I'll stake money that it would've been a l

      • Go see the damned movie. If you think that the lack of dialog hurts Wall-e then I'll pay 2x for your ticket.

      • by Achoi77 (669484)

        Y'know, I haven't seen the movie, but I really find this to be impossible. Indeed, the lack of dialogue is the single biggest reason I'm not going to see the movie until I, at the very least, pirate it to see if it's any good: stories without dialogue don't work. Period. There's a reason why we quit making silent movies, and it really disappointed me that Pixar is taking a step backward in that regard.

        You are disappointed in Pixar because of the lack of dialogue in a movie you haven't even seen yet? Wow.

        Le

        • Your analogy is terrible. For me to be doing what you described, I'd have to be going to see the movie because it's Pixar CG goodness, regardless of my hesitations about the plot. My concern is precisely with the "gameplay" here, and you'd better believe that if a game has some gameplay mechanic that looks terrible, I'm very hesitant to waste any money on it before trying a demo or pirated copy.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jbacon (1327727)

        Here's the thing - it's not at all silent, there's just a small amount of character-to-character dialogue. The beginning is mostly about WALL-E himself, his attraction to EVE, and what the Earth has become - just absorb the imagery and environments.

        Also, the only characters in the first half are two robots, a couple ads with the BnL CEO, and a cockroach. Not really a situation where meaningful dialogue can happen and not feel awkward. Doesn't really make sense for a 700-year-old robot to have an extensiv

      • by krakelohm (830589)
        It all depends on the story. The first part of the movie without speech really adds to the loneliness of the main character. I was hesitant at first as well, but was very impressed how after a few minutes I did not miss the dialog.
      • Y'know, I haven't seen the movie, but I really find this to be impossible. Indeed, the lack of dialogue is the single biggest reason I'm not going to see the movie until I, at the very least, pirate it to see if it's any good: stories without dialogue don't work. Period.

        Wow, aren't you the stubborn one? Well, you'll be eating your words soon enough.

      • Re:Blew me away (Score:5, Insightful)

        by barzok (26681) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @11:54AM (#24229947)

        Indeed, the lack of dialogue is the single biggest reason I'm not going to see the movie until I, at the very least, pirate it to see if it's any good: stories without dialogue don't work. Period. There's a reason why we quit making silent movies, and it really disappointed me that Pixar is taking a step backward in that regard.

        2001: A Space Odyssey is 141 minutes long and has 28 minutes of dialog. And no massive explosions, gunfights, etc. either.

        That "story without dialog didn't work"? Riiiiiiiight.

        • by vyrus128 (747164)

          Honestly I think that's a pretty bad comparison. I personally found the lack of dialogue in 2001 strange and annoying. By contrast, I didn't even really consciously _notice_ that Wall-E completely lacked dialogue until someone pointed it out to me.

          Very mild spoiler, for those who don't see how this could be true: The robots in the movie speak in "pokemon-style" -- they basically just make noises and say their own names, but they convey the impression of dialogue by using tone and body language.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by bigstrat2003 (1058574) *
          And, coincidentally, I hated 2001. It's an overly slow, ponderous movie which takes forever to arrive nowhere (or so I'm guessing, I turned it off about halfway through or so). If that's what Wall-E is like, thanks for letting me know I can skip it.
      • by Talderas (1212466)

        There's a difference between a silent film and a film that lacks verbal dialogue. A silent film has NO sound, and relies on subtitles for dialogue. Old silent films had a live organist or band to provide the music.

        A film without verbal dialogue is just that, a film without dialogue. It can still contain sounds. Wall E has a tremendous amount of dialogue, played out through the robots vocalization and how they act. You watch it and you begin to realize how much can be communicated without using a verbal lang

      • I think we stopped making silent movies due to a newly acquired technical ability to record sound and motion at the same time and not because the films didn't work.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jollyreaper (513215)

        Y'know, I haven't seen the movie, but I really find this to be impossible. Indeed, the lack of dialogue is the single biggest reason I'm not going to see the movie until I, at the very least, pirate it to see if it's any good: stories without dialogue don't work. Period. There's a reason why we quit making silent movies, and it really disappointed me that Pixar is taking a step backward in that regard.

        You know what also sucked? Radio dramas. Stories without pictures suck. I will right now say it is absolutely impossible to make a good story with just words. The people who listened to them were all congenital idiots. What were humans doing around campfires for thousands of years? Just making due with what they had. The moment we could combine pictures with those words, bada-boom-bada-bing, campfires became passe. And for good reason! People who listen to talking books are philistines and possibly communis

    • Re:Blew me away (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rgraham (199829) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @10:57AM (#24229063) Homepage

      > I fully expect this to just rake in its well-deserved awards.

      I agree, but you know what sucks, is that an animated film, no matter how well received will ever be able to win an Oscar for Best Picture thanks to the creation of Best Animated Feature category by the Academy a few years ago. Having a separate category for documentaries makes sense to me, but splitting out animation and not action, romance, western, etc. does not.

    • My wife and I were just as floored at this movie as everyone else appears to be and we've yet to get over how wonderful a film it was/is. We are the type of people who rarely see films but we make it a point to go see Pixar movies because so far they've been quite enjoyable. We are even considering going back and seeing it again, which says a lot when we see only 2-3 films a year.

      I wanted to pick up for my wife a little gift and get a Wall-E figurine or some type of toy and I wanted another one to sit
  • Great stuff! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Blice (1208832) <Lifes@Alrig.ht> on Thursday July 17, 2008 @09:55AM (#24228109)
    Wall-E was an incredible movie. The character development was outstanding, emotions were believable, and scenes really made impressions on me.

    What I found most interesting about TFA was about the software they use for long-term development.
    It said that for long-term development movies (Wall-E was 3 years, right?) they use the same software all the way through. I had always wondered about that kind of thing.. Since 3D software and rendering engines and such is always improving, how do these guys make the movies? Do they constantly re-render with the better software throughout the process, etc.? How do they keep up with competition in that regard?

    So it was neat to finally find that out. The article also offers a lot of insight into the team arrangement at Pixar. I like that they aren't chained to animating a certain character/part- That they really observe who likes to animate who and what kind of scenes and kind of let them do what they enjoy best in the project. I wish programming jobs were like that- Where we could work on parts that we really liked instead of being moved from language to language and to different teams etc. like our preference doesn't matter. I think it's a really good thing they have over there.

    If you haven't seen Wall-E yet, it's well worth the ticket price!
    • I think that he meant they use mostly the same software tools for the animators. These don't change all that much. Pixar writes a lot of their own software and even sells versions of it to others (Renderman). He did mention that they got updates when they needed. Rendering the final images is affected by upgrades in hardware and software. But remember animators don't work entirely with the final rendered images. They work with wireframe and partially rendered images until they are ready to render for

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @10:05AM (#24228225)

    They were able to make a roach cute. And no, not some Disneyesque anthropomorphic huggable buggable plushified abomination to be mass-marketed to yowling ankle-biters everywhere, no, no, no! This was a realistic roach, the kind that makes me reach for a shoe and go Khrushchev on its filthy self. My family went to see this movie together and my own mother, my earliest memories of which involve her screaming hysterically and attacking palmetto bugs with a toilet plunger wielded with the sort of two-hand grip reserved for viking warhammers, she found the roach cute! She gasped when Wall-E rolled over it that last time, thinking it might be dead.

    If Pixar can make her identify and sympathize with a realistic roach, the animators at those other studios should just hang up their keyboards and go home.

    • by Zak3056 (69287)

      They were able to make a roach cute. And no, not some Disneyesque anthropomorphic huggable buggable plushified abomination to be mass-marketed to yowling ankle-biters everywhere, no, no, no! This was a realistic roach, the kind that makes me reach for a shoe and go Khrushchev on its filthy self.

      I had pretty much the same reaction... during the film I actually whispered to my wife, "the scene we just 'awwed' at was a roach gorging itself on a twinkie... only Pixar could do something like that."

  • Pixar, in some ways, is very retro. They like the Populuxe look of the 1950s and 1960s, and their stories are very linear. Pixar films have few, if any, interspersed subplots, flashbacks, or flash-forwards. Shots are long and cuts are few by modern standards.

    They even seem to be done with the technology. Pixar's short films have historically been technology demos - they were trials of the next generation of animation. "Geri's Game", for example, is a cloth demo. "Presto" doesn't seem to introduce a

    • by Jellybob (597204)

      Pixar films have few, if any, interspersed subplots, flashbacks, or flash-forwards.

      And thank god for that.

      Especially the lack of flashbacks and flash-forwards. If you can't write a coherent plot, bouncing around time like some sort of Dr. Who wannabe isn't going to make it any better.

  • Yes, I saw it in the theater, and yes, I liked it, in fact was impressed by it. But it is not the best Pixar movie evarrrr, in fact I'd have to struggle to put it in the top three. The plot was pretty thin, and the characters were not terribly developed or memorable. But from an adult's perspective, and taking the movies as a whole (animation+story+characters), Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Cars were really my three favorites, not necessarily in that order. Also the cute robot theme has been done be
  • TFA reads like a verbatim transcription of a conversation with some (badly done)
    abridgements. It definitely lacks some quotation marks to mark actual quotations,
    and could've used quite some redacting. Like this, it is just sloppy and not very readable.

    Yeah, yeah, sorry for RTFAing...
  • One of things I found somewhat odd in the movie was the use of the 3d "animated" people VS the use of "real" people. Many of the advertisements used real people, as did the little video that Wall-E liked to watch. However, other parts used animated characters, and the actually active characters in the movie were animated.

    Was this a shortcut to save time, or was there some deeper point to this?

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @11:16AM (#24229377)
      Andrew Stanton explained the use of live action in this USA Today article. [usatoday.com] For some things like Hello, Dolly there was no real alternative than using the real footage from the film.
      • by phorm (591458)

        More or less what I figured. The actual scenes from "Hello, Dolly" weren't that long, so while I suppose they could have recreated them in 3d, having the originals adds a weird sense of realism/contrast to the whole thing.

    • by sirnuke (866453)
      The video Wall-e watches is Hello, Dolly, which is an actual movie. Since Pixar wanted to use scenes from that film, they forced themselves to make anything from that 'era' live action. The deeper meaning is the transition of the look of humans from live-action to cartoonish (note the pictures of the captains) represents their loss of humanity. It's a particularly brilliant solution to the problem.
  • Presto and Portal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by prestomation (583502) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:44PM (#24233613)

    As I watched the short Presto I couldn't help but imagine a guy at Pixar playing Portal on their lunch break and going "Hey, I've got an idea!"

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