Girls Talk: Wall-E, by Lillian Baker and Martha Thomases
Even though the newest Pixar feature has been in wide release since the spring, we just got around to seeing it together. Here’s what we thought. The film is about a deserted Earth, abandoned by humans when it got too polluted. Robots were left to clean it up, and only one is still working, the title character, Wall-E.
MT: My husband says that one way to tell an animated movie is good is to see how much it relies upon dialogue for exposition. A really good cartoon doesn’t need words to tell a story. Wall-E, for the first chunk, used hardly any dialogue, just some television news to explain the set-up.
LB: Wall-E has a cockroach friend in this movie. Lots of movies seem to have cockroaches these days, like the movie we reviewed last, Enchanted.
LB: Yeah, I think it could happen. Not the robots trying to take over the spaceship or anything. I don’t think robots can malfunction that badly.
MT: Wall-E is the only robot still working on Earth, and he gets swept away to a spaceship that has people on it when he falls for a robot, Eva, sent to see if there is any plant life on Earth.
LB: I liked the part where the captain thought you could grow pizza from seeds.
MT: I used to think you could grow popsicles from planting popsicle sticks.
LB: I got that idea from the Internet. I was Googling hoaxes, and there was a big page of April fools, one of which said you can grow spaghetti by putting a single spaghetti stick in a can of tomato sauce, and hope for the best.
MT: The people had left Earth 700 years ago, and had spent their lifetimes on the ship, talking to each other on video phones, floating on chairs, never getting up to take a step or go for a swim.
LB: They were even too lazy to turn their heads. They’d just use their videophones even if the person was right next to them. I was surprised they could even talk. Then again, they probably couldn’t use sign language because their fingers were too nubby.
MT: The robots did all the work, on the Earth and on the ship. And they seemed to have the most intense feelings, as well.
LB: It was very funny. When Eva was in “pause’ mode, Wall-E was holding her hand, but his hand got stuck because her arm fused to her body. His hand got clenched in there.
MT: He reminded me of Woody Allen in his early, funny movies. The way he yearned for her attention was like a classic movie comedy, with Allen, or Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin.
LB: I didn’t like the part where he saw all of his dead relatives.
MT: That’s how he got new shoes! You said, before we went, that your dad didn’t like the premise of this movie. Do you think he’d like it if he saw it?
LB: Probably, but I don’t blame him for not liking the idea of it. He said it was about a robot trying to save the world from garbage. If you say it like that, it doesn’t sound like a good movie.
MT: If I told you that you’d like a movie about a man who tries to build a boy, then sends him away, would you want to see that?
LB: It would probably be a little upsetting, but it’s worth a try.
MT: It’s Pinocchio. I thought Wall-E was gorgeous, and it made me want to see Hello Dolly.
LB: Wall-E is Wowee!
Lillian Baker, nine years old, is a talented cartoonist and the daughter of Kyle Baker. Martha Thomases, fifty-five years old, is Media Goddess of ComicMix.