BLOGS

WALL-E

by Angel Cohn November 18, 2008 2:14 pm
WALL-E

It's the three disc special edition, and because the whole movie takes aim at mass consumption, it is even in environmentally friendly packaging. Or as they like to call it Earth (and Space) friendly. Cute and clever. Like pretty much everything else about this movie and its extras. Those Pixar folks are always coming up with some wacky ideas.

If you didn't catch WALL-E in theaters, it's the touching romance between a hard-working little trash-compacting robot who gets left alone on earth and the sexy probe robot who is sent to see if Earth is again viable enough to support human life. Through a string of random events, (with little dialogue), WALL-E ends up following EVE to her space ship the Axiom, and helps return society to their planet and gets the human race off of their ever-expanding asses. It's kinda deep, but the characters are so freakin' adorable, sometimes you can just forget about the "message."

And according to the commentary, that's exactly what director Andrew Stanton (who also was responsible for Finding Nemo) would like you to do. He insists that the film was originally not supposed to be about the reduce/reuse/recycle green message, he just wanted to make a film about a robot who had been forgotten on Earth. He is wise enough to realize that the cynical among us will not buy this. But I'm willing to believe it. Some of the random extras support this idea, and since I like him even more for talking about how much he adored Triplets of Belleville and seeming genuinely sad that it was up against his juggernaut Nemo during Oscar time.

Stanton also hosts the deleted scenes (the better of which are on Disc 1). One of which includes a fully animated scene, very rare for a movie of this genre to have a completed scene axed, but they made a few big tweaks towards the end of the production, which really give the EVE/WALL-E relationship a lot more impact.

Also on Disc 1, a featurette on the animation sound design. Apparently that's very important in a film that is short on dialogue. Interesting, but a little long. You can also watch Presto, the sweet and silly short about the magic rabbit that aired before the film in theaters. And the best thing is BURN-E, a brand new short made for the DVD. It's about the little robot that got stuck outside when WALL-E and EVE zipped back on to the Axiom after their outer-space dance. It's all about this one character, how he came to be there and he is just irresistibly sweet and crazily frustrated. There's also this like "Sneak Peek" thing which promises a look at WALL-E's tour of the universe, but it is basically a commercial, which directs you to the official film site, which in turn takes you to another site where you can look at real outer space stuff. I was unhappy about the commercial being billed as an extra.

However, Disc 2 is jam-packed with so much stuff, that it is hard to complain about one little ad being snuck in. You can pick between Humans and Robots. Humans is for film fans, and there are six separate features that look at the making of this film. The highlight is the Captain's Log, where it is revealed that the people in this film were originally supposed to be green gelatinous aliens who used robots as slaves and WALL-E had to save his fellow mechanical kind. Though the "Life of a Shot" segment where they show exactly how many layers and people are required to make one shot of a movie is utterly fascinating, and sort of overwhelming.

Also in the human section is a History of Buy N Large, with commercials and confidential information about the clean up. Very enjoyable. A few more deleted scenes, with the scarier version of Auto (the autopilot), and the hour and a half documentary The Pixar Story, which chronicles this inventive film studio's creation and development.

In Robots, there's more kid friendly fare. However, the one thing that I found the most entertaining on the entirety of Disc 2 was here, not sure what that says about my mentality. In WALL-E's Treasures and Trinkets, the characters (though mostly WALL-E) are goofing around playing with other robots, and hula hoops and balls etc... But hip hop dancing WALL-E might be the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life. He pops and locks!

There's also Bot Files, which has info on each robo character featured in the movie. There are so many of them. They are all adorable. I'm still mostly in love with M-O though (I want one to come clean my house. I promise to treat it well!) And the Lots o' Bots Storybook, which is kinda weird. You use the cursor to put robot pieces together. Then it turns into a Dr. Seussian WALL-E tale. Weird, but again, this is probably for the younger set.

Disc 3 is just the digital version, which you can put on your iPod or MP3 player or whatnot. I love this new development which saves on paying for things twice, because sometimes you just want a little WALL-E to watch after a rough day at work. You can buy it now.

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