WALL-E tells the story of a small, garbage-collecting robot who’s task it is to clean up trash on Earth. Unfortunately, mankind has turned the planet into one giant garbage dump and left long ago…Aside from a cockroach pet, it appears that WALL-E is the last inhabitant, perpetually cleaning up long after all his fellow robots have ceased functioning. The beginning of the movie takes us through a typical day for our little hero as he does his job compacting and stacking the mess while collecting artifacts he finds interesting.

Eventually, a spaceship arrives and drops off a visitor in the form of a reconnaissance robot named Eve who’s mission it is to find out if there’s any sustainable life left on terra firma. Eve and WALL-E cross paths and after a rocky introduction, get to spend some time getting to know each other back at WALL-E’s bachelor pad. Eve becomes fascinated with the various knick-knacks that WALL-E’s collected including a plant that he shows her. She abruptly takes the plant and goes into a sleep mode awaiting for a ship to arrive since this is part of her prime directive. The ship arrives, collects Eve and WALL-E jumps in for the ride since he’s developed a love interest in Eve.

So there’s the set up! I don’t want to spoil the rest for you in case you’re planning on seeing it (which I would highly recommend).

One of the things that’s interesting about this film is not only how things play out, but the statements about mankind and how it ended up. What’s kind of scary about it is that there are some dark overtones regarding our possible future and how we could actually go in the directions being implied here, we’re already on our way in some areas in fact. The redeeming thing is that there is hope for the future, so that’s a good thing!

Pixar as usual does a brilliant job with the writing, the animation, the directing and always manages to set the bar in different ways with regard to computer animated stories. They’re also great at building the tension and delivering the happy…You know it’s going to turn out to be OK but you still get those “oh no!” moments along the way to keep you on your toes.

Included in the cast are Jeff Garlin (from HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm), John Ratzenberger (a Pixar staple), Kathy Najimy, Fred Willard and Sigourney Weaver. The real actors though are the robots who emanate an amazing amount of emotion without seeming cheesy or forced in a cartoony way; just another testament to the talent of the animators at Pixar.

For some great family fun and an uplifting spacey adventure, pop in WALL-E!

reviewed by Sean McKnight