Of all the references that come to mind with the phrase â€œrobot loveâ€ Wall-E must be about the most cheerfully innocent â€“ as well as being the most inarticulate for the first half hour or so. Laboring tirelessly away for seven hundred years among the ruins of some unnamed Earth city, compacting endless mounds of trash into neat cubes and stacking them up in orderly rows, Wall-E is hard-working, but creative and after a long exile with no other companion but a cheerful little cockroach â€“ about to fall in love with his robotic Eve. Who really is named EVE â€“ a sleek white survey â€˜droid, come venturing back to earth to see if it has become fit for humans to return from centuries-long exile on a luxury space ship run almost completely-run by robots. Computer animation allows the â€˜lookâ€™ of Wall-E to be as visually rich as any three classic Disney efforts put together â€“ the piles of junk on earth are all individual, and detailed to the nth degree. Wall-E is as endearing and sympathetic a character as has ever been made from a mechanical object, shyly courting the object of his affections and following her back into space and defeating the machinations â€“ literally machinations â€“ of the robotic first mate of said luxury space ship. Because EVE is bearing a secret with herâ€¦ but that would give away the plot, such as it is.
One of the most creative aspects about this release comes at the very first; the packaging of the set itself; entirely in light card-stock, which admittedly may not wear very well â€“ but it the holders for the three discs slide out in panels from each side â€“ a very clever and retro space age in design, as well as being ecologically sensitive. The persistence of garbage is one of the points of this movie.
The extras are generous, including a whole additional disc with the movie in digital version. Of the expected extras, the most amusing (and cringe-inducing) are the shorts about the inner workings of the Buy n Large Corporation, and the â€˜bot files â€“ all about the various service robots who do the work that humans have apparently moved beyond doing. (They have moved beyond anything except being zipped around on something that resembles an animated barca-lounger, and expanded accordingly.) One interesting feature was about how the robots were designed; apparently all kinds of current technology was studied for insights into how to make Wall-E convincing and believable.
This being Pixar, the outstanding extra short â€œBurn-Eâ€ â€“ about a continually frustrated maintenance robot â€“ is right up there with the space aliens in â€œLiftedâ€. Wall-E is available from Amazon.com, and from other commercial outlets.
Sgt. Mom is a free-lance writer and member of the Independent Authors Guild who lives in San Antonio and blogs at The Daily Brief. Her current book â€œTo Truckeeâ€™s Trailâ€ is available here. Her upcoming book project, â€œThe Adelsverein Trilogyâ€ will be released in December. More about her books is at her website www.celiahayes.com.