on August 28, 2008
Not yet listed on the Amazon page, here are the goodies that will be in this 3-disc version:
Standard bonus material:
short film: Presto,
new short: BURN*E,
"Animation Sound Design",
"WALL*E's Tour of the Universe";
Exclusive to the 3-Disc Special Edition DVD:
more deleted scenes,
documentary film The Pixar Story,
"WALL*E's Treasures and Trinkets",
"Lots of Bots"
DisneyFile digital copy.
I am floored. I didn't think it was possible for Pixar to surpass Toy Story, but it has. A sophisticated treat for adults and teens, a cuddly romance for the juice-box set, this comedic science fiction thriller romance (really!) takes the company to a new, more mature level. Filled with artistry, depth, meaning and a lot of humor, WALL-E is a masterpiece. Where Cars was a kid's movie with added adult themes, this is an adult movie with added value for children.
Before I saw WALL-E I had read about the lack of dialogue, and how it might be a risky move for Pixar to make a film with characters that don't talk in a traditional sense. Well, trash that. The most emotionally powerful scenes in this movie are those with the LEAST dialogue. Fully developed and indeed almost human, the two main characters are Wall-E himself (the letters stand for Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth Class; there's also a WALL-A) and EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator), two machines in love.
After about a half hour I was wondering if Pixar could continue to pull off this less-is-more concept for the rest of the film -- then the two robots started playing Pong! Such imaginative screenplay carries the film to what should be a Best Picture nomination. Seriously.
A TOUCHING STORY
WALL-E is a lonely little robotic trash compactor who was left behind after Earth was abandoned some 700 years earlier. He has been methodically cleaning up the trash-ridden planet ever since, and harboring a tiny plant he has found among the garbage. Eve, meanwhile, lives on the immense spaceship Axiom, which is also home to the fat, blob-like remains of the human race. She is a probe robot that flies to Earth to determine if the planet is ready for habitation. WALL-E takes one look at the streamlined, angelic Eve and falls in love.
It didn't take long for me to fall in love with the little robot. As soon as he giggled (after his pet cockroach tickled him) I was hooked. This hardworking rusty guy with his small home full of collected treasures is so poignant. His lonely life is so human. Eve is just as likable, but much more sleek. Near the end comes a heartbreaking moment when a key character seems to lose all personality, all self. So well done, it made me think of how families must feel when a loved one disappears inside him- or herself with Alzheimer's disease.
All ends well, of course. As the credits roll, the artwork illustrates how everyone and everything lives happily after ever.
AN ADULT MEANING
For adults, WALL-E is not so much about a cute little robot as it is about the future of man. What happens when humans become such creatures of the consumer culture, so fat they can't even stand up without assistance, living literally on auto-pilot, that they do nothing but buy cheap merchandise, stuff their faces at the Regurgitated Food Buffet and lie around watching video screens? Can they ever get back to the land and set their souls free? Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young asked that question decades ago; Pixar asks it today.
There is even a sly political reference. Broadcasting a message to the passengers of the spaceship, the CEO of monster corporation Buy 'n' Large -- played in live-action by the inimitable Fred Willard, and named Shelby Forthright -- says they will be continuing on their never-ending, hopeless cruise to nowhere because they must "Stay the course!" Hmmm, haven't I heard a president use that line?
WALL-E has so many wonderful touches! After the little robot is charged using his solar panels, he "turns on" with a sound any Macintosh owner will recognize. The robot's collected objects, much like the thingamabobs of The Little Mermaid's Ariel, are things that are uniquely human: bubble wrap, an iPod, a Rubics cube, a singing plastic trophy fish and -- blink and you'll miss it -- a carrousel horse from Walt Disney World. Especially inspired are the two things on this future Earth that are totally indestructible: a cockroach and Twinkies.
Stay for the credits. Recalling cave drawings, hieroglyphics, Monet and Van Gogh paintings and early computer graphics, the progressive sequence of art within them sneaks in the history of dialogue-free storytelling.
The look of the movie is hard to describe. In one scene, when WALL-E and EVE are investigating a piece of bubble wrap, you can't tell it is an animated film. It actually appears to be live-action. Likewise, the outer space scenes have the same level of realism as any of the Star Wars movies. The trailing tower of squiggly smoke that's left behind by a launching spacecraft re-creates the Florida sky of a Space Shuttle launch to a T. For the most part, it is only when humans are portrayed that you are consciously aware that what you're watching was generated on circuit boards, not in cameras.
I've seen the movie three times, first in digital projection and then from a film projector. The digital showing was much sharper, which made all the realistic touches far easier to appreciate.
It's obvious the Pixar folks are movie lovers; there are so many cinematic inspirations in WALL-E that I lost count. The "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" sequence from Hello, Dolly! shows up -- literally -- maybe half a dozen times. (Disney World fans may also remember the song as one of the background melodies along Main Street U.S.A.) The Axiom spaceship's computer is clearly an homage to HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey; that film's signature overture "Also Sprach Zarathustra" plays at a key moment. WALL-E himself combines the purrs of E.T., the attitude of R2-D2 and the moves of Charlie Chaplin. There's a brief reference to Titanic.
The movie is preceded by a Pixar short, "Presto," that had the entire audience I was sitting with in stitches. Its plot: When a magician neglects to feed his bunny a carrot, an escalating disaster results. It's so nice to start a feature with a cartoon. I wish other studios still did it. (Disney fans will note the magician's hat is similar to the one used by Mickey Mouse in Fantasia.)
Will it ever run out? This continuous font of imagination from Pixar? With WALL-E, it sure doesn't look like it.
-- By Julie Neal, author of The Complete Walt Disney World 2010.
on May 23, 2011
Pixar produces amazing movies, but WALL-E is for the ages. This original motion picture opens with WALL-E, voiced by Ben Burtt, making his way through a desolate wasteland that is our planet. Humans left 700 years ago because pollution and trash made Earth uninhabitable. WALL-E is the last Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class robot left on earth. His job is to clean up the planet, while the humans are away. Curiously enough, WALL-E developed a personality, skillfully communicated through emotional-laden beeps, whistles and other noises.
Shortly after we're introduced to WALL-E, we meet EVE, voiced by Elissa Knight. EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) was sent by the humans to search for plant life on the planet. WALL-E soon finds himself enamored with EVE, who eventually reciprocates his feelings. WALL-E shows EVE a plant he has found and EVE shuts down to await the arrival of a ship to bring the plant to the humans. Faced with the possibility of losing EVE, WALL-E sneaks aboard the ship and in doing so alters humanity's future. You'll have to see the movie to find out what happens.
Whistling, whirring robots...seems silly right? Well, Pixar produced a romantic science fiction thriller that is unlike any other movie created. Seriously, you will come to love these characters, feel their pains and end up rooting for their success. Kids will appreciate the story, and adults will understand the movie's nod to environmental issues, politics and the consequence of human complacency.
This movie came out years ago, so what makes this one different?
The only update is the artwork.
The actual content is the same as the previous releases including the BURN*E short etc. The combo pack is made for region A, which includes Americas, East and Southeast Asia, U.S. territories, Bermuda.
For all intents and purposes, Disney*Pixar is taking a blue-ray movie that didn't come with a DVD copy previously and adding a DVD copy. Disney is no longer including a digital copy like previous releases because eventually those codes expire. Current Disney policy states the unique digital code is good for one year from the release date of a movie. At this time, Disney is honoring expired codes. Disney needs to eventually phase out versions of their movies with expiring digital codes or change the expiration date for codes, so future buyers don't get upset if a code doesn't work.
The fact the combo contains blue-ray and a regular dvd is an incentive to purchase if you have have a dvd player in one room and a blue-ray in another and you want flexibility. Perhaps you're like me and you have a blue-ray player at home, but you bring DVDs on the road for a hotel room or your laptop. Or you are looking to upgrade to blue-ray in the future.
If you're in the market for blue-ray, the combo dvd/blue-ray discs, Wall-E (Three-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo) is actually a $1 cheaper than the blue-ray disc only product, Wall-E (Two-Disc and BD Live) [Blu-ray].
on October 11, 2008
Though there have been some exceptional movies so far this year there but there have been few which I would call a classic. With WALL-E, things have just changed. WALL-E isn't only the best film of 2008 so far, it is a pure masterpiece. From start to finish, the film wraps you in utterly delightful charm and humanity. WALL-E is a piece of inventive beauty and wonder unlike any other that you will see at the cinema this summer. I absolutely guarantee it.
WALL-E (voiced by Ben Burtt) is the last operating robot on Earth. As for the human race, they left 700 years ago, when the huge amounts of self-produced trash caught up with them. WALL-E's task is to clean up the planet for the return of the humans. However, after being left on his own for so long, WALL-E has developed a personality. He is curious about many of the items that he finds whilst compacting trash, such as an old tape of the musical "Hello Dolly!" But he is also becoming lonely, which is understandable for someone who only has a friendly cockroach for company.
However, all of this changes with the arrival of EVE (voiced by Elissa Knight). Thought EVE is initially hostile towards WALL-E, this doesn't stop him from becoming smitten with her and trying to connect with her. However, EVE has come to Earth on a classified mission. Once that mission has been completed, EVE shuts down and waits to be taken back from whence she came. When her transport arrives, WALL-E can't bear to lose his friend and sneaks aboard. His search for EVE brings him into contact with the remainder of the human race, who have been taking refuge on a huge spaceship and who have become excessively reliable on machines to supply their every need. They don't even walk. However, WALL-E's arrival sets many events in motion which may help the human race to return to normality...
First of all, WALL-E's animation is flawless. However, as with the rest of the film, there is also a sense of risk and bravery which adds extra dimensions to the glorious animation. The first moments in the film, which show us the beauty of the stars before swooping down to gaze upon a barren and deserted Earth, are so detailed and emotionally engaging that you are immediately sucked into the tale without any hesitation. Even when the story becomes more traditional (that is in no way an attack on the film), the creativity and power of the film's visuals never falter.
The main focus of the plot is on the growing affection between WALL-E and EVE. This is one of the most moving romantic relationships in years. No, they're not even human. But watching the initial conflict of EVE's determination and WALL-E's innocence slowly mix into love and companionship is magnificent. The scenes between the two characters on Earth are simply wonderful, perfectly paced and confident in the set-up of this unusual couple. However, the best scene comes in the second half, when WALL-E and EVE dance through space together. Everything in this scene is perfect, the comedy of watching WALL-E propel himself through space by use of a fire extinguisher, the lovely visuals, Thomas Newman's marvelous score and the interaction between the two characters. When WALL-E looks likely to float off into space after the fire extinguisher runs out, EVE flies in and scoops him up in her arms. This scene is pure cinematic genius. Overall, there is a humanity and grace of execution in the relationship between WALL-E and EVE which elevates it far beyond the emotional impact of other romantic relationships.
The term of "cinematic genius" can also be applied to the iconic character of WALL-E and the fantastic direction by Finding Nemo director Andrew Staunton. Staunton shows that he is willing to inject some risk into his movie-making if it makes a better film. This decision pays off magnificently here. Staunton has lovingly constructed this film with invention, depth and bravura, and in doing so has crafted a piece of movie making which is likely to go down as at least a family classic. Not only will children be enthralled by the sheer brilliance of this film, but other audiences will also be open to its bewitching magic.
As for WALL-E himself, he is one of the most original movie creations in years. Speaking in sequences of robotic speech (bleeps, whirs, etc.) with only small moments of mechanical dialogue, the filmmakers have still managed to create one of the most human characters of the year. By mostly using his eyes, the animators are able to flawlessly display WALL-E's emotions. In one scene, his eyes droop with sadness when EVE calls him Wally. When he panics or is happy, his eyes rise in an outburst of emotion. The life that the filmmakers are able to find in such simple mannerisms is incredible. Even the beeps and whirs, provided masterfully by legendary sound designer Ben Burtt, increase an already rich and lovable character to terrific heights. The character of WALL-E is just superb, as is the rest of the movie.
WALL-E has just raised the bar for future animated movies. Pixar Animation Studios has already crafted many animated classics. WALL-E joins them without question. The visuals are compelling, the characters are endlessly endearing and the story is told with beauty, wit, imagination and humanity. I couldn't have asked for more.
on January 13, 2009
WALL-E Classroom Edition is a special classroom edition of Disney/Pixar's latest computer-animated feature film, which includes public performance rights, a printable teacher's guide, and exclusive bonus features created to reinforce educational concepts. The movie itself stars the charming WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), a humble robot with a powerful message about the importance of being a responsible steward of the environment. Educational themes present in the DVD include a look at the effects of gravity on the human body, both in earth and space, and an amazing examination of modern day robots. A delightful presentation that shows rather than tells its story, WALL-E Classroom Edition rated G for General Audiences, and is suitable for science and nature students from kindergarten on up. 98 minutes, color.
on November 18, 2008
I want to start by saying i'm a HUGE pixar fan. I was there when they began and i grew up with their films, seeing every one of them in theaters and owning more than a normal amount of their merchandise. I was excited to see andrew stanton's sophmore directorial work at pixar and i was not dissapointed. this film is literally a masterpiece, you forget you're watching an animated family film after a while. it's dark, honest, and so absolutely beautiful, your jaw will be dropped and you will laugh alot. this film is funny and smart and is steering pixar in a whole new direction, now with that being said, i immediatley anticipated the dvd release of the film. after some lousy dvd releases for the last couple years (the incredibles being their last release to recieve a special edition), it was time for them to finaly go back to their hefty special edition packages, and once again i was not dissapointed. Literally up to the very day this dvd came out, i still was not sure what exactly i was getting. all the different versions and what not, it was hard to distinguish what came on what. so i finally cracked it open to see for myself and i was very pleased.
for a standard dvd, the picture, sound and film itself is like i said, incredible. so, considering i already went off about the film itself i'll just say i give it
now for all of you who are still confused exactly what these features include on the 3 disc standard release, i;m going to tell you once and for all.
first off, the packaging is way different from pixar's past releases. no slip case, no plastic case, none of that. instead, going along with the film's moral, the dvd comes in an eco friendly cardboard type case. for the 3 disc relase you pull open one side which reveals the first disc and the list of scenes and bonus features, you pull open the other side and that reveals the 2nd and 3rd disc along with a list of features. the case idea is kind of cool but can be frustrating to remove the discs and what not.
now for the actual content....
i didn't have a chance to actually explore everything but i gota good idea of it all and the length and layout for everything. the first disc has the feature film, the short film, "presto" and the new to dvd short, burn-e(which is pretty funny but has alot of filler moments with actual clips from the movie to develop the story). there is also a featurette that talks with ben burt, the man behind the voice of wall-e. and wall-e's tour of the universe. there is also 2 deleted scenes that total in at around 10 minutes. the second disc has two pathways, kind of like the monsters inc dvd...."humans" and "robots" humans section is more adult oriented and includes all the insight and goodies....the robots section is more for the kids and includes the animated storybook, and a couple other minescule features. the humans section is where it's all at. for the longest time it said there would be "making of" featurettes and i thought, "what making of featurettes, it doesn't say" wellthere are a handful of featurettes about different aspects of the film and the total time for all these is almost an hour long! the bnl shorts consist of 5, 2 minute long "instructional" films. another big feature is the full legnth documentary entitled 'the pixar sory" (86 minutes long)this disc also includes 2 more deleted scenes that are a total of about 14 minutes long.
It'salways great to see a digital copy of any of your favorite films. i'm kind of new to this whole digital copy thing and i only have 2 other films in digital copy form. i was excited to get this onto my ipod but noticed that, unlike the other movies i have, this isnt meant to fit to screen. to only truly fit everything in the movie on the secreen, you have to play it in widescreen which if you have a regular video ipod like me, is kind of straining for the eyes.
Ok, so i rambled on about the dvd and other stuff for too long, but i have to say i'm glad to see pixar is really caring about the dvd again. i'm still bummed blu ray owners still get slightly more features on their version. i'll have to put that on my x-mas list :)
Yes, hello Wall-E!
It's so nice to see you on the movie screen
You're looking swell Wall-E
We can tell, Wall-E
You'll be going, you'll be crowing
You'll be going strong
(to the tune of Hello Dolly!)
Score another hit for Pixar. This time they take on an abandoned and garbage strewn planet Earth, and the last remaining Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth-Class robot, WALL-E.
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):
1. WALL-E is the last robot on earth
2. The other survivor is (of course) a cockroach
3. Like The Little Mermaid, WALL-E has a nice collection of whozits and whatzits galore, including a VHS tape and player
4. He's into "Hello Dolly!" big time
5. Amazingly, a seedling grows amidst the wreckage
6. Humans have moved on to live vegetative existences on huge space ships, but probes are still being sent to check on good old Earth for signs of real vegetation
7. Boy robot WALL-E meets girl robot EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) and invites her back to his place to see his collection
8. She gets what she's after and departs without so much as a "domo arigato, Mr. Roboto"
9. What's a guy to do?
10. Amazing outer space adventure follows
The animation is mind-boggling, dizzifying, and truly innovative, but what really amazed me was the way they were able to make the robots convey emotions using only subtle movements and winks of the lenses.
A little "I Am Legend", "Short Circuit" and "Lady and The Tramp", plus a chunk of "2001: A Space Odyssey", this is a love story, an adventure story, a sci-fi odyssey, and a message to everyone about the importance of recycling and not polluting our planet.
Recommended for the entire family
Amanda Richards, July 13, 2008
What else can I say about this movie that hasn't already been said? It reminds me of the comedies that Buster Keaton did and what he might have done with the technology we have now--very little dialog during the first half but full of character and emotion. Wall-E is the last of his kind; a robot designed to clean up an Earth that we have ruined. The rest of humanity has taken to the stars until Earth is cleaned up. 700 years later, Wall-E is still at it (which gives you an idea about how bad it was)when EVE arrives--another robot unit designed to find evidence of life and return it to the Axiom the ship housing our overweight, consumer obsessed descendants.
The extras on the one disc version are quite good (I wouldn't spring for the three disc and as much abuse as this disc will get in my home I wouldn't spring for the pricy Blu-ray either)including "Presto" a delightful short that echoes the best Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd cartoons that Warner produced involving a rabbit, a magician and an act that has gone awry. "Burn-E" focuses on one of the service robots that we see in the movie. It's quite clever if less inspired.
Other special features include deleted scenes, a "sneak peak" of "Wall-E's Tour of the Universe", a featurette on the sound design by Ben Burtt (who also did Wall-E's voice and created all of those wonderful sound effects for R2D2) as well as a commentary track by Director Andrew Stanton that is quite informative covering everything from the conception/changes to characters and storylines that they chose not to pursue.
The 3 disc set evidently has a full documentary on Pixar and its history made by Leslie Iwerks the goddaughter of the great Disney animation pioneer Ub Iwerks.
The DVD transfer looks wonderful.
The packaging sucks. I understand that it IS important to send a message with eco-friendly packaging but the packaging on this looks like it was designed by someone who failed design school. THe disc will float around inside, get scratched (ours already was by the way)when it could just as easily been kept the same IF a small piece of plastic had been put (or even an adhesive spindle for the DVD)inside the packaging. It's a mixed message--a good movie with horrible packaging that will make sure that the disc is damaged with repeated use. It's a good thing I didn't spring for the more expensive set.
Four stars for the movie, 1 star for the packaging. I'd suggest renting it if you want to see it once and then if you decide to buy it you might as well purchase one of those wasteful ecologically unsound DVD holders at a local retailer to store it in (the other option is a DVD plastic envelope).
on September 3, 2008
Previous reviewers of this amazing film have confined themselves to the plot. Someone should mention the fact that half of the film is a black and white silent movie. How much is communicated with no sound (by a machine, no less). Once humans are "back in the picture" the style changes completely. And how about the fact that the machines have to "teach" the humans how to be human. These Pixar people truly are sophisticated filmakers of the highest order.
I'm not much of one for animated movies; not sure why. The only other Pixar offering I've seen in its entirety was "Toy Story" (I enjoyed it, of course). But something attracted me to "Wall-E," something about the simplicity of the story: A robot, stranded on an abandoned and (mostly) lifeless Earth, who develops human emotions. Then, when another robot (EVE) comes in search of life, WALL-E falls in love, and eventually has to go on a quest to "rescue" EVE from a city-sized spaceship run by maniacal machines and inhabited by overweight, oafish humans.
Well, in that context, "WALL-E" doesn't sound so simple after all. And, truthfully, it isn't. There's the delightful story, brought to life by vivid animation and "vocal" work; WALL-E is perhaps the most "human" animated character I've ever encountered (God, that's a cliche if I've ever heard one, but it's true). This little robot says very little, but you are absolutely enamored with him.
Then there's the subtext. It's not very subtle, of course: It's right there in your face, with grotesquely overweight humans who can't even walk anymore, driving around obvlivious to the beauty that surrounds them. It's in the billboards advertising Buy 'N Large, the company that first took over the world, dumped all its trash into orbit, then had to leave the planet when the environment became too inhospitable. This is an anti-consumerism movie at its grimmest, much in the vein of the old Disney cartoons (which were often based on Anderson's fairy tales, but had a lot of Brothers Grimm in them, as well).
The thing is...this movie is hopeful. That is perhaps its ultimate triumph: Not only does the film make you fall head over heels for what is essentially a sentient trashcan, it planets a seed of hope in you, a ray of light amongst the trash-strewn world the film inhabits. "I don't want to survive," says a character, just realizing who he is. "I want to live!" And you will, too: "WALL-E" is hopeful, powerful stuff. It's also hilarious, heart-warming, and beautifully animated. Watch it for the message; watch it because it's a good movie. Either way, you're going to be entertained.