The 365 Best Films of the 2000s

Heroes of the Zeroes: WALL-E

Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000-2009.

Rated G

Refuse rules on Earth — a dirt empire abandoned 700 years ago by humans and now by a lone caretaker: WALL-E.

He’s the only Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth class robot that hasn’t broken down — diligently compacting trash, taking home tchotchkes that captivate him, powering down to “Hello, Dolly!” and dreaming, like a cybernetic Cornelius Hackl, of a world outside of Yonkers.

In “WALL-E,” what this cross between E.T., a turtle and “Short Circuit’s” Johnny 5 finds sure is way out there beyond this hick town. Even though it swapped slight subversion for something more saccharine, “WALL-E” challenged conventional thoughts on hoarding and environmental stewardship.

It’s also as creative, compassionate and wondrous as anything Pixar has mounted — a balletic, gentle robot-romance spin on “Pinocchio” (with a Jiminy Cockroach) and a hero who’s like Buster Keaton v. 73.0.

With esteemed live-action cinematographer Roger Deakins as a visual consultant, “WALL-E’s” camera moves like a real-life apparatus. And its introductory act has as much of a silent-film feel as any 21st-century production can — with only a handful of human voices.

When WALL-E finds vegetation, it becomes his inroad to woo shiny robot Eve — for which the plant is a mission that takes them both into space. Funny that 2008’s most resonant, least arbitrary romance would be created in a computer.

Some found ecological undertones too scolding. But the question of what truly happens to trash is a nice undertone — never overshadowing the endlessly renewable entertainment of “WALL-E’s” plucky protagonist and carefully, comically choreographed physical humor.

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10 Responses to “Heroes of the Zeroes: WALL-E”

  1. Cindy says:

    My son has been watching this movie recently, we hadn’t seen it for awhile and had forgotten how good and entertaining it really is. I think as adults it is our responsibility to explain the message to out children, they do a great job of putting it out there we just need to reinforce it!

  2. Corey Miller says:

    I’ve seen this a couple of times and the first time I watched it I thought the animation looked great but the thing that brought it down for me was the "message". I don’t think most kids (whom this is aimed at) would get it so why put it in there? Seeing it the second time didn’t change my opinion. It’s a good movie if you get rid of that.

  3. […] Even during “WALL-E,” it’s the apocalypse, but it’s still a pretty apocalypse. I’ve been fortunate to watch most of […]

  4. […] the Pixar brain trust, including Andrew Stanton, who would go on to direct “Finding Nemo” and “WALL-E.” They wanted to bring in someone who was a known screenwriter to help them with structure and format […]

  5. […] I don’t know …”Lady and the Tramp,” “Bambi” or, more recently, “WALL-E” or “Kung Fu Panda” or dozens of other films which did just fine with few, if any, […]

  6. dale schmucker says:

    great movie and for all ages. it is kid friendly

  7. […] and layered appeal to grown-ups that is a hallmark of their oeuvre: “Finding Nemo,” “WALL·E,” […]

  8. Kathy Ratekin says:

    What a cute movie for all ages. The kids like it because of the gags such as Wall E throwing away the diamond ring and keeping the box. The adults like it because they can find other Pixar characters in this movie such as the Pizza Planet truck and Hamm from Toy Story. The song "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" from the movie Hello Dolly is one the adults may remember. The relationship between Eve and Wall E is special.

  9. jermey says:

    this move was one of my sons farvort movie it was about a robot that recl things and tryes to clean the earth up well what was lelf then came alone something else and noing wale-e he is a nosiy person so he has to check things out and what doese he fined another guy any guys dream but over all the movie was great and hope they will make another one in the future..

  10. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nick Rogers, The Film Yap. The Film Yap said: Define hoedown! #bestfilmsofthedecade #heroesofthezeroes […]