Given Pixar’s previous work on both DVD and Blu-ray, Wall-E has a lot to live up to.
Yet wonderfully – and quite unlike most ‘event’ movies in the last few years – the studio’s new film actually manages to eclipse its two illustrious forebears, Ratatouille and Cars. In fact, it could well be the finest movie Pixar has ever made, which given its track record is really saying something.
The future’s not so bright
Set in a dystopian future as nightmarish as any Ridley Scott could conceive, Wall-E focuses on its eponymous hero, a diminutive trashbot tasked with cleaning up humanity’s excesses on a now largely abandoned Earth.
He’s a triumphant creation, as expertly drawn and perfectly voiced an animated character as any ever to grace the screen, and so engaging that even the most hard-hearted and cynical viewer is sure to fall for his cute (but not schmaltzy) computerized persona.
And, of course, the whole film looks awesome: every motion is relayed in exquisite clarity, aided by a uniquely advanced animation style that deliberately references the 70mm Panavision feel of great 1970s sci-fi.
Add in 6.1-channel sound engineered by one of the most feted sound designers in Hollywood history (Ben Burtt, who did Star Wars) and you’ve got an instant demo classic.
There’s a broader message to the film, and while it’s not rammed down your throat, there’s still a certain irony in being lectured by Disney about the dangers of a couch potato existence and a life spent in the pursuit of pointless consumerism. Be sure to remember that next time you pass an aisle full of Wall–E bubble bath and wash mitts.
That, though, is the only off-key note in this otherwise astonishing offering.