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January 11, 2011

Wall-E (2008)
Director: Andrew Stanton

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Synopsis: The adventures of robot, Wall-E, in a post-apocalyptic world.

Review: The “new wave” of animated films that has come out in the wake of Toy Story has pretty much passed me by. Call me old-fashioned, but technology for its own sake has never particularly interested me, and for childhood fantasies I always thought 2D hand drawn animation far more effective and wondrous than digital technology’s obsession with making everything more “real” (which to me just seems to make everything a lot uglier). Whatever happened to the idea of preserving the mystique of romance and heroism in children’s stories, rather than letting the prevailing modern tendency for cynicism, cleverness and postmodernity encroach ever more into the realm of childhood?

It was with this initial scepticism that I watched Wall-E, and some of that was immediately allayed with the wordless opening sequence that has a touch of classic, silent cinema about it as the character Wall-E’s daily routine in the post-apocalyptic world is portrayed. Admittedly, once the film kicks on, the cogs of a fairly dull narrative and the need to accord a cutesy characterisation to Wall-E and his fellow robot, Eve, does lend the proceedings a touch of over-familiarity. Is it me, or is there a touch of the R2-D2 about Wall-E? That said, clearly a lot of craft, care and attention have gone into Wall-E, so perhaps I won’t leave it quite so long before I catch the next heralded animation release. (January 2011)

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