Tuesday, July 22, 2008

WALL-E- my 0.02

(humans, I can't solve it)
Ok, this commentary is a little late; at least the movie is still in the theaters. And if you're anything like me, you wait to go see movies after the hype has died down. Personally, I like a quiet, uncrowded theater- though my preference for sitting in a big, air-conditioned room, more or less alone, is probably not very green of me.
I know I'm not really adding much to the catalogue of critique when I say the movie is darling. It is teeming with well-drawn, completely engaging robot characters (the cleaner bot, M-O, was my personal favorite); the lead character is the most adorable I've seen in years; the movie has plenty of referential sci-fi wit (especially TRON and 2001); the animation is breathtaking; the movie gently conveys a terrifying message. I really do recommend it highly, especially for older children and teens with an activist bent.
There were a couple of science-y things that bugged, me, though...
1) GREEN PLANTS CAN'T GROW IN THE DARKNESS OF CLOSED REFRIGERATORS, PEOPLE. Maybe leggy, miserable, blanched plants will germinate and try to grow for a short time, but they will decidedly NOT be green. Clearly, you Disney writers were not paying attention on Chlorophyll Day in 6th grade physical science.
2) A delicate little plant just floating around, fully exposed to the absolute-zero of space? Really? Again with the not paying attention in middle school.
But basic plant science aside, what really bugs me is the Evil Empire, Disney.
This movie is from a company which always makes a sweet profit from tie-ins. You know, the container-shipfuls of character-themed, die-cast horse crap they manufacture in China, which will most definitely end up in landfills. This movie was an ideal opportunity for Disney to just say no to the production of this consumerist garbage-- if not for once and for all, then how about just this once? Disney could have chosen to lead on this issue. They could have actively promoted their decision and received bunches of free, positive publicity for it; this movie was the ideal vehicle. But no. I went to the Disney site after I got home from the movie, just for yuks. Here is a brief smattering of WALL-E crapola they will ship immediately to you:
WALL-E deluxe action figures (11 different figures to choose from!)
WALL-E ultimate remote-control robot (really expensive, must be pre-ordered)
WALL-E comforter
WALL-E sheet set
WALL-E journal
WALL-E flatware
WALL-E party favor box
WALL-E pop-up storage
WALL-E lunch totes
WALL-E t-shirts- for adults, too
WALL-E limited edition prints (ok, I have to admit-- the art is really cool; done in a vintage/ retro/ future- style)
Hey, Disney: Not to put too fine a point on it... but surely you must know that there is too much crap in the world already. You must know, because so much of it is yours. Wasn't that the whole point of this movie? Or was the point, always and ever, only to maximize quarterly profits for shareholders, at the expense of all else?
American-style capitalism is destroying the world. This movie isn't fiction. It was sent from the future.


Carolyn said...

I want to see this!! It looks really good. And it sounds like it has a message!

heather t said...

Geekdad blog had a big post on all the non-science in this movie, with the caveat that they ALL loved and adored it! (me too!)

One thing I did notice is that there was no fast-food tie-in - I was waiting for the WALL-E Happy Meals and I was kinda happy that they never materialized.

Keep in mind the movie was written, "drawn", and produced by Pixar; Disney does the distribution (and I would assume, the plastic-crap production). Perhaps Pixar didn't have much say over it (but I can't wait until they renogotiate their contract with Disney!).

FRITZ said...

I was hoping for a line of weeble-wobbles based on the humans in the movie.

Agreed--Disney is a frightening empire, making minions of our youth.

Minions, I say!

ilex said...

Carolyn, you really must go see it.

I too was relieved there was no fastfood tie-in.

Weeble-wobbles! Hah!

Anonymous said...

My first thought when I walked out of the theater was, "It's so green!" We came home and immediately planted bean seeds in a pair of old boots.

And my husband quit eating yogurt in plastic containers, deciding to make it himself from local milk in a reusable glass bottle.

Dumb horticulture aside, I wonder if this movie could end up having a further-reaching effect than An Inconvenient Truth.