For The Old Mole July 14 2008, we review WALL-E, the latest Pixar animation, also brought to us by Disney.
The title character is a lonely trash compactor, a Waste Allocation Load Lifter—Earth-class—the last operating robot on a desolate planet Earth, with mountains of garbage to compact—and to collect. In the 700 years since humans left, our solar-powered hero has developed a personality and a fondness for human detritus, including an old tape of the musical Hello, Dolly!, which he watches over & over. His isolation ends when another robot shows up—EVE is an Earth Vegetation Evaluator, sleek and powerful. Her directive is to seek plant life, and when she finds some, she goes into hibernation until she’s picked up by her space shuttle. WALL-E protects her from the weather while she’s in stasis and follows her back to the enormous cruise liner the Axiom, where humans have been getting fatter and lazier for the last 700 years. The plant life is supposed to be a signal that it’s now safe to return to earth, but this plan is temporarily interrupted by the ship’s autopilot. Everything is still owned and run by the Buy-N-Large Corporation, whose last president on Earth had despaired of ever rehabilitating the planet, and so had secretly ordered ships not to come back. But WALL-E, EVE, the captain, a group of malfunctioning robots, and a couple of humans -knocked out of their floating deck chairs and away from their personal video screens - all work together through a slapstick chase to save the plant and return to the planet.
The film has gotten almost uniformly positive reviews—8.9 out of 10 at the internet movie database, 94 from metacritic, 97% positive at Rotten Tomatoes. It’s also been criticized from the right for its purported environmentalism, and from further left for its hypocrisy; it's also been criticized for vilifying fat people and blaming them for the global overconsumption of planetary resources.