Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


There are very few people in the world who can resist cuteness; think cute puppies or cute babies. E.T. was undeniably cute. But would a cute rubbish-collecting robot work? That's what Pixar attempted with the character of Wall-E in their latest offering.

We meet Wall-E as he zooms around a desolate, rubbish-covered Earth, from which humans have long since departed. Wall-E is designed to compact garbage and stack the resulting blocks into neat piles. As he does this he collects interesting objects, such as a Rubik's cube or a gas lighter, from the piles of rubbish which he carefully stores in his little home. As he trundles around, we realise that he is the last robot of his type left on Earth and is accompanied only by a chirpy cockroach. The sadness of his situation appears overwhelming and he appears to realise it as he watches songs from the musical "Hello Dolly" late at night. He dreams of holding hands with someone.

One day however, a super sleek white robot comes to Earth looking for evidence of plant life, and as she wanders around searching, Wall-E becomes entranced by her. His little binocular eyes manage to convey a whole range of puppy-dog emotions as he watches her with adoration.

Wall-E's adventures throughout the film are vehicles to display his charm and cuteness. The lack of speech between the robots means that their expressions and gestures are vital to conveying emotion. There is a fine balacing act between conveying emotion and hamming it, and sometimes this film crosses over that boundary.

However, the film is also trying to convey an environmental message about the dangers of polluting our planet. Wall-E is unaware of this as he tries to get back the love of his life, but his actions have a huge impact on humanity. Wall-E is not motivated to help humans out of some deep desire to fix the world or for more altruistic reasons, he is doing it simply because he has fallen for EVE.

It's a good film, it's an adorable film, and Wall-E is a beautifully crafted piece of animation that tugs at your heartstrings. Ultimately, it's not a great film as there is some charm missing from Wall-E's soul. When you compare it to other great animated films of recent years such as Finding Nemo or Toy Story, this film comes up short in some way that's hard to define. It's a pity, as the visual images of Wall-E and his adorable actions will stay in your head for quite a while after you leave the cinema.

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