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After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL•E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick- knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL•E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet's future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL•E chases EVE across the galaxy.
For more about WALL•E and the WALL•E Blu-ray release, see the WALL•E Blu-ray Review
Starring: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, Macintalk, Sigourney Weaver
Director: Andrew Stanton
» See full cast & crew
WALL•E Blu-ray Review
Has Pixar delivered the perfect Blu-ray for a perfect movie?
Reviewed by Ben Williams, November 13, 2008
Is Pixar the greatest movie studio in history? Judging by their massive commercial and creative success, that would certainly seem to be the case. How do these folks do it, year after year and great story after great story? There's a certain magic to every film they make that has taken a studio that produced some weird little computer generated movies and transformed them into the most heralded group of filmmakers of the last quarter-century. I'm continually amazed at their bravery and lack of cynicism as well as their commitment to break new ground with every release. However, talking about Pixar's success and their long string of awards somehow detracts from the true cinematic brilliance they've achieved with Wall-E. This is the film that has taken Pixar to an even higher level of cinematic achievement. Wall-E is a masterpiece.
Wall-E is all about love, loneliness and longing as personified in our adorable hero Wall-E, himself. He's been toiling away for hundreds of years on a deserted and environmentally wasted Earth where piles of garbage and wreckage are stacked sky-high. Wall-E is, essentially, a trash compactor who has been tasked with organizing and compressing these towering piles of garbage in a fruitless effort to clean up the waste and excesses that have destroyed life and forced humans to abandon the planet. The film's opening scenes brilliantly tell the story of Earth's demise while simultaneously showing Wall-E going about his daily routine. It's made perfectly clear that Wall-E is the last surviving robot of his kind as his now broken-down brothers are scattered across the desolate landscape. Fortunately, they provide the appropriate parts to help Wall-E continuously repair himself. It's also clear at this point that Wall-E's hundreds of years of solitude have allowed him to develop a personality. His only friend is a ridiculously cute cockroach who acts as his pet and follows him around as he stacks garbage and collects trinkets from the rubble. Wall-E is a curious little guy and he's turned his makeshift "house" into a giant display case for his beloved trinkets. Wall-E has also managed to develop a love of music and spends every evening watching his old videotape of Hello, Dolly! while learning the film's dance routines. Of course, there's more to Wall-E than his curiosity about these weird human trinkets. He's developed a longing for companionship.
Wall-E is like any of us who float through our lives and go to work every day without looking up and noticing the world passing us by. And just like we've all discovered throughout our lives, sometimes what we've been missing suddenly slaps us in the face. Wall-E experiences this "slap" when a mysterious robot called EVE arrives on Earth. She's a sleek, sexy hovering robot with a temper. She takes her frustrations out by blasting things to bits with her built in laser cannon. Despite almost ending up in EVE's line of fire a few times, Wall-E is instantly hooked on EVE. He follows her around as she mysteriously scans the environment and he does his best to not embarrass himself in her presence. In one of the most heartwarming scenes I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing, Wall-E and EVE finally make a connection as they try to learn how to speak each other's names using their stunted robotic voices. It's an amazing scene that is the perfect example of the brilliance that Pixar has achieved in storytelling, animation and conveying emotion. The fact that the scene involves robots is really secondary. As the story progresses, Wall-E and EVE spend a joyful evening together while Wall-E, like any kid on a first date, shows off his collection of trinkets and does his best to impress EVE. When he proudly displays an old shoe that just happens to contain a living plant, EVE quickly collects the plant and goes into a state of hibernation. What follows is a series of scenes where Wall-E watches over the now dormant EVE and protects her from the elements. It's another profoundly sweet sequence in a film that boils over with guileless sentimentality and beauty. I won't spoil what happens from this point on in the story, but plenty of questions about the fate of humanity in the story are answered and Wall-E's childlike optimism might just offer the solution to humanity's problems.
I've read a lot of theories about the meaning behind Wall-E. There are literally dozens of themes present in the movie, from the importance of environmental responsibility, the wastefulness of human excess and the squandering of resources. However, in my humble opinion, Wall-E is really a bit more of a spiritual film. While the film doesn't wade into the heavy-handed waters of outright religion, it does touch on one particularly intriguing aspect of Wall-E's personality: His soul. He's more than a collection of quirky behaviors and eccentricities. Wall-E's soul, heart or whatever you want to call it clearly exists in the film beyond any mechanical or electronic parts that he contains. Wall-E represents the very essence of humanity in a world where humanity has lost its way.
Whatever your interpretation of Wall-E happens to be, it's a remarkable film that inspires discussion and serious thought. It's almost a shame that the film is handicapped by the fact that it is animated. I certainly hope that when the Oscars are awarded next year that Wall-E isn't just recognized as the best animated film of the year, but as the best picture of the year. Wall-E is, in my book, the best picture of the year and has become one of my favorite movies of all time. Wall-E is a true classic and will endure for generations amongst the greatest films of all time. You owe it to yourself to experience this remarkable, original and deeply emotional film.
WALL•E Blu-ray, Video Quality
Disney and Pixar have brought Wall-E to home theaters on Blu-ray in yet another of their remarkable direct to digital transfers. As is the case with digitally created movies, no film was used in the transfer process and as a result, we are treated to pristine and flawless video performance. Wall-E is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and has been given a high-bitrate transfer using the AVC / Mpeg-4 codec that frequently maxes out the limits of Blu-ray video capabilities. As one would expect from a Pixar film, the results are simply stunning.
Wall-E begins with a rather bland and natural color palette that is well represented on Blu-ray. Earth's mutated and hazy atmosphere in the film is presented without a trace of noise or digital artifacts. As is normally the case with computer animation, there is a tremendous amount of detail present in every shot and the Blu-ray encode does a stellar job of delivering this extreme detail as flawlessly as possible. As the story progresses, Wall-E finds himself in more colorful surroundings and this stellar Blu-ray presentation rises to the challenge by beautifully rendering the vibrant and lush colors that are presented. What else is there to say? Wall-E is as perfect and stunning on Blu-ray as anyone could have hoped. It's another reference grade transfer and, again, Pixar sets the gold standard for picture quality and video performance. Wall-E is a must own title and easily earns my highest recommendation.
WALL•E Blu-ray, Audio Quality
As if not to be outdone by its tremendous video presentation quality, Wall-E includes a masterful, reference-grade audio mix. Presented in 5.1 DTS HD-Master Audio, Wall-E features a lively surround experience that is completely immersive and involving. Wall-E is a film with plenty of quiet passages, so don't expect to be rocked out of your seat for a solid 90 minutes. There are plenty of opportunities present in Wall-E for more atmospheric passages where Thomas Newman's outstanding score takes center stage as well as haunting scenes of near silence where Earth's desolate wind blows in the distance. However, when the action heats up, be prepared for extreme low frequency bass and an abundance of surround activity.
Obviously, Wall-E is a film where the main characters essentially don't really speak. So, the film's limited dialogue isn't as central to the storytelling here as in other films. Regardless, dialogue, when present, is expertly placed within the mix and the film's robots come across in their digital-speak in a manner far more intelligible that what I experienced theatrically. The real key to Wall-E's power from an audio standpoint, is in its use of atmosphere and sound effects. This comes across powerfully as the film successfully sucks the viewer into its world. Wall-E is a stunning and immersive experience.
WALL•E Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Wall-E comes fully-loaded on Blu-ray in a stellar 2-disc set that features a wealth of supplementary material presented in 1080p.
Here's what's included:
-Burn-E with Boards - picture-in-picture (BD Exclusive)
-Cine-Explor with director Andrew Stanton (BD Exclusive)
-Axoim Arcade: retro suite of videogames with a twist (BD Exclusive)
-Geek Track (BD Exclusive)
-Presto Animated Short
-Sneak Peek: Wall-E's Tour of the Universe
-Animated Sound Design
-Audio Commentary with Director Andrew Stanton
-The Pixar Story by Leslie Iwerks
-Additional Deleted Scenes
-Wall-E's Treasures and Trinkets
-Lots of Bots Storybook Making of Featurette
Right off the bat, the standout feature included with this Wall-E set is the outstanding "The Pixar Story" documentary directed by Leslie Iwerks. It's a really fantastic look into the history of the company and features interviews with all the key players involved with the formation of this great studio. Andrew Stanton's majestic commentary track is also required for fans of the film. I was equally impressed with the deleted scenes presented in this set. They are all well defined and add to the story without the introduction any new distracting plotlines. The various production featurettes all are well presented and give a great sense of scope to the massive undertaking that was this film's production. In addition, the "Presto" short that opened Wall-E theatrically is included along with a new, outstandin short film called "Burn-E". This particular short follows one of the few characters in the film who might not be Wall-E's biggest fan. All told, this is an exceptional collection of extras. I'm shocked that Pixar has included the fantastic Leslie Iwerks documentary and I recommend that each viewer of this set of supplements make it their first stop in this long list of outstanding features.
WALL•E Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Wall-E is the kind of movie that has the power to touch even the most cynical soul. It's a rare treat of a film that inspires and takes one's breath away with its almost effortlessly astounding storytelling. Wall-E is a film for all ages that has the potential to entertain every member of the family and isn't limited as entertainment for children. Pixar has done a remarkable job with this stunning Blu-ray package. The movie's video presentation is truly reference grade and will remain a standard as demonstration material for years to come. The audio presentation is equally exceptional and creates a palpable sense of atmosphere and immersion. Supplements are also robust and the set's many in-depth and entertaining documentaries will provide hours of entertainment beyond the film itself. Wall-E is a must-own title on Blu-ray and deserves a place in every Blu-ray collection. In fact, this is a film that is destined to sell more than a few Blu-ray players. Wall-E easily earns my highest recommendation.
WALL•E: Other Editions
WALL•E Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - November 18th - November 18, 2008
As a movie studio, Pixar has spent its entire existence exceeding the expectations of even the most critical moviegoer. By setting their quality bar at "perfection", they have constantly delivered some of the most memorable and enjoyable films ever created. Today's ...
• Blu-ray Excites WALL•E Director - November 7, 2008
Director Andrew Stanton believes that the upcoming Blu-ray release of his critically acclaimed film 'WALL•E' will deliver a better visual and audio experience than can be found in the theaters. He also is excited about the exclusive interactive features that Blu-ray ...
• Final Specs for WALL•E Blu-ray - November 3, 2008
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has revealed the final special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of 'WALL-E', which is due to hit store shelves on November 18th, day-and-date with the DVD release. Coming in both two-disc and three-disc configurations, ...
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WALL•E Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
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