After directing Finding Nemo, Stanton felt Pixar had created believable simulations of underwater physics and was willing to direct a film set largely in space. WALL-E has minimal dialogue in its early sequences; many of the characters do not have voices, but instead communicate with body language and robotic sounds designed by Ben Burtt. The film criticizes consumerism, corporatism, nostalgia, waste management, human environmental impact and concerns, obesity, and global catastrophic risk. It is also Pixar's first animated film with segments featuring live-action characters. Following Pixar tradition, WALL-E was paired with a short film titled Presto for its theatrical release.
WALL-E was released in the United States and Canada on June 27, 2008, by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It was an instant blockbuster, grossing $533.3 million worldwide over a $180 million budget, receiving overwhelming acclaim from critics and winning the 2008 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Long Form Dramatic Presentation, the final Nebula Award for Best Script, the Saturn Award for Best Animated Film and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature with five nominations. The film also topped Time's "Best Movies of the Decade".
In 2805, Earth is abandoned and largely contaminated with garbage, with its people evacuated by megacorporation Buy-N-Large on giant starliners. BnL has left behind WALL-E robot trash compactors to clean up; however, all have since stopped functioning, except one unit who has gained sentience and is able to stay active using parts from other units. One day, WALL-E discovers a healthy seedling, which he returns to his home. Later, an unmanned spaceship lands and deploys an EVE probe to scan the planet. WALL-E is infatuated with EVE, who is initially hostile but gradually befriends him. When WALL-E brings EVE to his trailer and shows her the plant, however, she suddenly takes the plant and goes into standby mode. WALL-E, confused, unsuccessfully tries to reactivate her. The ship then returns to collect EVE, and with WALL-E clinging on, returns to its mothership, the starliner Axiom.
The Axiom's passengers have become obese and feeble due to microgravity and reliance on an automated lifestyle, including the ship's current captain, McCrea, who leaves the ship under the control of the robotic autopilot, AUTO. EVE is taken to the bridge, with WALL-E tagging along. McCrea is unprepared for a positive probe response, but learns that placing EVE's plant in the ship's Holo-Detector for verification will trigger a hyperjump back to Earth so humanity can recolonize it. However, AUTO orders his robotic assistant GO-4 to steal the plant to prevent this from happening.
With the plant missing, EVE is deemed faulty and taken to Diagnostics. WALL-E mistakes the procedure as torture, and in intervening accidentally frees a group of malfunctioning robots and causes both EVE and himself to be designated as rogue. Frustrated, EVE takes WALL-E to an escape pod to send him home, but they are interrupted when GO-4 arrives with the plant, placing it in a pod set to self-destruct, which WALL-E enters just before it is jettisoned. WALL-E escapes, saving the plant, and he and EVE reconcile and celebrate with a dance in space around the Axiom.
EVE brings the plant back to McCrea, who watches EVE's recordings of Earth and concludes that they must return. However, AUTO refuses, revealing his own secret no-return directive A113, issued to BnL autopilots after the corporation concluded years earlier that the planet could not be saved. He mutinies, electrocuting WALL-E and deactivating EVE and throwing them both down the garbage chute, then detaining the captain. EVE reactivates and helps WALL-E bring the plant to the ship's Holo-Detector chamber; AUTO tries to close the chamber, crushing WALL-E when he struggles to keep it open, but McCrea is able to overcome and disable him, and EVE inserts the plant to activate the hyperjump.
Having arrived back on Earth, EVE repairs and reactivates WALL-E, but finds that his memory has been reset and his personality is gone. Heartbroken, EVE gives WALL-E a farewell kiss, which sparks his memory back to life. WALL-E and EVE reunite as the humans and robots of the Axiom begin to restore Earth and its environment.
Why It's Better than Home on the Range
- Great animation.
- Good voice acting.
- Better plot.