Monday, 22 September 2008


After its US release almost three months ago, Pixar's new film WALL-E has finally been released here in Australia.

Presumably local distributors are banking on the just-begun school holidays to rake in the crowds, but this is far from just a kid's film.

It carries a deep environmental message without moralising, a level of character development rarely seen, and some of the most sophisticated CGI animation around.

I won't bother recounting the plot (you'd have to be living under a rock not to know what this film's about so if you have been living under a rock, you can read all about it here), but I will say that for all its complexity this is paradoxically one of Pixar's most accessible films, and it's not nearly as preachy as you might expect.

As a science fiction movie it ticks all the boxes with technology writ large on a dystopian future, the theme of what-does-it-mean-to-be-human explored in some new and interesting ways, and repeated references (both explicit and implicit) to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

While the film is generally brilliant the opening scenes are the strongest, with little robot WALL-E working away conscientiously on a devastated Earth. The film loses focus a little when the story moves into space and we see what has become of the human race, but it all comes together in the end.

And like most Pixar films it's well worth staying through the credits to catch the artfully-rendered epilogue to the story.

It's been well worth the wait.

4.5 out of 5
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