WALL·E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)

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wattsup32
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#51 Post by wattsup32 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:43 pm

truly terrific and the most cinematic of their films so far. i still think ratatouille is their best overall work, but this is a very very close second. probably a much more sweetly emotional film than ratatouille. it is interesting to me that ratatouille contained no love story and Wall-E is 100% love story.

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essrog
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#52 Post by essrog » Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:48 pm

wattsup32 wrote:truly terrific and the most cinematic of their films so far. i still think ratatouille is their best overall work, but this is a very very close second. probably a much more sweetly emotional film than ratatouille. it is interesting to me that ratatouille contained no love story and Wall-E is 100% love story.
Wasn't there a love story between Linguini and Colette?

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Saturnome
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#53 Post by Saturnome » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:16 pm

I was expecting something way more unconventional than what I have seen, maybe because all I had in mind was some minimalist film about mute robots in a post-apocalyptic land. The ending had these usual clichés, but the artistic direction, WALL-E's character and all that make a wonderful film.

Presto on the other hand is perfect in every way. Best Pixar short I've seen yet.

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Morgan Creek
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#54 Post by Morgan Creek » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:25 pm

Every Pixar film convinces me that the studio is consistently making the best (not that there's much competition) comedies in America, and I'd have to rate Wall-E the greatest of them if only for its stunning visuals (the depths of emotion and wit the animators have gotten out of what are little more than abstract shapes are truly remarkable).

What's striking about Presto, the short that precedes the film is that it's a brilliant Disney-Pixar hommage to the Warners style - the gags are pure Tex Avery, and the score sounds like vintage Carl Stalling.
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flyonthewall2983
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#55 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:29 pm

Thomas Newman channeling Carl Stalling? That alone has me sold.

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Kirkinson
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#56 Post by Kirkinson » Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:37 am

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Thomas Newman channeling Carl Stalling? That alone has me sold.
Newman didn't score Presto.

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Tom Hagen
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#57 Post by Tom Hagen » Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:05 am

I am always hesitant to make big statements the same night that I see a film, but this was a truly amazing motion picture. Pixar have outdone themselves yet again.

Very cinematic indeed. While any child could enjoy this film, like Ratatouille before it, Wall-E is filmmaking at a level of abstraction that reaches far greater than the limits of its youngest audience. On a personal level, I loved the 2001 homages. For the first time since 1968, an "Also Sprach Zarathustra" parody was actually a) amusing and b) in the proper spirit of Kubrick's film.

What a beautiful, touching film.

And its great that Peter Gabriel is back!

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Michael Shetina
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#58 Post by Michael Shetina » Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:56 am

The film was a visual and aural feast. Far beyond my best expectations.

And I was glad to see that however heavy-handed its critique of modern culture (yeah, this isn't your grandpa's kid flick), it never becomes Stanley Kramer-esque.

And I have to love any popular film that prominently features songs from Jerry Herman's score to Hello Dolly!.

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#59 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:48 am

Tom Hagen wrote:And its great that Peter Gabriel is back!
I know what you mean, but he never really left. He just takes a long damned time to record anything. And my bad about the Presto mix-up.

wattsup32
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#60 Post by wattsup32 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:55 am

essrog wrote:
wattsup32 wrote:truly terrific and the most cinematic of their films so far. i still think ratatouille is their best overall work, but this is a very very close second. probably a much more sweetly emotional film than ratatouille. it is interesting to me that ratatouille contained no love story and Wall-E is 100% love story.
Wasn't there a love story between Linguini and Colette?
linguini and colette had a relationship that happened to get some screen time, but it wasn't a love story. the success or failure of that relationship had no bearing the course or direction of the main character nor on the outcome of the movie.

back to wall-e. i have checked rottentomatoes since seeing it because i was curious to see if there were people who didn't like it. there are four splats and three of them dislike it because they think it hypocritical for a movie put out by disney to be anti-corporate. that seems like a silly critique to me since it has nothing to do with the film.

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mfunk9786
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#61 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:49 am

From the opening short (which is the best Tex Avery homage imaginable) - I was glued to my seat. Wall-E made me laugh, cry, gasp, and gulp at all the right moments. It's definitely the best animated film I've ever seen, and it'll take a few more viewings to decide what other hyperbole-smashing I'd like to take part in. A+.

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exte
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#62 Post by exte » Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:45 am

Hello, WALL•E!: Pixar Reaches for the Stars
Bill Desowitz talks to DP Jeremy Lasky and Directing Animator Angus MacLane about making the new look old in Pixar's latest animated masterpiece.

If you challenge yourself with each artistic endeavor, always aiming beyond your comfort zone, you invariably become a student of your own work, and the biggest thing I learned on WALL•E was that all the major elements that produce a film… play a vital and unique role in telling the story. If you choose to remove one of them (in our case, the dialogue, which was drastically reduced), the other remaining elements must fill the void that is left behind. The job of communicating information suddenly becomes the imperative in every instance.

-- Andrew Stanton (foreword to The Art of WALL•E by Tim Hauser from Chronicle Books)

From the very beginning, Andrew Stanton wanted to make WALL•E (opening today from Disney•Pixar) in the great tradition of sci-fi classics that he adored from the late '60s and '70s. Trouble is, despite Pixar's pedigree, it wasn't set up to make animation emulate the live-action look (rack focus, barrel distortion and certain ovals of light), and so it's probably just as well that this sweet Robinson Crusoe-like space tale was put off as long as it was. Then there was the additional challenge of pulling off an improbable love story between two futuristic bots, with minimal dialogue. But then Pixar has always embraced "reaching for the stars."

Jeremy Lasky, DP camera, who worked in close collaboration with Danielle Feinberg, DP lighting, was eager to break new ground at Pixar. "At the very beginning of preproduction, when I came on, Andrew had a lot of preconceptions of what he wanted for a film without traditional dialogue. All of the staging, all of the shots have to be really clear for the audience to understand the backstory in addition to the main plot of the film. The planet's covered in trash: What happened? So we had to convey it visually. As always, the first pressure is just telling the story right. Only in this case, there's no dialogue crutch.

"So the question became: How can we make this work? Shots have to be so specific that you're always following what's going on. On top of that, Andrew said, 'I want it to feel real.' He wasn't talking about photoreal, but that you believe you're watching a little robot doing what he's doing. To me, that triggered the notion that we have to raise our game a little.

"We have this virtual camera that we've used with variations of the same camera package for years, but we've never pushed it to be more like a live-action camera. So we took it apart and rebuilt it from the ground up to emulate the way a 35mm anamorphic camera would move: how it pivots, where it tilts from, how it works on a dolly. We based it on the concept of how you would shoot a sci-fi movie today with anamorphic lenses.
"We rented some equipment and used the live-action DP [Marty Rosenberg] who eventually shot some of the live-action elements. He helped us do some lens tests. Our depth of field, our cameras never look as we expect them to. The focus always feels very deep in our films and we've always been told the math is right by the guys that wrote the software, who claim our depth of field maps are correct and that calculating everything should be fine."

But the filmmakers said it instinctively just didn't look right. So they made a cardboard WALL•E and a foam EVE and shot "wedge tests" with different anamorphic lenses.

"We used a spherical lens as a kind of control to look at depth of field and barrel distortion and the optical breathing you get when you rack from things really close to really far away," Lasky continues. "It gave us a chance to have something tangible. We used an Arriflex camera with Panavision lenses. We looked at lens flares and how to focus lights in the background. There's that shot in the truck [his home] when EVE's looking at the lighter for the first time from WALL•E's POV and you see the bouquet stretched in the background. And this is the kind of thing we discovered doing those tests."

As if that wasn't enough, they consulted with a live-action DP for the first time in Pixar history -- and chose one of the contemporary greats: Roger Deakins, who recently shot the Best Picture winner, No Country for Old Men. They particularly wanted to know about the process he goes through with camera and lighting set-ups.

"It started as just a lecture with Roger Deakins and then later we individually sat down with him to discuss different shots and some ideas in more detail," Lasky explains. "It was amazing to hear him walk through a sequence -- and it was the one in the truck between WALL•E and EVE -- just to get his take on how he would move the camera, and how he would try to bridge some of the shots together in a motion that you can take advantage of in such a small space. He's so meticulous about his work, yet it feels so effortless."

Stanton adds that the new virtual camera system was set up to make both the robots and the environments look more believable. "Life is nothing but imperfection and the computer likes perfection, so we spent probably 90% of our time putting in all of the imperfections, whether it's in the design of something or just the unconscious stuff. How the camera lens works in [a real] housing is never perfect, and we tried to put those imperfections [into the virtual camera] so that everything looks like you're in familiar [live-action] territory."

The filmmakers were fortunate in having producer Jim Morris -- a vfx expert and former ILMer -- on hand, and they also got to pick the brains of another visual consultant, ILM's Dennis Muren. "Dennis has this amazing eye for mistakes," Lasky suggests. "Not in a bad way, but [with regard to] the little inconsistencies that you can put in CG that make it feel like [objects] were really filmed and not studied pixel for pixel, month after month, which is what we do. For us, it's a lot of the hand-held nature of the movie, feeling like the cameraman is a little behind WALL•E. It's also that the camera is always moving a little bit -- it's always adjusting, always reacting to the environment in all the shots. [The first act] is all designed to feel like we're shooting with a camera on an operator's shoulder or just on a tripod, but very loose.

"And when we get to the Axiom space cruiser in acts two and three, we change that look to make it feel like it's all shot with a Steadicam to mirror the very clean aesthetic of that design of the cruise ship, with a much cleaner and elegant feel to the camera, but still making it feel part of one film. In shots where the focus lags a little bit, or the cameraman sees something and catches it a few frames later, or as we're tracking, there's an extra little bump that makes it feel a little more real."

This would not have been possible in the past. On the old Pixar camera, the tilt and pan point of rotation was right where the lens was. So any time you did a tilt or a pan, it was just a 2D move. And Lasky says it looked like you could do it in After Effects -- there wasn't any change in perspective.

"The first thing we did was move that away so it felt like where the camera was rotating from was different from the lens. It's one of those things that's very subliminal, but any time you moved the camera -- and we moved it a lot -- it felt like it was actually in the space rather than looking at a screen through something. That was a big change. So many camera packages out there work that way, but we had never taken that step.
"We also radically changed the depth of field and Andrew wanted a shallow-focus film. He looked at Gus Van Sant's films, especially Finding Forrester, which used focus as a compositional tool. Andrew thought it gave it extra depth that he liked. That's what he liked about Finding Nemo: He felt that, being underwater, you had all this extra depth in the shot because there was all this fluid between the camera and the characters. And he wanted that same sense in the air.

"One of the things we added, aside from atmosphere, was extra depth of field, so that made us redefine how that code worked in the camera to make sure we were getting it right. So that when we switched to anamorphic lenses, we were actually getting what the correct depth of field would be at different f-stops based on the shooting tests we did with the live-action equipment."

During act one on Earth, Lasky suggests that what helps depth of field is you have farther distances to play with, as opposed to being in a hallway on the Axiom later on, where everything is close and more objects are in focus. They found that in the latter case they had to crank the depth of field more to get background objects to blur.

"In space it was kind of a battle -- wanting to get a soft focus on things, but not wanting to blur out the backgrounds so much that the stars disappear and you have a black velvet sky. We played with a few tricks there. Luckily, you can cheat space. It was the same with camera motion, where WALL•E and EVE go flying around and we follow them there. We made up something that seemed in the nature of the film and worked. Everything had a roll on it to mimic weightlessness."

Lasky says one of the other great innovations was that they were able to previs the key lights prior to shooting so that they would have a better idea of what the final film frame would look like. "There are several sequences where we tried an experiment [by having] animation block out their action first, and then we shot it later. They would go back and then re-animate. Normally, we're blocking and staging everything in an animatic. Then the animator takes it shot-by-shot and does their acting and then we refine the camera. And in a few cases where there is no dialogue and so it's performance-driven, we decided to have an animator take a beat of the movie and animate it all in rough form and we'd just shoot it like live action, to see what we find in terms of character interaction.
"It was nice. We didn't do it as much as we wanted, but just the fact that we had an insight into the way they were thinking totally changed how we thought about a shot. You're really filming an actor doing something -- a character that's already alive, because the animators put much more of themselves into it than we ever would."

For the animators, reaching back to silent movie acting methods was especially inspiring. "Initially, there was a deliberate attempt to bring animation in much earlier to help sell the idea of more pantomime," says Angus MacLane, the directing animator. "We wanted to figure out a language for WALL•E's motion as early as story. A lot of it was [determining] first how he moved as a tool, as an appliance. It was very similar to Finding Nemo when first we had to crack the code of making fish appear as though they were swimming. In this case, we would look at how we wanted the character to appear as though it were actually a tank-based trash compactor. And so by first solving the challenges of selling him as an appliance, we would find his character."

MacLane describes WALL•E as a kind of bulldozer with a tank's maneuverability -- something like a really fast Mars Rover. The important considerations were his motion and mechanism.

"We have a set group of things to work with," he continues. "He has two arms and no mouth. No traditional shoulders, so how does he gesture? We needed symbols for human emotion. When he's doing his job, we have his shoulders go back to the base of his neck so he looks more heroic. But when he's communicating with EVE or when he's unsure of what he's doing, we bring the shoulders down in front of his stomach area and have his hands right in front of his chest. These are all visual clues.

"His eyes and hand positions are all based on dramatic context. He sees dancing on TV [from Hello, Dolly!] and then mimics it, and it grows from there. If ever there was a gag that didn't work, it would really pull you out of the movie. If you jiggle the tread a certain way, it would remind the audience that he was a machine, whereas the acting would be more anthropomorphic. It was always a balance between machine movement and vaudevillian acting like Fozzie Bear.

"EVE was the antithesis in design and emotion to WALL•E in every way. WALL•E boxes up in a very complicated way. She is very elegant and is all circles and ovals, and he is a bunch of boxes and hard edges. Likewise, her movement is based on figure eights and arcs and his is on right angles and unrefined movements. She is a combination of porpoise meets wind chime... lots of undulated movements."

As for the humans they encounter, they are babies in space as a result of their lazy evolutionary state. They are large fleshy characters that don't move much, so Pixar adopted a less-is-more concept. No squash-and-stretch here. "The level of control for these computer puppets can very easily get them off-model, so it was a balance," MacLane advises. "You have the power to move the face around, but couldn't do it here because of the general aesthetic."

Aside from the virtual camera innovation, there were really no other noteworthy animation advancements on WALL•E. "There was nothing specific made for this film," MacLane confirms. "It was just a continuation of tools from previous films, such as a driving system for WALL•E's treads that was an offshoot of the system for Cars."

That was just fine for Stanton, who had plenty to contend with for this "unconventional love story told in an unconventional manner," in which WALL•E saves humanity by demonstrating how to get off automatic pilot and embrace life again.

Bill Desowitz is editor of VFXWorld.

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cerealiscool
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#63 Post by cerealiscool » Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:58 pm

A great movie--bumped to "very good" by a weak ending.

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#64 Post by Cde. » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:20 pm

wattsup32 wrote:i have checked rottentomatoes since seeing it because i was curious to see if there were people who didn't like it. there are four splats and three of them dislike it because they think it hypocritical for a movie put out by disney to be anti-corporate. that seems like a silly critique to me since it has nothing to do with the film.
This is the same foolish argument many threw at Speed Racer.

Wall-E sounds absolutely fantastic, but it won't be seeing release in my part of the world until September 18, which is pretty terrible.

That said, it sounds as though it becomes much more of a conventional film towards the end. I was hoping Pixar would break free of that 'perfect' structure and take a step into the unknown. Perhaps that was too much to hope for.

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Murdoch
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#65 Post by Murdoch » Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:05 pm

Only bad part was having to sit through the excruciating trailers beforehand, especially Disney's new CGI-fest Beverly Hills Chihuahua. God that was painful.

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exte
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#66 Post by exte » Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:48 pm

Silents Are Golden to Creator of 'WALL-E': Critical Eye

Even for Pixar, a company that thrives on new frontiers, WALL-E is a gutsy next move. It's the first dystopian parable that's actually ecstatic fun. It's also the closest Pixar has come to making a full-length silent movie.

The choice of hero is audacious: a beeping, whirring Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth class, or WALL-E. For long, unbroken, startlingly seductive stretches, we see him navigate an abandoned American city all by himself. (He does have a pet cockroach.) Thanks to him, towering ziggurats made of trash compacted into cubes have sprouted up among malls and skyscrapers.

WALL-E's director, Andrew Stanton says he didn't let the silence of these sections stymie him.

To Stanton, "WALL-E is not a silent movie that just happens to have sound, it's a regular movie that just happens to use unconventional dialogue. My methodology, from the script on, was no different than it was approaching any 'regular' movie. It's like I was dealing with a hero who spoke French all the time."

Squat and scrappy, with binocular-like eyes that are as warm and eloquent as Bambi's, WALL-E looks like a cross between R2D2 and a Cubist portrait of a geek. He's the sole and surprisingly spirited survivor of a mammoth cleanup operation.

After Earth grew clogged with trash, the all-consuming Buy N Large corporation sent the human population into outer space and left behind a mechanical janitorial super-service to make the globe inhabitable once again. But these plans went awry (if they ever were sincere at all), and the one trash-compactor left is WALL-E, who has developed curiosity, survival skills and surprising wells of emotion -- and expresses them with little more than a crook of his articulated elbows or a shift of his bifurcated head.

Stanton's love for silent movies gave him confidence. "You just want to make sure the visuals and the acting carry as much information as possible because people's senses are going to be a little more focused on them without dialogue."

Stanton wrote the script with Jim Reardon, an old friend and college classmate who directed 35 episodes of The Simpsons.

"We put dialogue in brackets: We knew we would be swapping it out with something else to convey it. ... so I wrote what I expected them to 'say.' "

The influence of silent films on Pixar has been pronounced from the beginning. When I interviewed Stanton 13 years ago at Pixar's old Point Richmond headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area (the company has since moved to nearby Emeryville), he told me, "Buster Keaton is God."

Despite Stanton's devotion to Keaton, Charlie Chaplin's Tramp may be the silent clown who hovers over the plucky and poignant WALL-E. Stanton agrees that in addition to "hundreds of other films," WALL-E has a touch of Chaplin's Modern Time:in content, as "an indirect comment on one possibility of the automation of humanity and losing your soul." And in style, too -- Modern Times (1936) was a silent made in the sound era, with a music track, sound effects, gibberish and only a smattering of English.

And just as Modern Times, despite its mordant view of modern industry, became Chaplin's cheeriest film because of the Tramp's romance with "a gamin" (Paulette Goddard), WALL-E became Pixar's most piquant and satisfying film because of WALL-E's courtship of EVE, the svelte Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator sent from the Buy N Large mother ship to see if plants have started growing again on Earth.

EVE helped Stanton locate the core of the movie and also simply added to the pantomimed fun: "I already had one 'person" who spoke a different language than I did, and now he'd fall in love with someone of a different nationality who spoke another language."

The influences he drew on went way beyond silent films. "I'm more of a moviegoer than a moviemaker," says Stanton; "I don't want to see the same thing twice." He must be one heck of a moviegoer, because, as a director, no one has a track record stronger than Stanton's. Not only has he been a member of John Lasseter's team since Pixar's creative mastermind began assembling his animation brain trust (Stanton shares screenplay and story credit on Lasseter's debut feature, Toy Story), he also co-directed A Bug's Life with Lasseter and directed Finding Nemo solo.

Still, you see what he means. After his first two pictures, Stanton was poised to become a modern-day Aesop on an epic scale, hatching fables about the seductiveness and perils of domesticity and adventure that use the virtual reality of computers to open up whole natural worlds. Instead, with WALL-E, he drew on different models, such as Alien.

"Usually, in a script, there's a regular-looking paragraph of description and then there's dialogue at the center of the page. What the Alien script did was break the description down into little five-to-eight-word phrases, and then put four or five of those phrases in a row .... and it looked like a haiku."

It "created a rhythm for the reader that made each of these little, quiet, completely visual moments major things to focus on. It actually put you in the pacing that you feel while you're watching. And I was so inspired by that! On the page, it made description just as important -- if not more important -- than the dialogue."


Pixar has always ignored the Disney-cartoon tradition of treating every cartoon feature as a Broadway musical comedy.

Paradoxically -- and hilariously, and touchingly -- this mostly silent sci-fi movie makes a musical comedy central to its story. WALL-E, having found a VHS tape of Hello Dolly! , has grown addicted to the buoyant tune, "Put On Your Sunday Clothes (When You Feel Down and Out)."

"I knew when I thought of it, that it was the weirdest idea I ever had in my life," Stanton says . "It was literally one of those things that just came over me, and I couldn't explain it. I knew it was so crazy it just might work -- I knew it could go out there in the beginning over these images of stars."

It took him a while to realize that it clicked in his head because "the song itself was about two naive guys who want to go out in the big town for a night and kiss a girl. That's my main character!"
Alien script that is referenced found here...

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#67 Post by bunuelian » Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:46 pm

If you take the end of the film to be before the credits roll, it's one of the darkest, most apocalyptic visions of humanity's future imaginable. An enormously complex and delightful film.

When we're first given the tour of the spaceship, one of the kids in the audience behind me said, "This looks like a great place to live."

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#68 Post by origami_mustache » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:43 am

Saturnome wrote:Presto on the other hand is perfect in every way. Best Pixar short I've seen yet.
agreed. Presto was fantastic; a wonderful traditional throwback resembling the classic cartoons we just don't see made anymore.

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#69 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:21 am

Murdoch wrote:Only bad part was having to sit through the excruciating trailers beforehand, especially Disney's new CGI-fest Beverly Hills Chihuahua. God that was painful.
"We're the real hot dogs, hold the bun."

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Svevan
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#70 Post by Svevan » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:03 pm

bunuelian wrote:If you take the end of the film to be before the credits roll, it's one of the darkest, most apocalyptic visions of humanity's future imaginable. An enormously complex and delightful film.
I'm having trouble discarding the end credits, or treating the re-arrival of the humans as "dark," especially considering the music and overall tone. I think it's a real stretch to say the filmmakers wanted you to leave on anything but an upbeat, "we-can-do-it" note.
bunuelian wrote:When we're first given the tour of the spaceship, one of the kids in the audience behind me said, "This looks like a great place to live."
This is part of my problem with Wall-E (which I admit is beautiful, and for the first 45 minutes is the best thing Pixar has made): is the movie great because it can correct these kids' misguided worldview? Does the film's (potential) positive social impact outweigh its overly preachy ending and contrived second and third acts? Andrew Stanton can claim all he wants that he isn't trying to sermonize, but the symbolic plant in the shoe undoes any such claim. The film's message is also easily summed up by Thomas Newman and Peter Gabriel during the end credits:
Did you see that your feet had been bound
By what gravity brings to the ground?
Did you feel you were tripped
By the future you picked?
...
Like the fish in the ocean
We felt at home in the sea
We learned to live off the good land
Learned to climb up a tree
Then we got up on two legs
But we wanted to fly
And when we messed up our homeland
We set sail for the sky.
...
We're coming down to the ground
We'll hear the birds sing in the trees
And the land will be looked after
Send the seeds out in the breeze.
I don't know why Stanton and Pixar set up such brilliant dialogue-less characters only to add a speaking character halfway through the film who sets up and describes the plot conflict in detail. The luxury spaceship is nothing more than a vehicle for Stanton's pro-environment anti-technology thesis. What happened to the organic father-son relationship of Nemo, or the extremely meaningful but in no way preachy Incredibles? Wall-E oversteps Pixar's own self-administered boundaries of storytelling; I worry that, in retrospect, Ratatouille may have as well.

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#71 Post by origami_mustache » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:34 pm

Murdoch wrote:Only bad part was having to sit through the excruciating trailers beforehand, especially Disney's new CGI-fest Beverly Hills Chihuahua. God that was painful.
yeah...probably the most disgusting thing I've witnessed in the cinema.

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domino harvey
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#72 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:35 pm

We used to have a thread about it but one of the moderators deleted it.

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Tom Hagen
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#73 Post by Tom Hagen » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:40 pm

Svevan wrote: What happened to the organic father-son relationship of Nemo, or the extremely meaningful but in no way preachy Incredibles? Wall-E oversteps Pixar's own self-administered boundaries of storytelling; I worry that, in retrospect, Ratatouille may have as well.
The Incredibles was quite preachy on a number of subjects. At the time it was released, I remember that it was latched onto in a big way by the Ayn Rand libertarian types, as well as a number of conservative commentators.

Adding on a moral lesson is nothing new for Pixar, or in the history of feature animation for that matter. But I for one, certainly didn't feel that WALL-E was overly didactic. The point of the spaceship wasn't to make a deep critique of consumerism like something out of Tout va bien. The point of the spaceship was to entertain the audience and drive the plot. I know a lot of us would have enjoyed a 2 hour homage to silent films, but at the end of the day, that approach would have alienated 95% of the film's audience. Hopefully some audience members took away something insightful and some kids asked their parents some good questions afterwards.

But really, how much of a "pro-environment anti-technology thesis" was seriously contained in this film? If anything, the critiques of consumption and corporatism are undermined by the repeated Apple references and the fact that the film is being enjoyed in air conditioned multiplexes filled with fat fucks shoveling five pound bags of popcorn down their throats, drinking 72 oz jugs of Coke, and enjoying a $180 million Disney production. Hopefully the film's message can get through to some of these people, contradictions aside.

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

#74 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:41 pm

Tom Hagen wrote:Hopefully the film's message can get through to some of these people, contradictions aside.
It has, but that message is conceived as being "Robots are cute."

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origami_mustache
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:10 pm

#75 Post by origami_mustache » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:53 pm

The Axiom looked like paradise to me...lunch in a cup ftw!

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