WALL-E

All posts tagged WALL-E

WALL-E

When you look at a movie like WALL-E, what do you see? The cute animation disguised it as a children’s movie to be seen by younger audiences. When I watch this movie, what I see is a glaring image of what our future could be. WALL-E portrays a dark story for the human race: we’ve been forced to leave the planet and are living on a huge space ship until Earth is deemed safe to live on again.

The biggest issue is obviously the cause of the human’s exodus from earth: the planet has been completely trashed. Not only has this become a huge issue today, but there’s also lots of people who believe it isn’t an issue at all. Our planet should not be taken for granted, and its conservation is extremely important for our continued use of it as a home.

Another dystopian issue in this movie is the extreme power that one corporation has gained. I’ve been talking a lot about how media consolidation is a huge issue today but this isn’t exclusive to the media. Internet companies consolidating and making deals with local governments has had a drastic effect on internet quality across America in areas that may only have one available provider. Companies themselves should not be considered inherently evil, but we need to ensure that the biggest of companies do not have so much control in society.

The third issue is the humans’ absolute dependence on technology. We currently live in a society where technology has slowly but surely added so many conveniences to our lives. Bicycles have been overwhelmingly replaced by motorized vehicles like cars or even segways and hoverboards. Computers are absolutely everywhere and we have become insanely reliant on them in our daily lives. WALL-E depicts a world where humans are too large to move on their own and they just move around on their hover chairs. With the way that we are currently headed, this is easy to imagine.

As a whole, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the movie as a children’s tale. But if you really dig deep into the movie, you will uncover something much less childish.

 

In 2008, Disney came out with a new movie based on a futuristic and dystopian world where humans utterly destroyed the earth and left robots to clean up the mess that they left behind as they made a long voyage through space. Yet, audiences weren’t necessarily interested in the dystopian aspect of it. They instead became entranced with the main character; a lovable little robot who was the namesake of the movie, Wall-E. This happened because the film and the advertisements for the film emphasized the relationships between the characters. It made the destroyed world become more of a backdrop for the drama of the love story between Wall-E and Eve. Although there are still important elements of the plot that revolve around dystopian themes, such as the fight to bring plants and the spaceship full of humans back to Earth, the advertisements for the animated film really emphasized the characters and not much else.

In this movie poster, there is a clear focus on the relationship between the two robots due to the fact that they are in the center of the poster and are illuminated by both the moon in the background and the streetlight. The robots are surprisingly expressive and exude personality through their body language; in the adoring gaze of Wall-E and the scrunched up giggly face of Eve. This makes them more appealing to audiences and makes the audience want to get to know them better. The dystopian theme literally fades into the background of the poster. The desolate and grungy landscape, the spaceship in the upper left, and the hovering robot make it evident that this movie takes place in the future, but there is really no other distinct information. Overall, whoever sees this movie poster would walk away thinking not about the setting, but about the adorable characters.

In this advertisement on the side of a building, it is really stripped down to the essential element of the movie, Wall-E himself. Yet, it is still an effective advertisement. This image brings Wall-E’s personality to the foreground and creates interest through his body language. The way that Wall-E holds his hands and has the little tilt to his head and the expressiveness of his little robot eyes make him seem like a person, not a robot. Despite the fact that it gives absolutely no more information or context for the movie, it doesn’t matter. It still communicates exactly what it needs to, the character of Wall-E himself.

Even in this movie trailer, the surrounding circumstances of the movie are not well explained at all, it instead develops Wall-E as a character. Showing his daily activities and how he reacts to different things in his everyday life. It establishes his intensely curious personality and lovable, quirky sense of humor. It gives the audience a character to latch onto and something to care about. Making the audience care is essential, because it establishes a relationship with the character and makes them want to watch the movie.

This approach to advertising the movie is a stark contrast to the advertisements for The Hunger Games that we examined in class, where the ads were from the point of view of the Capitol and were ineffective in really grabbing the attention of the audience. By eschewing the point of view of the dominant group, the corporation Buy-n-Large, Pixar relates more directly to the audience with character appeals.

The movie posters and trailer for Pixar’s WALL-E feature a cute rusty little robot whose curiosity and personality are evident in his large binocular-like eyes. However, while the market

ing presents the movie as humorous and light-hearted, it masks the darker message and social commentary that makes the movie an environmental dystopia.

In all the posters it is evident that Planet Earth, set 700 years in the future, is uninhabitable due to the amount of garbage and waste covering every inch of it. WALL-E’s job, along with other robots, is to get rid of enough of it to make Earth habitable again. As more and more evidence comes out about how waste created by humans is destroying habitats and helping to increase the number of species on the endangered and extinct lists, this movie is reflecting a possible nightmarish future for Planet Earth.

The trailer and poster mainly feature EVE and WALL-E and their love story. This causes the audience to initially view it more as a typical love story in an animated kid’s movie. However the attempts to stop WALL-E from being with EVE and his development of a personality being called a glitch subtly present a more adult viewer with the classic characteristics of a dystopia trying to suppress individualism, in this case the individuality of the robots.

What if WALL-E been marketed specifically toward adults instead of Pixar’s traditional “fun for the whole family” marketing strategy?

Well, the posters would probably have been darker and more nightmarish. The love story between EVE AND WALL-E would most likely have been less prominent and the social criticisms would have emphasized as opposed to subtly placed here and there. The spaceship holding the remaining humans would offer an even more morbid vision than the already pretty negative view of the self-centered and sedentary life led on that ship.

Since the movie is geared towards children and families, not only adults, the audience walks into the theater expecting a laugh and not a life lesson and a warning for society about the dangers facing our environment and even our bodies if humans as a whole continue down the path of not caring for Planet Earth and consumer materialism. And though the former may be what a small child gets out of it, WALL-E gives adolescents and adults the latter though it has roped them into seeing the movie with the promise of the former.