Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Scene Stealer: WALL-E

To know me is to know that I love the movie WALL-E. When I first saw the film, I was held rapt from start to finish. From the very first scene, I was blown away by what Pixar had created, and that is why I’ve chosen the opening scene as my scene stealer for the week. Selecting just one scene from this phenomenal film was probably my hardest endeavor yet. When an entire film is awesome, it’s hard to pick a single indelible scene, but I chose one, and it’s the first scene where we’re introduced to WALL-E – a robot with a lot of time on his hands.

The film begins with a long opening scene that shows the Earth from outer space and slowly zooms in to show a land of skyscrapers that are all constructed out of garbage that has been neatly compacted into cubes. The land is uninhabited but for one lone creature, a solar-powered robot named WALL-E. He’s a trash collector and a compactor. He spends his days zooming around scooping up trash, compressing it into cubes and placing them neatly into piles. He finds things as he works – a bra, a rubber ducky, a set of car keys, a ball and paddle, even an engagement ring – and fiddles and plays with each item to pass the time and to break the monotony of his dreary routine. He scoots around squeaking and rattling as he goes, yet says nothing. He sighs and shows signs of weariness and loneliness and scavenges a few treasures from the debris. At night, he returns to a big storage area that he calls home with a lunchbox in hand and adds his latest items – a rubix cube and a fork – to his collection that he has festooned with Christmas lights. At home, he watches Hello, Dolly! and is enthralled by the actors’ handholding and tries to replicate their hands with his own. He removes the treads from his tired wheels, rolls himself into his rest position and gives himself a little swing to start a gentle rocking before going into sleep mode. There is no dialogue, but you barely notice because the opening scene is visually stunning and WALL-E simply captivates you.

There’s a longing, a curiosity and a humanity that can be felt in the way WALL-E expresses his personality and his feelings through body language and through his binocular-sized eyes that evoke so much. It’s impossible not to feel affection for WALL-E from the first moment you see him wheeling along, alone and rummaging through the trash with only a cockroach for company, through until the film’s end when WALL-E finds true love. I can’t say enough about the film. It’s an incredible creation that succeeds on every level despite its minimal dialogue. It’s visually stunning and absolutely heart-warming. All anyone has to say to get me to smile is “WALL-E.”


8 comments:

  1. Very true, extremely hard to just pick one scene. But I'll go with the scene when after Eve takes the plant and goes into hibernation mode, and WALL-E takes her out for numerous "dates". I truly believe that WALL-E and Eve are one of cinema's best on-screen couples.

    I also get frustrated when people don't take animation seriously when they are nominated for Best Picture Awards. They go "it shouldn't been considered among the best because its a cartoon, etc". Come on, Pixar movies like WALL-E, Up, and the Toy Story films leaves a lasting impression on the audience. It deserves to be amongst the best.

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    1. That's a great scene too - they're all great scenes! I agree, Eve and Wall-E are a fantastic and unique on-screen couple.

      Good point. Some animated films are superior to live action films. I'm glad to see them being nominated more and more for the best picture award. Pixar has done some phenomenal work. WALL-E is definitely ranked among my best films of all time. The Toy Story films are incredible too.

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  2. Couldn't agree more. Wall-E is delightful; an almost silent movie hero to top them all. It does help that his world is beautifully realised and a pleasure to behold but Pixar's character work has never been better than here. I want my very own Wall-E to hang with!

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    1. Thanks, Pete. Pixar did an incredible job establishing character and space. Wall-E is both visually stunning and the story and the characters have so much depth. It's quite an incredible achievement.

      I want a Wall-E of my very own too. He's so cute and he'd take out the trash for you!

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  3. It's definitely my favorite Pixar film as well as one of my 10 favorite films of all-time. I was just engrossed into everything I saw and the fact that it did a whole lot more than what was expected in animated films. At one point, I almost thought a lot of the scenes on Earth looked real to the point that it almost looked like a live-action film. The scene where WALL-E touches the rings of Saturn, to this day, brings a tear to my eye because I was just so enamored with beauty of that scene.

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    1. It's my favourite Pixar film as well and definitely one of my favourite films. I can watch it over and over again. The entire film is captivating and the animation is superb. The colour, sharpness, detail - it's really incredible to behold. Certain scenes in the film definitely look like live action.

      That is a powerful scene.

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  4. This is also one of my favorite scenes. I think the opening to Wall-E is just as good as anything from Chaplin or Buster Keaton.

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    1. I couldn't agree more!

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