MPAA Rating: G

Entertainment: +4

Content: +3

Voices: Fred Willard, Jeff Garlin, Sigourney Weaver, John Ratzenberg, Kathy Najimy. Animated action adventure. Written & directed by Andrew Stanton.

FILM SYNOPSIS: In this ecologically themed cartoon, the question is asked: What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn off the last robot? Academy Award-winning writer-director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) and the inventive storytellers and technical geniuses at Pixar Animation Studios (The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille) transport moviegoers to a galaxy not so very far away for a new computer-animated cosmic comedy about a determined robot named WALL-E.

After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator). EVE comes to realize that WALL-E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet's future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, having developed feelings for EVE, WALL-E chases her across the galaxy, where they have a most exciting adventure.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The most creative, original, fun film of the summer, Wall-E is both funny and touching. While never forgetting its target audience, by supplying enough slapstick humor and expressive visual movement to keep wee ones hypnotized, the creators have also produced an animated sci-fi adventure with something to say to viewers of all ages.

Opening with a dark, apocalyptic tableau, we discover a planet of buildings built out of compacted junk. Mankind has exited Earth, leaving one last busy-beaver robot to clean up our mess. It's a sad sight, for he's all alone, but for one pal, an unsquashable cockroach. It doesnt take long, however, to sense that Wall-E has a tender Tin Man-like heart that yearns for companionship. When it comes in the form of a determined lady robot, our mechanical hero falls head over treads. At this point it becomes a romantic film, for it reminds us that one can have the whole world and all its charms, but without someone to share the experience, its a lonely existence. In other words, relationships are more important than materialism.

That somewhat anti-accumulation message has to cause any viewer already aware of the Disney franchise machine to smirk at its audacity. The film bemoans our overindulgence of big store consumerism (Wall-E Wal-Mart, hmmm) while at the same time blatantly showcasing one cute toy-like creature after another the studio knowing full well that each will get its own trademarked replica for parents to buy, kids to enjoy, and the future to dispose of. The studio responsible for Wall-E tells us we are bad for cluttering up the planet with unnecessary and un-dissolving excess, while continuing to create more themselves. (Don't buy non-biodegradable stuff. Except ours.)

But despite this two-faced handling of an ecological dilemma, the makers of Wall-E have given the public a fascinating, cuddly and humorous adventure. Every detail has been given loving and experienced detailing. From the animation to the film's score (incredible use of music that aids in telling the story) to the directorial pacing. Wall-E contains an overall sense of wonder missing in most films aimed at families.

By the way, there's this really cool Wall-E U-Command robot with infrared remote control I gotta have. We're doomed.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: There are some slapstick situations, handled with discretion and several perilous situations, but the filmmakers have kept their youngest audience in mind and soften the action to make it palatable for most children; Eve is destructive when she first appears, blowing things up, and almost eliminating Wall-E, but she undergoes change and becomes a caring character due to the leads gentleness and self-sacrifice.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Parents should attend with little ones in order to reassure, for the film does deal with some sci-fi scariness.

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

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