best films: #15: WALL-E (2008)
Thanks to an incredible story and an endlessly adorable troupe of admirable characters, the impossible tale of two futuristic robots, one a garbage picker and the other essentially an eco-marine, somehow proved to be one of the most romantic movies of all time, animated or otherwise. Yes, I’m a major fan of WALL-E, the impeccably animated, scored, written, and executed outing from the geniuses at Pixar. And yes, I also know that the movie has its many detractors (most, I would imagine, stem from a probably backlash following its universal praise) – but on this blog, WALL-E haters to the left. Our central character is, unsurprisingly, a cute and sometimes aloof little droid, but what makes WALL-E such a compelling central protagonist is his pure wonder for the treasures he finds in the trash left behind by a consumerist human race and his determination when it comes to the pursuit of the simple things in life – having a happy home, doing his occupational duty, and sharing his life with the robot he loves. Some think the whole “robot love” story was too sentimental for beings that are traditionally emotionless; and others still have said that it was hard to buy into feeling verklempt over a romance between two hunks of metal. To that I say, where is your sense of childlike whimsy? WALL-E and EVE are literally starcrossed and so made-for-each-other it’s practically sickening. Timeless romance, in my book, regardless of their inorganic makeups. Now to put down the defenses, I can simply say that the movie is obviously bolstered by its incorporation of Thomas Newman’s delicate but effective score and the songs of Hello Dolly! And that first third that is virtually dialogue-less is phenomenal.