Cover Art and Menu: 5/10
There’s not much you can do with a Disney Pixar cover. It’s got to be what it is, colorful and bright and fun. It’s not very interesting, but it doesn’t have to be. The leading characters are there, with some hint of space travel. Fair enough. The menu is a different story. It’s themed for the movie, fun, the kind of menu that makes delving into a DVD an experience, not just a way to get to the movie.
Pixar is a big and powerful company these days. They have always been generous and offer up a ton of extras with most of their movies. Some studios skimp and scrap together sorry collections of extras, but with full length documentaries, making of’s, good games, and more Pixar does give us a lot of entertainment crammed into one little box.
- Burn-E With Boards – Another small adventure is taking place while WALL-E and EVE are having their story. Burn-E is a repair bot on the ledge of the space ship trying to repair a broken light. This is his short with story boards.
- Cine-Explore With Director Andrew Stanton – This is a commentary with some picture in picture of the director, lots of concept art, story boards, and more. It’s a fun way to watch the movie a second time.
- Geek Track By Pixar Geek Squad – Ahh a way to watch the movie a THIRD time. I’m not into the smart-assy, “geeky” (let’s be honest, nitpicking every detail isn’t geeky, it’s just being picky) comments that are supposed to be an homage to Mystery Science Theater 3000. Four producers, writers, artists, sit and comment on the whole movie, and it will certainly be fun for some people, just not me.
- The Axiom Arcade – Some excellent little retroactive games that remind of the good old 8 bit days of video gaming. These will keep your kids busy for a while (or you on a slow day). They are made in the style of some old games like Lunar Lander, Burger Time, and more.
- 3D Set Fly Throughs – A slow camera swoop through and close-ups of some of the 3-D backgrounds of the movie. It’s a good way to get a better look at all the details.
- The Pixar Story – This is a full length documentary movie that chronicles the history of Pixar. It’s done very well, highly produced, lots of interviews, tons of details about the company and movies. It just feels a little early days for a company to be making a movie about it’s history…:)
- Presto – A Pixar short about a magician and his rabbit and a magic hat. Very fun!
- Animation Sound Design Featurette – Making all the sounds for an animated feature is quite the task.
- Lots Of Bots Storybook – You can sit with your 3 year old and have a fun time matching robot parts as you go through a nicely designed “book” about life as a robot on the Axiom.
- BNL Shorts – Buy and Large is the mega corporation that has taken over the world, and these are a few of their commercials. Funny and creepy at the same time.
- Making Of Wall-E (90 Mins) – Another full size movie that tells the story of how WALL-E went from one small idea to a full length flick.
- Deleted Scenes – Deleted scenes from CGI movies are not very common. A lot of work goes into making each second of the movie so they don’t make anything to throw away. Sometimes they get a scene made in the story board form that doesn’t make it into the final story, and here they are.
- Digital Copy –A copy of the movie for your laptop, computer, and Ipod.
The Movie: 8/10
I’m a sucker for a love story, sometimes. This is one of those times. A lonely little robot left to clean up the trash on Earth 700 years in the future finds love when a new robot is sent to find out if the planet is able to sustain life again. Whew, that’s the very short version, and I don’t want to give away much more about the whole thing. It’s more fun to watch without knowing anything about the story
I will say that WALL-E had me watching gape mouthed and curious around every single corner. The look of the future world, it’s fallen apart, it’s abandoned, and yet WALL-E is so lively and compelling, it is mesmerizing.
The little robot dude has been collecting objects, developing a personality, trash compacting for so long he has outlasted every other clean up robot, so he’s all alone. The problem is, he knows he’s alone. He has found a copy of Hello Dolly and watches it with curiosity and sad eyes, wondering what it must be like to hold someone’s hand.
One day he might just find out what it’s like. EVE comes to the Earth’s surface to scan for life after centuries of the planet being left for dead. All the people were hauled off on a space cruise ship to get away from all the garbage, and they never came back.
The movie does have a message, regardless of what the writer/director says. Its clear that consumerism and corporate take over of the citizens of the world is leading us to destruction. I can’t say i disagree. It’s a heavy subject, but it’s not heavy handed, well, not too heavy.
I’m not a fan of the fact that all the people on the ship are now overweight, due to generations of never learning to walk since the ship has hover crafts to buzz them all around the ship. Basically everything is done for them, food in a cup, no walking, they don’t even have to dress themselves. Again, heavy subject, the idea that we are leading ourselves to a sedentary lifestyle and will end up being worthless fat people. That sucks, and is personally something that would have made me feel like crap when I was a round little girl. If you don’t get this from the movie, fair enough, but I will not be alone.
It’s up to WALL-E, accidentally to get the people back to Earth and to live a more active, meaningful life. He falls in love with EVE, and will do anything to protect and save her from danger. Even though she ends up saving him more often than he comes to her rescue, but it’s a sweet love story and is brave because the only words they utter are each others’ names.
The story goes from sweet moments to frenzied action, and back to quiet moments and that makes it feel longer and more robust that some other animated movies in past years. I forget I’m watching animation about 2 minutes in and just get lost in the world, the story, and the characters. I’m 41, so that’s a big deal.
With a love story, action adventure, a heavy message, fantastic look, fun music and dialogue, WALL-E is one more triumph for Pixar and will take a place on our DVD shelf for future watching, that’s for sure. I can’t wait for UP, the next in Pixar’s gift’s to the cinematic world.
Audio & Video: 9/10
We all know Pixar is famous for making CGI movies that are amazing on the big screen, but I can’t help but think they were praying for the day consumers could see their movies at home in a decent resolution. WALL-E on Blu-Ray disc is simply stunning. The movie looks a lot different to any of the other Pixar movies as it uses a more realistic colour palette. It has lots of browns, oranges and grays in the first half, and then an explosion of colour in the last act.
The Blu-Ray version is encoded using the AVC codec at a average bitrate of 26MPBS and to my eye in 1080P on our massive 104 inch screen looked just like a theatrical presentation (perhaps better). Every frame of WALL-E is dripping with detail from the truck that WALL-E lives in to the luxurious Axiom cruise liner. I could go on and on forever about this movie but to cut things short, if you are a fan of animation or just want that one special disc to show off your home theater this is it.
Audio is presented using a DTS-HD 6.1 mix that sounds amazing. There are lots of subtle and not so subtle effects going on in the surround channels in almost every scene. There is also a lot of bass activity especially in the opening scenes when we first meet EVE. Overall this Blu-Ray disc is a treat. Not only is the movie superb and one of Pixar’s best, the presentation on Blu-Ray disc is top tier. Disney have pulled out all the stops for this release don’t miss it.
You have a lot of choices for this movie on DVD. You can get 3 different standard DVD’s with various extras at various prices, and 2 different Blu-Ray editions. If you have kids it’s worth the price of a standard DVD if you can find it for around 20 bucks. They will watch it over and over making it a value for money kind of movie. If you need all the extras, collect Pixar flicks, or have a need to splash Blu-Ray movies up on a big screen in your home theater, well you will pay more. I’m not convinced it’s worth more than $20 in any form. Let’s be honest, it’s a fun movie that’s got a lot of heart, but my car won’t run on fun and heart, so I would rent it now, wait for the discount prices after Christmas to buy it.
Overall Score 9/10