hello film lover.

sit back, relax, enjoy.



release date 18/07/2008

The technical wizards at Pixar (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles) dispel the myth that size matters in their latest computer animated fable.

As long as you've got a big heart, anything is possible, and in WALL-E, that just happens to be the most magical, out of this world love story, distinguished by amazingly detailed visuals that leave our gobs well and truly smacked from blast-off. Director Andrew Stanton has created a masterpiece that tugs the heartstrings and leaves us giddy with joy. As soon as this beguiling film ends, you'll be clamouring to watch it again, if only to savour the subtle sight gags like the (computer) mice scampering over a 28th century rubbish dump.

All Pixar releases begin with an enchanting short and WALL-E is no different, whetting our appetites with the hysterical Presto which chronicles the battle of wits between a turn-of-the-century magician called Presto DiGiotagione and his cute stage bunny, Alec Azam. For his grand finale, Presto intends to pull Alec out of a bowler hat. Unfortunately, the conjurer has neglected to feed his fluffy, white assistant a juicy carrot and so the hoppity sidekick wreaks revenge by luring his master's fingers into mousetraps and other unfortunate nooks and crannies such as an electricity power socket. Presto gets a well deserved standing ovation for his disastrous routine and that signals the start of the main feature, set on a futuristic planet Earth ravaged by pollution.

The human race has evacuated this graveyard of detritus and scrap metal aboard giant cruiser spaceships belonging to the Buy N Large corporation, leaving behind an army of solar-powered droids to clean up the mess. The last of these pint-sized mechanized creations, WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), dutifully crushes all of the refuse into neat blocks, collecting any interesting artifacts of 20th century life (a Rubik's Cube, brassiere, fire extinguisher, bubble wrap) to add to his personal collection. A chirpy and seemingly indestructible cockroach is WALL-E's only companion and these unlikely friends often sit down at night to view a worn out video cassette of the musical Hello, Dolly!, which fires the little robot's hopelessly romantic hard drive. Out of the blue, a mysterious mother ship touches down on the planet surface and spits out a sleek search-bot called EVE (Extra-terrestrial Vegetation Evaluator), who has been programmed to seek out flora on the third rock from the sun.

What she discovers, however, is an out-dated Load Lifter with a lust for life and a thirst for adventure. From the opening shots of a satellite-encircled Earth and its dead continents of precariously stacked rubbish, WALL-E is a feast for the senses, conjuring unforgettable images like the diminutive hero hitching a ride on EVE's spaceship and allowing his free arm to caress the rings of Saturn, or the robots' deep space waltz. Every frame is crafted with love and jaw-dropping attention to detail. The Pixar wizards even mimic live action by pulling in and out of focus, zooming in on interesting background detail in certain scenes.

Clips of Hello, Dolly! are seamlessly interwoven with the animation, as well as adverts of Buy N Large president Shelby Forthright (Fred Willard) instructing humanity to board the cruise-ships "because space is the final fun-tier!" The eponymous hero is utterly adorable - his relationship with the cockroach is genuinely heartwarming - and the romance with EVE gathers pace gently before a masterful denouement that will reduce grown men to tears. Sound designer Ben Burtt allows WALL-E to communicate through a simple language of beeps and burps; not since Short Circuit's Number 5 has a robot seemed so human. Violence is kept to a minimum and kids will love the army of malfunctioning droids introduced in the second half of the film, such as the compulsive-obsessive M-O (Microbe Obliterator) who is run ragged trying to clean up foreign contaminants that fall off WALL-E's rusty caterpillar tracks. Stanton's futuristic film shoots for the moon and exceeds the hype.

You're unlikely to see a better picture this year.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2006, All Rights Reserved.

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