Released in 2008 by director Andrew Stanton, WALL-E is a heartfelt film with deep messages for a contemporary audience.
Set in the distance future, WALL-E is the only thing alive on Earth – apart from his cockroach friend. A robot left to clear up the mess left behind by humans when Earth became inhabitable for them, he gathers litter by day and examines the objects he has collected by night. But what WALL-E truly longs for is someone whom he can share these delights with after an old copy of Hello Dolly falls into his possession and teaches him the meaning of love.
Enter EVE. A robot from the Axiom – the ship now housing the rest of humanity since they fled to the stars – her directive is to search for life on planet Earth in order for the humans to return. When WALL-E presents her with a small plant he had managed to salvage, he finds himself whisked off to another world when EVE has to return and WALL-E refuses to lose her that quickly after finding his chance at love.
When aboard the Axiom, the clumsy WALL-E finds himself disrupting life for those on-board. The humans no longer interact with each other apart from via a screen and cannot even walk due to their bone structure weakened after years of having robots giving them everything they could possible wish for. But some “rogue” robots – those breaking away from their programming – find a hero in WALL-E and his loveable nature means he starts to connect with the humans in a way they had lost when it comes to connecting to themselves. However, his mission to reunite with EVE is haunted by troubles and WALL-E has to deal with things he never imagined just to have his chance at happiness.
Although the film contains in-depth messages about consumerism and the dangers our planet could face if things continue the way they are, it is also a heart-warming one that leaves the audience melting. WALL-E is adorable and touching, his innocent desire to have someone hold his hand touching a note with any audience. Children can appreciate the whole “space-robots-bad guy wanting to take over” side of the plot whereas adults can take something from the interaction of the characters.
There is something that echoes pure innocence in the character of WALL-E despite the apocalyptic nature of the film. His programming might be why he spends years clearing up the Earth even though there is no one there to appreciate it, but it is his heart and caring nature that makes him want to fix problems that are not under his control.
A film against fighting against the odds and not giving up even when all seems impossible, WALL-E is one for everyone to enjoy. Although it took me a while before seeing it, it is certainly one I am glad to have watched and will return to when there is the need for something that just makes you feel as if there is hope for the future.