Wall*E: The Definitive Review

Several weeks ago I called upon faithful and sagacious readers to provide me with their opinion of the latest Pixar film Wall*E. The responses were mixed, some joyfully raving about the movie, others harshly criticizing it. This past Friday I decided to find out for myself. It was time for a definitive review (okay, maybe the word ‘definitive’ is a bit strong, but I’ve always wanted to say that something I did was definitive).

Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. After seeing Wall*E with my own eyes, I came away…insert long extended drum roll and 21 gun salute…distinctly DISAPPOINTED. I was disappointed for several reasons.

As a general rule of thumb, Pixar movies are a glorious combination of humorous dialog, hilarious sight gags, and a moderate dose of cuteness. Wall*E however, relied primarily on what I call ‘The Cute Factor’. For example:

  • For a significant portion of the movie there was zero dialog, focusing instead on the silly/cute antics of a robot named Wall*E. Some of it was mildly amusing, such as when Wall*E watches something on a video iPod, but not nearly as funny as the one-liners delivered by Billy Crystal in ‘Monsters Inc.’
  • Partway into the movie a ‘female’ robot named Eve arrives on the scene. Wall*E desperately wants to hold Eve’s hand – a theme that gets repeated approximately 497 times in the movie. Cute, but nothing compared to Frozone in ‘The Incredibles’.
  • Wall*E and Eve say each other’s names in cute robot voices again and again, which was kind of amusing the first fifty times, but lost a bit of ‘oomph’ after that.

I will admit, there were some humorous moments when Wall*E was aboard the space station, but these didn’t carry me through the movie.

There you have it folks, the definitive review. A cartoon movie critically reviewed by a grown man…my parents would be proud.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’d like to hear where you agree or disagree.

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I’m married to Jen, and I have three kids. I know a lot about Star Wars, and I live in a van down by the river. I’ve also written a number of books, which people seem to like.


  1. says

    Stephen, to quote Chris Freeman, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

    I mean . . . how can you not like Wall-E? I don’t understand it . . . I think the silence was one of the best parts of the movie, because they did a great job telling the story with no dialogue. To each his own, I suppose. I do think you are the first personal friend I know who hasn’t liked it.

  2. says

    That’s too bad you didn’t like it. I’m with Brando, I don’t get what’s not to like. I guess being a girl, the cute factor was enough to sustain my interest. That and the constant giggling of my 4&7 year olds. I’m a sucker for a love story though. Even if it is between robots.

  3. Stephen Altrogge says

    Brando and Courtney – Yes, I realize I’m probably being a Philistine. It just didn’t compare to the other Pixar movies for me.

    Maybe when Charis is older and I watch it with her I’ll have a different perspective!

  4. says

    i completely agree. after hearing him say "EVE-A" the millionth time, i wanted to strangle the adorable cute robot. :D

    great review.

  5. says

    This is definitely the definitive review. I would trade quite a bit of “cute” for something resembling a plot. Anyone know when the next Pixar movie is out? Can I get in line now?

  6. Sean says

    Okay, okay, WALL-E does rely a lot on cuteness. But most of the Pixar films do that, and not moderately…I think you’re just noticing it more because there is very little dialogue, which tends in Pixar movies to be dramatic and/or serious (of course, with jokes involved) and balances out the cute factor.

    I think you are neglecting a major part of the story of WALL-E, and that is the deadly serious setting. Earth is basically a junk-filled graveyard, and surviving humanity is so reliant on technology that practically no one uses their brains, much less their bodies. When the humans do finally decide to take action, they can barely move.

    I mean, you need a lot of cuteness to make a dystopian vision not depressing.

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