R.C. Speck

Confessions of a Recovering Critic

My Problem with Wall-E

2011 August 5

So now I’ll bet you’re wondering why I’m picking on Pixar. They produce quality entertainment, don’t they? Haven’t they produced some classics as well? Sure. Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Story 3 are my favorites. These I would say belong on the Great Mount Rushmore of family movies. And all from the same company. Quite an accomplishment.

Wall-E is a classic too. But it’s one of those frustrating works of art that present a startlingly beautiful vision only to mar it with contemporary didacticism. It’s a story with, among other things, an instructive and very important message that we should all take heed of before it’s too late. The presumption here, of course, is that the filmmakers can actually deign to instruct us on anything. The problem here, of course, is that the filmmakers are wrong. Dead wrong. If anything, they get a little bit evil-minded about it as well. And those of us who realize this (like me) have no choice but to leave the theater with fists clenched, hoping that not too many people will be suckers for this little power play that is Wall-E.

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