Sunday, February 7, 2010

Burning Questions: Wall-E

Last night, I enjoyed the movie Wall-E three times in a row with my two year old son. I've already seen it a good 50 times before then. It's a cute movie, and attempts to send a good moral lesson to our youngest generation (take care of the Earth and yourself). But every time that I watch it, I simply can't ignore these serious plot malfunctions.

Concerning the Appeal of Axiom Life (when Earth is supposed to be preferable)
I realize the creators of the movie were trying to emphasize how lazy people became over hundreds of years on the spaceship, but why didn't they make it seem a lot less awesome if they were trying to be cautionary? They've got hoverchairs that travel along hoverhighways wherever they want to go. They have sweet, transparent video chat screens that pop up right in front of their faces! They can change their wardrobe color with the press of a button, and milkshakes pop up on demand. What's not to love about this lazy world? Sure, they're obese, but since people in their world have been for hundreds of years they don't know any better.

Concerning Reproduction
Which brings me to my next quesiton: if these people are too big to be able to get on/off their hoverchairs by are they mating and producing children? HOW? I guess the most logical answer is that they've got little "pollinating" robots with turkey baster-like tools to transport sperm to womb? But then there's the problem of giving at this point I'm just going to satisfy my own curiousity and tell myself that all babies in this obese space colony are grown in artifical wombs and raised by robots until they are grown enough for their own hoverchair.

Concerning Necessities
Where is their food coming from on this mothership? They've been living in it for 700+ years. Where are the slaughterhouses? Does PETA have a branch on the Axiom? How do they get water? How do they pay for things? Do they pay for things? If so, what's their economy like? If not, how are supplies rationed out?

Concerning the Return to Earth
I feel that these are the most irritating questions of them all. Why does the captain want to go to Earth so badly? Because he learned about hoedowns and holidays via the computerized voice dictionary? He's never been there, nor has he ever known anybody who has. Can't he just organize a hoverhoedown and call it a day? Why isn't he the least bit hesitant after seeing the warning video, and then when the robots try to stop him from landing the ship on Earth? That's a pretty big choice, buddy. You might want to mull that over a bit more. But no, instead, he makes the rash decision to head back to Earth (while scaring the living sheebies out of his entire population in the process and possibly nearly killing them all).

So then they land. And the captain plants the little plant, and everybody's happy. Then the screen pans out and you see the silhouette of the cubes of trash the robots were stacking up high, high into the sky....... What in the hell are they going to do with all of the mountains of crap left behind on the planet (see image at right)? Just because the robots scooped things up and packed them into neat little rubbish squares and stacked them thousands of feet in the air doesn't mean the problem is solved. If the designers of those robots were smart, they would have had different robots collect different recyclable materials that would deliver their recyclable squares to other specialty robots who would then melt the materials down. Gosh! Isn't this movie supposed to be about sustainability? How could the writers miss such an obvious answer to the film's biggest problem? Come on!

Pixar: if you want in a do-over, I'm available for hire. I liked the romance between Wall-E and EVE...we can keep that.


Lanie Ree on February 7, 2010 at 12:46 PM said...

Thank you! Stuff like this drives me crazy too.

Jon Paul on February 8, 2010 at 2:45 AM said...

This really made me laugh. You are right on so many levels!

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