Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Clips: WALL-E DVD Review

Republished with permission from Creative Screenwriting:

The Two Faces of EVE

WALL-E (Three-Disc Special Edition)

Screenplay by Andrew Stanton (also directed) & Jim Reardon
Original story by Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter

On a futuristic Earth buried under refuse and long since abandoned by humanity, a resourceful, lonely (and, because this is Pixar, adorable) trash compactor on wheels named WALL-E (voiced by Ben Burtt) is instantly smitten by a sleek robot named EVE (v. Elissa Knight), who has been sent to scout the planet for signs of life. He works tirelessly to win her friendship, and his single-minded devotion leads him on a grand adventure. Love has never looked so pure. But then the tone shifts; in WALL-E, you get two scripts in one: an unconditional love story and a slapstick space romp about morbidly obese humans confined to mobile chairs and reliant on robots (and the Buy n Large corporation) to cater to their every need. Both tales work well on their own, but the two halves don't quite fit together. Still, the film is enchanting, and the extras are jam-packed. Aside from a brand new animated short about a perpetually thwarted lightbulb-fixing robot called Burn-E, there are several charming bits of additional footage from WALL-E's world, as well as a 90-minute documentary on Pixar and excellent film commentary by writer-director Andrew Stanton, in which he discusses how he used music to push forward the narrative. There is also an in-depth look into Academy Award-winning Ben Burtt's sound design process. Because the lead roles don't have much dialogue, every sound they make is vital to conveying character. Burtt admits that it took him and Stanton a year's worth of work to establish the main character's "voices." Their efforts definitely paid off.
- Sarah Skilton

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