SF elements: intelligent robots
On a garbage-strewn Earth long deserted by humans, solar-powered trash-compactor WALL·E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter · Earth-Class) continues his lonely job of clearing up the mess, collecting the occasional memento along the way. But one day his routine is interrupted when a spacecraft lands and disgorges EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator), a pristine white egg shaped robot (very Japanese) with a deadly blaster arm. Trying to befriend this new companion, WALL·E presents a selection of his discoveries, but nothing works until he offers a small plant. EVE grabs it, and the spaceship returns. Now WALL·E's life changes forever as he follows her back to the humans on the starship Axiom .
This is good fun, with lots of little gags adding richness to the overall plot. That plot itself is a bit thin (although better, and more original, than Cars ), but provides for some good scenes with berserk monster robots. The treacly ending is wrong, though -- the humans get to return to Earth because it has recovered enough started regrowing plants; but clearly they have learned nothing, since the Axiom requires gigantic garbage compactor robots of its own.
Nevertheless, the weird robots, the boneless humans in their hover-chairs, the way WALL·E folds up into a cube, the Captain's cape-jacket, the autopilot (including the neat 2001 reference), the digs at consumerism, and the rest, add up to a fun ride. Better (more original) than Cars , but nowhere near up to the depth of the Toy Story series. (Although, of course, those two are fantasies, of a world of car-people, or a world where toys have secret lives of their own, whereas this is science fiction, of a future world of "real" robots interacting with humans -- so I had to firmly engage my suspension of disbelief, and stop asking: but how did they manage to reprogram themselves to do that ...)
reviewed 3 January 2011