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Following Ratatouille, Pixar tackled the science-fiction genre with WALL-E, the story of a big-eyed little robot stuck all by himself in the middle of a post-apocalyptic Earth until he meets an unexpected visitor.

This was Pixar's boldest concept since Toy Story as a good portion of the film is basically silent save for music and sound effects. The human characters don't show up until much later and when they do, they never steal the focus from WALL-E or his modern robot love interest EVE who is sent to Earth, we soon find out, to look for any source of vegetation. The world the film depicts is one overcome by garbage due to the environment having crumbled under the weight of industry and commercialism. Incidentally, the weakest aspect of WALL-E is probably its environmental message, which isn't exactly subtle, but it is admittedly done quite well in that it gives the characters something to fight for and presents a uniquely comfortable yet lazy and ultimately grim vision of the future, something you wouldn't necessarily expect in a kids' film. The fact that the only adorable animal sidekick in this movie is a cockroach gives you an idea of the non-Disney undertone it has.

The animation is beautiful throughout, of course, and the character design on WALL-E himself and the other robots in the space station is excellent, even if some Short Circuit comparisons can be made. EVE is perhaps a tad less creatively designed but she's a surprisingly well-defined character as well so that's frankly a nitpick. The scale of the story and the idea that one cute little box-like robot could somehow save the entire planet is an inspiring one. This may be one of the bleakest Pixar films out there but it's also packed with very funny moments, a sweet romance, likeable characters, a positive message and it's altogether pretty uplifting so while the dystopian theme is a downer, the film itself is joyful and fun. Director Andrew Stanton, who also brought us Finding Nemo, took on Pixar's most challenging gamble, a dialogue-light animated feature, and the result was one of the studio's best and most memorable achievements.

Even if you prefer another Pixar film, it's hard to deny just how good WALL-E is. This is a funny yet bittersweet sci-fi epic with enough charm to fill a planet and even the most skeptical viewer will find it tough not to enjoy every minute of it.

Still very good.

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