In my 46 years of life, I can't think of a movie that has more people talking--especially a "kids" movie. I am going to go watch it this week and will post my own thoughts on it, but let's start a discussion right here as only diet.com can!
I just read this on MSNBC:
A couple of weeks ago I went to see â€śWALL-E,â€ť and was thoroughly delighted. Not only was it one of the sweeter love stories to hit theaters recently (I couldnâ€™t even think of another one â€" what has happened to the romantic comedy, Hollywood?), it also gave a satirical look at the future with overweight people being carted around in floating barcoloungers while never looking away from their video monitors. Of course, this poked a bit of fun at audience members who sat passively watching the film with their large Cokes and tubs of buttered popcorn.
But, leaving the theater, I started to think about the multitude of overweight kids (and parents) out there who would go to see â€śWALL-E.â€ť Would those kids feel motivated to jump up from their computer games and head outside before the world went awry, or would they just feel bad about themselves for being the â€śworst case scenarioâ€ť when it came to the human race? After all, one of the few â€śacceptableâ€ť prejudices does seem to be the one against overweight people. And thinking about it, I started to feel sort of bad for the kid who might have his or her already poor self-image reinforced. But maybe Iâ€™m being oversensitive.
None of this affected my view about the movie, which is still basically my cinematic highlight of this summer. And all the Oscar talk (of nominating this film for best picture instead of leaving it in the animated film ghetto) is gratifying, and, heck, Iâ€™d love to see it happen.
Of course, my objections about how weight is portrayed in the film have nothing on the right-wing response, which is, frankly, downright silly.
Shannen Coffin of the National Review wrote, â€śFrom the first moment of the film, my kids were bombarded with leftist propaganda about the evils of mankind.â€ť And conservative pundit Glenn Beck wrote, â€śI looked at my wife and I said, itâ€™s a frickinâ€™ global warming movie, it is how we destroyed the Earth.â€ť
For me, the film took a satirical look at whatâ€™s happening now (pollution, consumer glut, excessive waste) to its logical conclusion â€" one that might actually be a good one for families to talk about. But it never felt preachy. The overweight people on the â€śWALL-Eâ€ť spaceship are never portrayed as malevolent; theyâ€™re downright nice. After all, the moral of the film is that you can change things â€" whether it be finding love or repopulating the Earth â€" if you take your head out of the sand (or your TV monitor) and try. Whatâ€™s not to like about that?
check out the comments there!I can't wait to read what YOU think!!!--and to see for myself what I think! Don't you just love a good controversy!?!
I think it's important to point out that the condition of the humans in the movie is different than just being overweight. It's been hundreds of years since humans left earth and were slotted into the lifestyle portrayed in the film.
If you're stuck in a chair from the moment you can hold your head up, certainly that's going to affect your physiology. The evolution of the captains' pictures from what we recognize as "normal" to the roundness of the humans hundreds of years later serves as a clue to the fact that people were simply born into the increasingly sedentary lifestyle depicted into the film. If you've never known anything different ("I didn't know we had a pool!"), it's hard to know what to do to change.
And yet, the film points out that, despite having the evolutionary cards stacked against you, you can still go against the status quo and save the world, so to speak. When put back in their natural habitat, the humans quickly figured out what was necessary to survive and thrive.
Looking at the film as a pot shot against overweight people is both lazy and disappointing, as is assigning a political agenda to the movie. Wall-E isn't about the mess; it's about not giving up hope when you find yourself in one.
Elizabeth Ditty, Kansas City, Mo. (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 8:50 AM)
You people take things way too seriously. If you feel bad about yourself leaving the movie, then that's your own personal issues.
pixar, NY (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 10:58 AM)
Well said Elizabeth Ditty!!! You hit the nail squarely on the head (and drove one into the Coffin). I cast my Oscar vote for Best Picture (of the decade).
Joe DeCamillis, Birmingham, AL (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:10 AM)
The message of Wallâ€˘E is the indictment of human nature. We're basically lazy beasts and take the path of least resistance. Given the chance to loll about in levitating loungers, almost all will. Every person had a choice as to whether or not to excercize and eat well but not a one did. The same extended to mindless consumerism and subsequent pollution. It's easier to not do anything about it.
This got my nine-year old thinking and asking questions. He spends less time in front of the computer now and actually asked me if I wanted to go for a walk. Thank you, Pixar.
Camilo Chicago (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:12 AM)
Well said Elizabeth. It is a fantastic movie. Probably the best Pixar has ever done.
MJ, PA (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:12 AM)
IT'S A KIDS MOVIE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!! This is why adults don' get kids movies - because they try to make it something it's not. Besides, what is wrong with getting children to look at how they treat their bodies and their Earth? Shouldn't we want our children to be better people than we are now? I think people who were offended by WALL-E were offended because they felt convicted about their own gluttony and wastefulness. It wasn't a movie about global warming at all. It was a movie about people who had lost their way and gave up, but one person had hope that their course could be corrected. I thought it was a great movie and that it was right on in its message.
Katie somewhere USA (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:21 AM)
When I saw the humans at the ship being carried and overweight I frankly got scared. Really scared. I believe we are on our way to do that with all the technology and the culture of spending like getting our stimulus check so we can go and buy stuff.
I have never seen a movie that told me to go and do some exercise.
Alex, Everett, Wash (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:23 AM)
With all the wonderful attention to detail in the movie, I'd like to know how Stanton et al managed to overlook the fact that the little plant in that sealed refrigerator somehow survives in the total absence of sunlight (hint: there's an out, but it's not shown).
Alan Dean Foster (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:32 AM)
I saw this movie with my 2 year old and while she did fall asleep, it was nap time, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would have been happy with it being left just a simple love story without much human portrayal at all like it started out. The left and right leaning folks will see what they want to see, either global warming and materialism to it's utter extreme or a global government that takes care of your every need ala communism.
The obese people dipicted in the movie are the result of generations of a sendentary life of sitting in front of a screen all your life and drinking your food having every need met by servants.
While this movie shows a sad future for humans, it does present hope of a kick start, in the form of a robot of all things.
Today we are at a crossroads, we can continue down the path presented in WALL-E of less personal interaction, less work, less motivation to care for oneself, more excess, more waste or begin again to take care of ourselves, our families, our business our world, and our lives.
Shawn Fetz, Indianapolis, Ind (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:32 AM)
As an overweight person, I picked up the overweight theme immediately. But as a space buff, I felt like an ignorant fool in that one tiny scene where they describe how microgravity reduces bone mass and could lead to those overweight types of people. Watch a little closer next time, you'll see. It's one of the scenes with Fred Willard.
Eddy Fernandez Jr, Los Angeles, CA (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:39 AM)
It was a lovely movie and I was fortunate enough to sit beside a family that included a young lady with Down's Syndrome. I had the extra treat of watching her genuine reactions to this wonderful film. It took her from laughter to tears to pure joy--what a treat! I loved the movie from beginning to end and loved watching this young lady root for Wall-E and Eve.
I especially loved the spoofs of Star-Wars and other movies. You could see the Emperor trying to turn Luke to the Dark Side near the end of the film. I also vote for Best Film!
sharonl7340, Grant, AL (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:46 AM)
Amazing how any opinion that isn't yours, Ms. Newman, is "downright silly." I found the movie thematically deplorable and, beyond that, having little entertainment value (I think I chuckled twice). I deeply regret the money I threw away on it.
This is without doubt a global warming propaganda flick. If you can't see that, or don't believe it, then you are under control of the left. Pixar is capable of, and has produced, much better entertainment without preaching the sermon of the politically (in)correct leftists.
Joe Snofool, Atlanta, GA (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:46 AM)
Some viewers may have missed that several-second 'message' from the CEO of the mega-worldwide store that started the whole mess...that a long time in artificial gravity WILL alter skeletal strength and cause bone loss - in this scene, the Captain then looked down at his rounded bare feet.
While all of the people were carted around on hovering barkaloungers (sp), and fed pre-mixed nutrient foods, I for one, did not see any message on gluttony, but rather the scenes seemed to reiterate the length of time of the Cruise which had gone from a 5-year one to several hundred years.
Brenda, Harlingen, TX (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:49 AM)
As an overweight person - and I mean, obese, not just someone who looks in the mirror and says "Do these jeans make me look fat?", I had the same reservation about the appearance of the long-gone humans. I think the movie kind of speaks both ways - if you live long enough in a chair, if you're inactive and adicted to your cell phones and flat-screens, you're gonna be a couch potato, BUT not all hope is lost. It is a little harder for me, but I agree (though I am pretty sure genetics come into play here).
But the REAL political message here is that consumerism is affecting our quality of life, and that quick-fixes and problem avoidance are catching up to us. By 2110, we may well have to flee our planet. The Glenn Becks and George Bushes of the world can hem and haw and say we wont change until someone proves we're destroying the earth, but just as the portly ship's captain did, so must we. We must make the individual effort to effect the correction of climate as best we can, and continue to press the nay-sayers to open their minds, and not just consume us into non-existence.
Stan DeCwikiel, Chicago, IL (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:50 AM)
WALL-E is hardly the first movie/story to depict the evolutionary downfall of mankind and the notion of a "dying earth". Look no further than one of the more famous (and original) examples of the genre, The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells, as an early example of the same concept.
I think anyone who sees this movie as a wake-up call for humanity needs to get off their butt and open their eyes. This "wake-up" call has been around for over a hundred years, just like the environmental movement.
Nevertheless, WALL-E is one of the best movies to come out of Hollywood in a long time. The characters, storyline, and animation are superb. It's clever and heartfelt, and that's about the best anyone could hope to get from the price of a movie ticket.
Heather B R, Cville, VA (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:50 AM)
I didn't find the movie entertaining or even thougth-provoking. It was just a vehicle to sell products and video games to small children.
BK, PA (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:57 AM)
I think it should be noted that astronauts lose bone mass in space, and that astronauts are limited to the number of missions that they can go on in space because it is (to date) irreversible back on earth. Thus, whether or not the movie was making a statement about the increasingly sedentary lifestyle of humans (a statement I think it was trying to make), they were accurately depicting what scientific evidence suggests would happen if humans did have to live in space for a prolonged amount of time. With the loss of bone density, you would not be able to exercise to keep that type of weight off. Add to that the fact that they did not have the resources to eat healthy (no plant life on the ship or on Earth), and you end up with people who cannot exercise eating processed "space food" and becoming overweight.
Melissa S (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:58 AM)
The movie seems to please adults more than kids. My kids 11, 8, 6 & 3 thought that it was borring. This was due to the lack of dialogue. I have gotten the same from other parents. None of the wonderful back and forth of previous Pixar movies. They will not be asking to see this over and over like others. This may hurt the Disney profit machine on sales of all things WALL-E.
Ray, Cincinnati (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 11:58 AM)
Coffin and Beck are trolls with their own agendas. WALL-E is a love story encased in a warm cocoon of satire of consumer excess and human foibles. The knee-jerk response of conservative pundits is to vilify anything that might criticize consumerism, question over-reaching businesses, promote conservation (instead of spending), or point out some of the less attractive aspects of our American way of life. They might as well be publicists for the fictional BnL Corporation in the film (check out the BnL website -- hilarious).
WALL-E carries on a proud tradition of books and films that imagine bleak futures based upon our current circumstances. Is it accurate? Probably not, but who knows what our Earth will look like 700 years from now? Is it a fair extrapolation of the possible consquences of our society? Most definitely.
KCM, Worcester MA (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 12:01 PM)
Funny because what I got out of the movie is that when we fill ourselves up with junk food, inane work and mindless living we're missing out on what's really important, life and love. Kudos to the conservative wanks who are able to see through something so beautiful and make it hate filled, yet again. Most everyone I've talked to has seen the amazing things that can be created even when you start off with junk. Ta Dah!
Laurie Glasson, Springfield, MO (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 12:05 PM)
Well let me begin by saying I found it to be a charming movie, and it was the least snore inducing movie in the "animated family movie" genre I've seen in a long time. And I thought if anything it was a cautionary tale about consumerism and becoming too dependent on technology (neither of which can be called startling new themes.) So I have to say I was a little shocked by the right-wing response as you called it. As Heather from VA pointed out, these warnings aren't new, nor is it the first time they've been marketed in a medium that children will readily access.
I'm guessing these are the same people that decried "The Golden Compass" as evil without realizing that Milton had long ago beaten the world to that particular flavor of heresy.
Leslie, NM (Sent Tuesday, July 08, 2008 12:21 PM)
I read an interview with one of the people involved in the movie (I think it was the director) and he said he originally wanted to make the people blobs, but that he didn't think the audience would be able to relate to that as human.
I find the arguments against the "message" silly, too; but I'm the type of mom who lets my child watch "The Golden Compass" and follow it up with "Narnia", which I'm sure makes the same people who don't like Wall-E for it's message gasp. To each their own, I guess.
I think it's interesting that most people who hate it for it's environmental message (why all the hate towards being kind to our planet?), fail to realize that Pixar has always put some kind of subtle message in their movies. Just like Disney.
I thought Wall-E ... Continue
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