I have to say, I wasn't that impressed by "Wall-E." I have enjoyed every Pixar movie I have seen, and I guess I liked "Wall-E" okay. But I do not see it as a particularly brilliant film, and I do not see that it achieved anything that hadn't been done before in other Pixar movies. The machine love story? "Cars." Humans interacting with strange creatures? "Monsters, Inc." Bumpkins dealing with sophisticates from the outside? "A Bug's Life." And "Cars." I like the Pixar animation, but it's no longer o far beyond the other companies that it blows them away. Dreamworks, in particular the Shrek series is just as good, technically.
So without an original story, we need a good story. "Wall-E" is a good story, but it's not a great story. A lot of critics are praising it because of the the majesty of the space visuals, but I have to say, I found "Finding Nemo" and "Monsters Inc." more impressive. As to the idea that Wall-E i somehow evocative of silent films, I would find that more convincing if the human characters did not talk up a storm. And according to the subtitles, even the robots talk. Wall-E is a cute character, but in some ways he is a shlub. He does not change his environment. He does not do anything. Stuff happens to him. The classic silent comedians, like Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton were not victim because stuff happened to them. They were victims becaue they did something that turned out horribly wrong.
I see the reviewer at Time actually compared the chemitry of Wall-E and Eve to tracy and Hepburn. Uh huh. Was that from "The Desk Set?" Or perhaps "Adam's Rib?"
I suppose I shouldn't be so, so negative. I liked the movie fine, but this is the first time Pixar has not taken a great leap forward. Every movie they have made ha been an improvement over te last one until now. I think this from a quality standpoint would slide in between "Monsters , Inc" which has a great leap forward in animation, but a rather pedestrian story, and "Finding Nemo" which reached about the level where humans can tell when animation has improved and had a terrific story. The emotiveness of the characters in "Wall-E" was more obvious, but not better than in previous stories, and the use of live action sequences was just distracting. To be honest, we've had live action mixed with cartoons since "Anchor's Away," so who cares?
Also, the autopilot looked too much like HAL from "2001."