An Inconvenient Contaminant

I saw Wall-E last week for my birthday (thanks, Rain!), but have been too busy distracted buying stuff and staring blankly at computer screens to be able to write anything about it.

It’s so good I can’t think of a better word to describe it than “wonderful.”

At this point, it’s a given that any Pixar movie is going to have moments that are astonishing visually and artistically. And it’s pretty much inevitable that they’re going to have at least one moment that makes me cry. But I could tell I was in for a hard time with this one, because I started tearing up during the short film, “Presto.” Not because it was sad, but because it’s filled with these little jolts of brilliance, thrown at you in rapid succession. It’s a series of rabbit punches directly to the part of your brain that appreciates good stuff.

And in the first fifteen minutes of Wall-E, there are all these little moments that had me marveling at the animation and the pacing and whoa I squeezed out another tear how did that happen? Wall-E watches a scene from Hello Dolly and starts to practice the dance routine with a garbage can lid as a straw hat, and it’s so perfectly timed and under-played and evocative, you can’t help but be moved by the conspicuous subtlety.

Reading the reviews, you’ll find heaps of praise with the same superlatives repeated: “a jewel,” “a masterpiece,” “stunning,” “breathtaking,” “heartbreaking,” “enthralling,” “beautiful,” and my favorite so far, “dangerously close to the sublime.”

But you’ll also see plenty of complaints about the shift in tone from the first part of the movie to the second, and about the “preachy” message. I don’t think either are valid, but to explain why means spoilers.

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