Synopsis (from NetFlix):
In a futuristic world, human beings have destroyed Earth and evacuated the planet, leaving the cleanup to an army of robots they’ve programmed to do their dirty work. Due to a mishap, the dutiful WALL-E is the only one left. But with the arrival of a female probe named EVE, the monotony of WALL-E’s existence is broken — and he experiences love for the first time. Andrew Stanton directs this Golden Globe-winning Pixar tale with a sci-fi twist.
This film transcends its medium. It speaks to us on multiple levels, from plot, to social commentary, from personal transformation, to collective responsibility. There are several themes which are quite profound and that people struggle with (or struggle to ignore) daily.
One theme is of hope, and specifically how it can overcome even the greatest obstacles. We see this exhibited through WALL-E himself. He is the last of his kind, alone attempting to accomplish an impossible task. Yet instead of giving up hope he works diligently, gleaning what good he can from the mess that is left of earth. When EVE comes, he is so happy, and patient with her initially cold (robotic? 🙂 ) reaction to him.
“Just as the earth bears those who dig into her, it is best to bear with those who despise us.” ~TiruVuluvar (the Jain saint)
The theme of hope is also exhibited in the greater society as they send forth the EVE droids in search of a habitable planet. While it has been 700 years or more, they still go out searching for plant life. Hope has been a large component of 2008, the year this film came out, and even more so I would say in 2009 as the world embraces the new US President Barack Obama and his message. Over the last year the world has seen the largest economic collapse since the great depression, with countries like Iceland going bankrupt. We have seen wars and conflict, from the most recent installment of Israel/Palestine, to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the horrible act of terrorism in Mumbai. This film is part of the greater conversation of hope, a way to help both children and families engage in this conversation in a more uplifting way than the nightly news might. If we can keep this conversation going, then maybe we can transform the words into deeds and come up with the small, daily solutions that together can build toward peace.
“Release yourselves, O nightingales of God, from the thorns and brambles of wretchedness and misery, and wing your flight to the rose-garden of unfading splendor.” ~
“Maturity: It’s when you stop doing the stuff you have to make excuses for and when you stop making excuses for the stuff you have to do.” ~ Marilyn Vos Savant
“My lover spoke and said to me,
‘Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.’ ”
~ Excerpt from The Song of Songs (The Song of Solomon)