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May 5, 2008

WALL.E

Filed under: Uncategorized — nazalea @ 11:28 pm

Directed by Andrew Stanton
Produced by Jim Morris
John Lasseter
Lindsey Collins
Written by Andrew Stanton
Starring Ben Burtt
(sound designer)
Sigourney Weaver
Jeff Garlin
Fred Willard
John Ratzenberger
Kathy Najimy
Music by Thomas Newman
Peter Gabriel (song)
Editing by Stephen Schaffer
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) June 27, 2008 (USA)
July 18, 2008 (UK)
September 18, 2008 (AUS)
Country Flag of the United States United States
Language English
Budget US$120 million[1]

WALL-E (promoted with a stylized hyphen as WALL•E) is a computer animated science fiction film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film, which follows the romance between two robots in the future, will be released on June 27, 2008. The film is being directed by Andrew Stanton, whose previous film, Finding Nemo, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Jim Morris, who previously worked for Lucasfilm, will be the producer. Most of the characters are not voiced by actors, but by sound design by Ben Burtt which resembles voices. Thomas Newman, who composed Finding Nemo, will reunite with Stanton to compose the film’s score.

Premise

According to John Lasseter in a presentation to Disney corporate investors:

WALL-E is the story of the last little robot on Earth. He is a robot and his programming was to help clean up. You see, it’s set way in the future. Through consumerism, rampant, unchecked consumerism, the Earth was covered with trash. And to clean up, everyone had to leave Earth and set in place millions of these little robots that went around to clean up the trash and make Earth habitable again.

Well, the cleanup program failed with the exception of this one little robot and he’s left on Earth doing his duty all alone. But it’s not a story about science fiction. It’s a love story, because, you see, WALL·E falls in love with EVE, a robot from a probe that comes down to check on Earth, and she’s left there to check on and see how things are going and he absolutely falls in love with her.

WALL-E is an acronym for Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth-Class.

What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL*E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL*E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL*E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets an adventure into motion. Joining WALL*E on his journey across the universe is a cast of characters including a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.

Production

Andrew Stanton conceived WALL-E before Toy Story was made: the idea was, “What if mankind evacuated Earth and forgot to turn off the last remaining robot?” Pete Docter developed the film for two months in 1995, after Stanton explained the story to him, but he decided to make Monsters, Inc. (2001) instead, as he was unsure of telling a love story. The idea continued to preoccupy Stanton, because of his love of space opera and personifying inanimate objects. In his vision of the future, “WALL-E is the only one still truly living. And what is the ultimate purpose of living? To love. And WALL-E falls head over heels with a robot named EVE. Now, WALL-E’s feelings aren’t reciprocated because, well, she has no feelings. She’s a robot, cold and clinical. WALL-E is the one who has evolved over time and garnered feelings. So in the end, it’s gonna be WALL-E’s pursuit to win EVE’s heart, and his unique appreciation of life to become mankind’s last hope to rediscover its roots. In short, it’s going to take a robot’s love to help make the world go round.”

After directing Finding Nemo, Stanton felt they “had really achieved the physics of believing you were really under water, so I said ‘Hey, let’s do that with air.’ Let’s fix our lenses, let’s get the depth of field looking exactly how anamorphic lenses work and do all these tricks that make us have the same kind of dimensionality that we got on Nemo with an object out in the air and on the ground.'” Producer Jim Morris added that the film was animated so that it would feel “as if there really was a cameraman”. Dennis Muren was hired to advise Pixar on replicating science fiction films from the 1960s and 1970s, including elements such as 70 mm frames, barrel distortion and lens flare. Scale models were made for Muren, which he used to teach Pixar.

The design of the robots came about by Stanton telling his designers, “See it as an appliance first, and then read character into it.” In creating the title character, the animators were inspired by a pair of binoculars and Luxo Jr., the lamp featured in the Pixar logo. Stanton was playing with a pair of binoculars, which looked happy or sad depending on whether they were upside down or not. Stanton felt “you don’t need a mouth, you don’t need a nose, you get a whole personality just from [the eyes]”, which meant the audience would feel “he is [not] just a human in a robot shell”. WALL-E’s body came from the logic of having his body curl up like a turtle and tank treads that would allow him to overcome any terrain. The director also acknowledged he may have been subconsciously influenced by the film Short Circuit (which he has only seen once).[10]

Stanton pitched the story to Ben Burtt who signed on to do the sound design. There is little traditional dialogue in the film; Stanton joked, “I’m basically making R2-D2: The Movie“, in reference to Burtt’s work on Star Wars. To create dialogue, Burtt took various mechanical sounds, and combined them to resemble dialogue. For a character named AUTO, Burtt used old Maritime military sounds to express the character’s emotions. Jeff Garlin is voicing a Captain, who is the only animated character who speaks. Fred Willard will have a live action role as the CEO of Buy n Large. John Ratzenberger, who has voiced characters in every Pixar film, cameos as a character called John, while Sigourney Weaver and Kathy Najimy have roles. Weaver voices an onboard computer: her casting was a nod to the Alien films. Executive producer John Lasseter said about the film’s lack of dialogue that “the art of animation is about what the character does, not what it says. It all depends on how you tell the story, whether it has a lot of dialogue or not.”

(wikipedia.org and imdb.com)

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