Saturday, May 22, 2010


Wall-E was defiantly a new take on the post apocalyptic films, unlike anything else we have looked at. It was interesting to see this type of genre approached from a perspective that will aim at children.

We can see two apocalypses in the film. The first of which is the man made destruction of the earth itself, which comes as a result of excess consumption and wastefulness. This hold the message (particularly directed to children) that humanity (particularly America) needs to reduce their excessive lifestyles and focus more on recycling (as Wall-E does). The heavy emphasis on Buy Large Company is reflective of Wall Mart, which every American can recognise. They have the vast hyper stores with miles of car park space as well as advertising everywhere (including the moon).

The second apocalypse concerns humanity and the loss of basic human capabilities, effectively turning into giant babies. Humanity becomes completely reliant on machines and technology to run their lives. We see that they have turned into fat and lazy creatures whose lives focus around being told what to do and buy by machines. Not only have humans lost their physical capabilities of moving but also their personalities. This is seen when the computer tells them that blue is the new red, so everyone automatically changes. This reflects consumer culture and how people are exposed every day to subtle (more often un-subtle) advertising and how it subconsciously controls our lives. This image of technology taking over is reflective of the Terminator series, the main difference being the robots in Terminator want to destroy humanity by killing us where as in Wall-E its through slowly taking away the points which make us human, turning us into a type of robot.

Whilst the ultimate aim of the film is to send out a hopeful message and tries to warm kids about the danger of relying on technology and wastefulness it could be seen to send out a negative image. In a way it could be read to show that no matter how bad things get there will always be a way out of it. Despite the world being destroyed we can use technology to repair it and whilst in the process you can have a nice life aboard a luxury cruise ship.

The credits at the end show the story of what happens after the film, how humanity effectively goes back to the beginning (cave man style) but through hard work and time can progress to the level they were at previously (only to destroy the world again??). So as with many Pixar films it ends on a happy note, much unlike other apocalypse texts we have seen.

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