Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pixar's "Wall-E" Screening

So I did get to see it and it was really good. Definitely different than your usual talking animal movie. There are a few parts that didn't work for me (possible SPOILERS - highlight to read: no need to have live-action actors in there, the progression from real to CG makes no sense, real actors are absolutely not warranted and the CG humans stick out as plastic-y amidst all the super real robot renders; music didn't work for me, especially the songs; beginning third features too many joke scenes one after the other, we get the point that Wall-E is cute and in love, lets move on), so I wouldn't call it a masterpiece and Pixar's best (like the reviews so far have been doing). There's just something about "The Incredibles", "Monsters Inc." and "Toy Story 1 & 2" that's hard to beat, but it's definitely very well done, a wake up call (hopefully to other companies) that you can do so much through pantomime alone and not relying on super blockbuster actor voices. What they got out of Wall-E and Eve in terms of acting was awesome. The story is really cute, has a great not-so-subtle message (bravo to that), no poop or fart jokes (we really don't need to see another creature involved with poop). It's reminding me a bit of Monster's Inc. to an extend (foreign object messing up an established environment), which can only be good since I love that movie, but leans more towards Finding Nemo in terms of emotional value and even the music (same director & composer). The music did not work for me unfortunately, I was hoping for something more original (less Nemo-ish). Plus I'm just not a big fan of known songs in a movie, but I'm picky about that. There are two cues which are awesome though, leaning more towards "Alien" in style and mood, yet keeping a quirky cartoony style. Those sections were genius, but unfortunately it's not like that throughout the whole movie. The renders are insane, with many really cool shots compositionally where you wish you had a poster of that frame. All the robots are really well designed in terms of appeal and coolness factor, the merchandise department will have a field trip. I wish Gentle Giant or Sideshow would select a few robots and do super detailed statues of them. There's more to point out that was awesome, but you just have to go see it for yourself.

It's going to be very interesting to see how the audience reacts to Kung Fu Panda and Wall-E, or how the Oscars will turn out. Two totally different movies, Panda having fantastic set pieces, beautiful art direction, lighting, music and characters, but overall a more straight forward movie delivering on the entertainment factor - and Wall-E, more simplistic in its delivery and presentation at first (only three characters and no (conventional) dialogue for at least the first third, MUCH slower pace than Panda), but emotionally so much stronger and daring exactly because of that, strong message and going beyond the pure entertainment factor. It's almost Spielberg vs. Ridley Scott. Both are here to entertain and they do it well, but yet they are different. :)

I hope Dreamworks is listening and learning from Panda's success and why it works and I hope Pixar keeps pushing the envelope as well as they do. Quality wise they are both at the same level so we are in for a treat. Make sure you catch both movies in theaters and study them on Blu-ray, mandatory homework!


Erik Lee said...

I can't wait to see wall-e, I'm curious about how they make a no-dialogue feature film works well.
I'm also happy about dreamworks is making a awesome movie, again. it raise the competition between studios, which is a good news for us. we can have more and more master animated movies abd also making a big challenge about making our demo reel to get a job.

Anonymous said...

thanks for being honest..JD !!!

Joey said...

I saw "WALL-E" screening on Saturday too. Acting-wise is awesome!!!! Love it! Wall-E,Eve,Mo!!! THet are so sweet!!!
Wall-E seems to be a different from the other Pixar's animation.
The bacground music was not that impact. But I like the way music has a subtle effects. I think Wall-E commercail showed too many good shots in Wall-E. I wish I wouldn't have seen Wall-E commercial ever.
Personaly, I really like Wall-E. I know how he feels about her, Eve.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Ah, anonymous strikes back! :)