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VOICE OVER: Samantha Clinch WRITTEN BY: Amber Wood
Let's be honest, "WALL-E" was more for adults. There's no doubt that it's hard to deny a good show tune, but who knew the impact and warmth it could bring to a film that would otherwise be silent and cold? Our countdown includes "Hello, Dolly!," working like a robot, dead WALL-Es, and more!

#10: Working Like a Robot

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In “WALL-E’s” opening sequence, we get a glimpse at what this quirky robot has been up to for the last seven hundred years: cleaning up garbage to no avail. Though WALL-E’s charming personality breaks up the bleak tone that is established, it’s still hard to ignore. Our main character seems to be stuck on autopilot, working a thankless nine-to-five without much of a life outside of his job. While this might be okay for any normal robot, WALL-E’s sentience makes his situation all the more depressing. Even with autonomy, he gives himself to a cause that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Though we salute his commitment to cleaning up the Earth, WALL-E’s predicament definitely hits home for those stuck in similar positions.

#9: Modern-Day Axiom Living

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Although this sci-fi film was made in 2008, it’s eerie to see just how much this animation seemed to predict modern society’s obsession with technology and its harmful effects. Aboard this spaceship, every single whim and duty is carried out by robots or automated programs. They’ve abandoned face-to-face interaction for digital screens and discarded all responsibilities in favor of lethargy. While our technology is not nearly as advanced as the Axiom’s, we can clearly see similarities between the hover chair-bound passengers and our own society. Pixar warns us of the path we could be heading down. They remind us to be mindful of how we use technology and how much we use it. Now go outside and touch some grass.

#8: Where Do Babies Come From?

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While the survival of human civilization on the Axiom seems entirely plausible to children, life aboard this galactic cruise ship might have some adults scratching their heads. It’s clear that face-to-face social interaction, especially human touch, is foreign to the hover chair-bound passengers. So where exactly did all of these babies come from? In a ship that boasts excessively long lifespans and regenerative food, we have to wonder just how advanced their technology is and what else it might be used for. The film does not address this minor plot detail, but rather leaves adults puzzling the age-old question. In this case, maybe we don’t want to know.

#7: “Hello, Dolly!”

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What this flick lacks in dialogue is more than made up for with its incredible score and its inclusion of music from the 1969 rom-com, “Hello, Dolly!” While the songs chosen are great on their own, their application enhances “WALL-E’s” story elements and helps to relay emotional information to the viewers. These delightful earworms become themes that allow the audience to understand character personalities and the progression of emotions between two beloved robots. There’s no doubt that it’s hard to deny a good show tune, but who knew the impact and warmth it could bring to a film that would otherwise be silent and cold?

#6: Dead WALL-Es

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As if the absolute devastation of Earth wasn’t enough to capture the film’s dreary opening, you may have noticed a grim detail amongst the piles of trash. As WALL-E finishes up his work in the opening sequence, he coolly rolls past several lifeless robots. The fact that these robots have become part of the trash that they were meant to clean up is morbidly ironic. But WALL-E’s sentience, nonchalant nature makes matters worse. We know that he has his own thoughts and feelings, yet WALL-E doesn’t seem to mind disassembling his fallen friends to upgrade himself. He even keeps spare parts in his home! We’ll chalk this one up to WALL-E’s innocence, but something about this feels incredibly wrong.

#5: Science Fiction Influences

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Director Andrew Stanton used his love for science fiction to influence both the aesthetics and casting choices of “WALL-E.” In fact, older audiences may have even recognized a voice aboard the Axiom. The ship’s computer and, consequently, Buy n Large is voiced by none other than sci-fi superstar, Sigourney Weaver. A dream for Stanton’s vision, Weaver’s casting is ironic as her role in “Alien” saw her struggle in and against the spaceship she was aboard. Thankfully, the computer on the Axiom was not malicious itself and instead became a companion to its captain, aiding his desire to return home to Earth.

#4: Depressing View on Human Nature

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In theory, life aboard a worry-free, technologically advanced cruise ship sounds like a dream. Surprisingly, the reality of the situation is pretty depressing. Over the course of seven centuries, the passengers on the Axiom have devolved into thoughtless consumers who are bound to hover chairs and addicted to virtual screens. It’s made clear that humanity has made no real strides to repair the damage done to Earth. In fact, they’ve only just continued their excessive consumption practices in space! Rightfully so, the film chastises its lazy characters for seeing the Earth as disposable and living in complacency under the rule of a gigantic megacorporation. Unlike other works in their catalog, Pixar’s commentary in “WALL-E” is disheartening and serves as a warning to an apathetic lifestyle.

#3: Limited Dialogue

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Any avid cinephile can tell you just how important dialogue is to a film. It’s used to express story, explore motivations, and help the audience make connections with the characters on-screen. “WALL-E” is impressive and unique in that despite starring two robots who don’t actually speak much, the viewers still sympathize with these characters. A large part of this success is because the feature embodies the spirit of classic silent comedies. The movie pays homage to the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, using pantomime to express storytelling points and emotions. In combination with musical themes, expressive animation, and imaginative voice acting, “WALL-E” was able to tell a heartwarming love story without saying much at all.

#2: The Negative Impacts of Capitalism

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A Pixar animation is one of the last places we’d expect to see commentary on the harmful impacts of Capitalism, and yet “WALL-E” doesn’t hold back. In the movie, it seems the business conglomerate, Buy n Large, monopolized every possible market and even had their hands in the government. Though these suggestions in themselves have dark implications, what’s more disturbing is BnL’s encouragement of thoughtless consumption. With their influence, Buy n Large stimulated excessive spending practices that ultimately led to the devastation of the planet. While these are some pretty mature ideas for a children’s film, it might make older audiences consider the power of their own dollar and the responsibility to consume with intention.

#1: Climate Change

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“WALL-E’s” opening is one of the most iconic and impactful sequences we’ve ever seen in an animated feature. The juxtaposition of the joyous music against the visuals of Earth buried in trash is haunting, to say the least. Possibly, because the images feel like a look into our own future. Though our planet may not have towering skyscrapers made of garbage, there’s no denying that the effects of climate change will continue to damage the Earth and greatly impact all of its life. If we could ever learn one thing from a Pixar film, it should be this: we have a responsibility to take care of our planet and respect our home. Now more than ever, we need to make fiction a reality. Did you catch any of these moments when you were younger? Let us know in the comments!

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