When I saw extended footage from WALL-E at Comic-con in 2007, there was no doubt in my mind that I would adore it. A sucker for any animated film, most particularly PIXAR, I was there one year later when the film opened in theaters.
In a scarily realistic future, the Earth has been abandoned by humans, leaving robots behind to clean up their mess. Years after the humans evacuate, there is but one trash compacting robot left, WALL-E, who still does his part every day in cleaning up. He develops a quirky personality and spends his days sifting through trash, bringing home treasures that interest him, and compacting and stacking the rest. One day, a ship appears and from it emerges a sleek flying robot named EVE. WALL-E and EVE tentatively develop a sweet friendship, but the sight of a plant calls her ship back to retrieve her. WALL-E stows away to the mother ship and together they try to prove to the human race that Earth is still hospitable.
This film is sweet, touching, and manages an incredibly large feat by portraying a beautiful romance between two robots who can only say the other’s names. The first hour of the film is nearly silent, save for WALL-E and EVE’s beeps and boops, but is completely engaging and sucks you in completely.
It’s worth noting that PIXAR is on a major role- this film racked up a nomination in every category that Ratatouille was nominated in last year, plus an additional one for Best Song.
Best Original Screenplay
I’m thrilled with this category this year, specifically since there doesn’t appear to be any major stand out. I still have a few films to see before I make any decisions, but WALL-E’s original story is a serious contender here. It’s possible, though, that it’s chances could be hurt by the lack of dialogue.
Best Original Score
I love Thomas Newman’s recognition here, but the upbeat and fresh Slumdog score will almost definitely take this award home on Oscar night.
Best Song – “Down to Earth”
I honestly don’t remember this song from the film which leads me to believe it must have played over the credits. With as much attention as the songs from Slumdog are getting, I think this will be a rare time where two nominations from the same film don’t split the vote and one of their songs will take it home.
The minor difference between sound and sound editing, I believe, will give this category to a large scale action flick such as The Dark Knight or Wanted, but as far as the next category…
Best Sound Editing
…will undoubtedly be a win for this film. Ben Burtt, who has brought to life so many characters with his sound effects, his most famous being R2D2, is a legend in this field and deserves an Oscar for creating a relationship based on sounds alone.
Best Animated Feature
Bolt was an adorable film and Kung Fu Panda was good clean fun, but there’s no doubt in my mind that WALL-E and EVE will take home the Oscar here.