WALL-E

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WALL•E is a 2008 computer-animated, science-fiction film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and directed by Andrew Stanton. The story follows a robot named WALL-E, which is designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth far in the future. He eventually falls in love with another robot named EVE, and follows her into outer space on an adventure that changes the destiny of both his kind and humanity. WALL-E won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2008.

Contents

Plot Summary

Seven hundred years have passed since the present day, and all of mankind has left Earth in the hands of the Waste Allocation Load Lifer - Earth Class (WALL-E) units to clean the planet, which has been littered to the point of inhabitability. Only one WALL-E unit still seems to function since the humans were last seen on Earth and continues to fulfill its purpose of cleaning the Earth of trash; skyscrapers made of packs of trash are visible throughout the city WALL-E lives in. One day WALL-E finds a sapling in a fridge during his job and brings it back to his "home," a truck that once served as the WALL-E disperse location.  Following that day, WALLE's routine deviates from its normal routine when a red dot could be seen on the floor and seems mobile. WALL-E follows the red dot to the landing location of a shuttle from the Axiom, which sends out an Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator (EVE) unit that WALL-E immediately falls in love at first sight.

Since EVE's arrival, WALL-E's iternary changes from doing his job to following EVE around until he can finally introduce himself and talk to her. Upon introducing one another, EVE reveals she is on a classified mission but throughout the days WALL-E has been following her, it can be assumed she was looking for something. WALL-E eventually takes EVE back to "home," where she finds what she was looking for -- vegetation. EVE immediately locks down and leaves WALL-E once again alone. Until the shuttle that had sent EVE returns, WALL-E takes EVE on "dates" before finally leaving her on top of her truck in hopes that she will awaken if she recharges her solar power. When the day arrives for EVE to be taken back to the Axiom, WALL-E follows in hot pursuit in fear she was being kidnapped and leaves Earth.
Once on the Axiom, WALL-E continues his pursuit after EVE but on his way, he changes the perspectives of Mary and indirectly, John, who have been spoiled by overuse of technology. Both were unaware of their physical surroundings e.g. the beautiful stars and the pool. WALL-E finally gets to talk to EVE when she makes it to the bridge, where the Captain evaluates EVE 's report on Earth being once again hospitable. However, it is revealed EVE no longer has the seedling and is sent to maintenance with WALL-E who is sent there not for malfunctioning but for cleaning. At maintenance, EVE is first taken in by the "doctors" and when WALL-E sees EVE's arm removed, WALL-E fears for the worst again. From then on, EVE and WALL-E are labelled as rogue robots and have to hide from the security robots. During their escape from security, EVE and WALL-E discover that the seedling had been removed from EVE and placed on an escape pod, which EVE had intended to send WALL-E back to Earth. Eventually, EVE and WALL-E acquire the plant and return to the Axiom, where they make their way to the bridge again.

Once at the bridge, it is revealed that the robots in charge were folllowing the last command of Buy n' Large's CEO.  This leads to the Captain being placed under house arrest and the two robots -- EVE and WALL-E -- tossed into the waste disposal of the Axiom. There, EVE tries to find a way to fix WALL-E but WALL-E convinces EVE to continue following her directive by bringing the plant to the bridge once more. After finding a way out of the waste disposal, the Captain manages to make an announcement for WALL-E and EVE, which would provide directions to return to Earth. WALL-E and EVE succeed in initiating the process to head back to Earth but at the price of WALL-E being further destroyed by the pilot's attempt to cancel the procedure to returning to Earth. Once back on Earth, EVE quickly fixes WALL-E and upon finishing, hopes for WALL-E to again become operational. WALL-E immediately appears operational but void of his old self. It it only until EVE "kisses" WALL-E that he returns to normal through an electric spark.

Characters

WALL-E: the robot protagonist; it has been doing its job for the past 700 years since the Hman exodus. WALL-E appears to the last of its kind and has developed far more than other units of its kind i.e. WALL-E has developed a personality similar to humans by deviating from its purpose. The most noticeable traits of his rise of individuality can be found at his "home," where he collects certain litter and lives with his pet cockroach. Additionally at his "home," he watches TV, sings a certain song from Mary Poppins and rocks his "bed" before entering his hibernation mode.

EVE: a unit sent from the Axiom to do its classified purpose, which is later declassified as seeing if Earth is habitable again. EVE appears unique from the start by showing signs of frustration and impatience when not finding what she is out to look for as well as appearing to like flying around at speed exceeding the speed of sound. She eventually develops "feelings" for the lovesick WALLE.

Axiom: the ship that has been self-efficient for the past 700 years and contains one huge portion fo mankind.

John

'Mo': a robot that seems to have heavy sense of duty and persistence for throughout the movie he goes after WALL-E to do his task -- cleaning any contamination from Earth and other places outside the Axiom.

Captain: the leading human character who has the task and power of determining whether or not mankind should return to Earth as he his the human pilot of the ship. He is the first human in the movie to prove that he can walk on his own two feet.

'Auto': the leading robot character which has the task of maintaining the last command of Buy n' Large's CEO who ordered Code A113. Code A113 provides the robots with absolute command of the ship and to follow the CEO's last command of keeping mankind from going back to Earth.

Mary: the first human character who becomes aware of her physical surroundings after having her mobile unit malfunctions due to WALL-E's intervention i.e. bumping into her.

John: the second human character who becomes aware of his physical surroundings but only after Mary messes with his mobile unit (the technologically advanced "wheelchair")


Related Themes in Class Readings

Selections from Sherry Turkle:

human interactions with technology such as cellphones and robots leads to self-imposed physical isolation. An example of self-imposed physical isolation is when the human characters WALL-E bumps into lose their computer-aspects of their more technologically advanced "wheel-chairs," they become more aware of their physical surroundings and of other people not on a monitor.

"Unmarketable":

Buy n' Large, a big corporation from the movie, is seen throughout the movie providing everything a human will ever need -- be it education, clothes and more. Buy n' Large's marketing is so strong that any released commodity e.g. a new suit option of going blue is immediately pickd up by the consumers.

Walle BigNLarge1.jpg  e.g. Buy N Large Bank

Neuromancer:

Buy n' Large is a corporation which made "the Axiom" and motion the human exodus from Earth while their WALL-E units "supposedly" clean the Earth within seven years. However due to undesired results of the WALL-E units' progress, Buy n' Large employs Code A113 that led to robots having command and preventing mankind from ever returning to Earth as Buy n' Large decides Earth is now inhabitable from all the trash. Thus, Buy n' Large acts as the authority acting against the "hackers" -- WALL-E and EVE. Similarly in Neuromancer, Case and his colleagues work against the government's policy against sentient AI and the creators of the AI who decided to not undergo the plans involving the AI Wintermute and Neuromancer.

Schismatrix:

Drugs and Shaper similarities may not be strongly visible or present in WALL-E but Mechanist similarities, on the other hand, are more apparent in a less grotesque way. Technology in WALL-E allows for humans and robots to keep living away from Earth as they manage to be self-efficient for seven hundred years. Additionally, technology provides for everything a human would desire and need e.g. a robot to take care of infants and robots doing all the necessary task to run the ship such as the job of a pilot.

He, She and It:

WALL-E has developed a personality, which leads to him behaving in ways that contradict his purpose e.g. keeping certain objects that perk his interest rather than crumbling them like the rest of the trash. This is synonymous to Yod's education about humanity in forms of poetry rather than strictly martial arts and other necessary abilities and skills for defending the ghetto. Also, WALL-E learned how to love which should be an ability that no robot should be allowed to do because of its lack of sentience. Once EVE came around, however, WALL-E fell in love and fought for EVE the entire movie.

"The Machine Stops":

Both take place in a future dystopia, where humans become physically dependent on the machines that provide their physical labor. All of the humans in WALL-E are obese, and have "suffered severe bone loss", existing only as they do in hover chairs. Likewise, humans in "The Machine" ended up becoming "swaddled lump(s) of flesh - [...] , about five feet high, with a face as white as a fungus." Much like the humans in "The Machine", the humans of WALL-E rely heavily on technology to communicate with other humans, rather than having direct contact with anyone. While humans in WALL-E have voluntarily become handicapped through their near complete lack of movement, those in The Machine Stops underwent 'unnatural selection' as the machine destroyed all the infants "who promised undue strength.". Also, it becomes increasingly evident in WALL-E that "The Axiom", the ship on which all humans survive, has been self-sustaining for over 750 years, much like the self-sustaining "Machine" in which people dwell in Forster's work.

Connections to Proposed Tropes

Proposed Trope: Loss of Identity:

All the humans in the movie are pretty much the same where we can look at their feature. There is nothing to distinguish them from another. All of this is due to their over dependance on the machine. 

Connection to Class Tropes
Dancing.jpg

Machine Labor:

This is very similar to The Machine Stops where we see that humanity is completely dependent on machines. But it is different in this case as there is no productivity. The Humans are already degraded. There is no sharing of Mental Labor or Physical Labor. They are like children and the Machine is their parent.

Human Labor

Not much is shown about Human Labor in the movie WALL-E, but it was the lack of human labor that is the cause for the decline in the health of humans in the first place. After so many years of relying on Machine Labor for every aspect of their life, they had to revert back to old ways, where they have to work with their own hands. Human Labor proved to be better in the long run than machine labor. Lets just hope than history doesn't repeat itself for these poor people.

References

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