Out of all the studios who competed in the 2000s, the one I felt was fantastic throughout the decade was Pixar. While "Cars" might've been a slight slip-up and was far from perfect, every other animated movie released that decade was consistently fantastic and has led its way to some of the most well-remembered and treasured animated movies. Though near the end of the decade, they really started making some real gems with one of the most notable ones being "Wall-E". In my opinion, it's a film that's aged like fine wine. It was fantastic when it first came out in 2008, but over time it got better and is often cited as being one of the best animated movies of the 2000s and has even influenced filmmakers like Christopher Nolan. It's a movie that really can be considered perfect.
In the distant future, Earth has been abandoned by humans when the megacorporation Buy-N-Large, or BNL for short, evacuated the planet due to the excessive garbage. They leave behind many robots to clean up the mess yet all but one were shut down. The lone robot on the planet is named Wall-E (Ben Burtt). Every day he goes to work compact trash into cubes and stacking them to make giant skyscraper-like building while also collecting mementos that fascinate him. This goes on for quite a while until a rocket ship from unknown origins lands on Earth and delivers a female robot named EVE (Elissa Knight) who was sent to Earth in hopes of finding something. When Wall-E invites EVE to his home, he inadvertently shows her a plant he collected and sends her into standby mode. Pretty soon afterward, the ship returns to collect EVE and Wall-E climbs on board hoping to get to her. The ship then blasts off into space and off to the BNL starship Axiom and thus begins an exciting journey with one of Pixar's best films ever.
I've seen this film many times over the years and it's a film that I have grown to appreciate a lot more than I did as a kid. There's so much to love about this movie and just how well crafted it is. The story is the best aspect of the entire movie. Director Andrew Stanton and his crew were able to fit an exciting adventure into a charming love story. The first half of the story told pretty much throughout visual storytelling is simply a delight and even the second hold where some human characters appear is very engaging and exciting. Even how the story makes perfect use of songs from the musical "Hello Dolly!" is simply a stroke of genius. Though the several complex themes are what leaves you thinking after the film is over. The film takes a look at themes involving the environment, technology, major corporations, and even some themes of religion in this film. Looking back at the film, it's amazing how ahead of its time it was. The humans in the film have become lazy and addicted to technology even to the point where they don't realize how beautiful their ship is. In an era where smartphones have become more common and social media platforms have also started to spread, it comes to show you how much we have become addicted to technology. It's also ironic how BNL, a megacorporation that bought its competitors and made itself bigger, can be compared to Disney the parent company of the studio who made the film. Even with how damaging the environment is getting, it won't be a surprise that if Earth becomes so damaged by humans that we might have to evacuate it into space. It seriously is amazing how much the themes in the story have held up. As far as the animation goes, it's simply divine. Every frame in this film has held up beautifully and having cinematographer Roger Deakins and special effects artist Dennis Muren on board as lighting consultants helped make the movies that much better. It's quite amazing just how well this film looks with how bleak and gross the Earth looks and how the Axiom looks both somewhat cold yet somehow inviting. The characters themselves are also a pure delight. Wall-E is simply a delightful protagonist who is simply adorable despite having a limited vocabulary. Even his chemistry with EVE is believable and she is also developed perfectly despite also having a limited vocabulary. Even other characters like MO (also Burtt) and the Captain (Jeff Garlin) have some funny moments and the villain of the film AUTO (MacInTalk) has a believable motivation and can be somewhat menacing. I also want to talk about the sound work done by Ben Burtt. This is quite possibly some of his best work as a sound designer and that is saying something given how he created some of the most iconic sound effects for the "Star Wars" series. Each sound fits the world of the film and it ends up working in the end. He is a masterclass at creating fantastic sound effects.
Honestly, "Wall-E" really is a movie that simply gets better with age. The story is fun yet also thought-provoking, the animation is beautiful and gorgeously rendered, and the characters all are believable and lovable. I think this is not only one of the best animated movies of the 2000s, but also one of the greatest animated movies of all time. It simply does get better with age and it will continue to inspire future generations. It really did only take a moment for it to be loved.