Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Jeff Garlin and John Ratzenberger
This is the day, ladies and gentlemen. I welcome you, one and all, to the first entry of Travesty Week! For the next five days, I'll be writing mean things about movies that everyone apparently loves. Hopefully people will use the comments section to get butthurt and tell me I'm wrong and that I don't get these movies which are clearly miles over my head! Let's get the ball rolling with Pixar's 2008 dud WALL-E, which finds itself at the high and mighty position of #47 on this list. What this movie amounts to is Pixar's severely misguided attempt to replace entertainment value with message. The interpretation from critic-types (and apparently IMDb users) is that this was brilliant. But Pixar's job is still to make fun, entertaining family movies, and if they can roll in some tear-jerking moments and a good message in the process, then that's great. That's what they did with Ratatouille, Up, and Toy Story 3, and those are all masterpieces. WALL-E is all message. It's all heavy-handed Al Gore environment worship that opens with an hour long sequence without dialogue. This was somehow called great. Huh?
By the time our protagonist (about whom I never once cared) gets on a spaceship occupied by the morbidly obese humans who left a polluted Earth behind, the plot picks up a little bit, but the environmental message is still front and center. To put it simply, this movie is just not fun to watch. I don't disagree with the message it's selling, I just don't want it to be the only thing going on onscreen. Besides all that, the whole thing is just incredibly fucking boring. It's hard to believe that the geniuses who gave us Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, and all three Toy Story movies could put out this pretentious swill. It won critical acclaim and Oscars and all that jazz, but those don't translate into entertainment value. In fact, the target audience – children – probably never begs their parents to put WALL-E on the DVD player. It's total conjecture, but I have younger siblings, and this bored them to tears too, so I imagine that data can be extrapolated to most kids.
If WALL-E has some value, it's that it secretly allowed Pixar to take notice of the fact that audiences just weren't as interested in an environmental epic featuring an hour of two robots who can't talk playing with garbage as they were in what made Pixar so great in the first place. WALL-E's worldwide gross was lower than that of any other Pixar film made in the 21st century except Cars – which also sucks, for the record. Pixar reeled and have since given us what may be their two finest movies: Up and Toy Story 3. As far as what actually happens on the screen during the two hour running time, though, you're better occupying that time with a nap. Hell, if you start the movie when you're tired, it'll probably end up being a nap anyway.
The Good: It looks great. Pixar movies always do.
The Bad: It's borderline unwatchable. It's boring as all hell and the message is rammed down your throat with a cold, robotic hand.
The Skinny: Get this crap off of my list! Four more days of Travesty Week. What will I blaspheme next?