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Review: 'WALL-E'

Pixar spins an emotionally resonant tale of a little robot that could.

Wistful: Pixar’s determined little robot, WALL-E, spends 700 years alone on Earth clearing up the rubbish humans have left behind, until an alien called Eve comes to visit.

walt disney pictures/pixar animation studios

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WALL-E, a rickety mechanical janitor whose name is an acronym for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class, is the only robot left on a bleak Earth 700 years hence. He spends his days compacting city trash and piling it sky-high. All the humans have long ago moved out in luxury spaceships where they loll in robo-loungers and are attended to by robo-servants. Needless to say, the humans, who are anything but robo, have grown very fat.

"WALL-E" is yet another notch in Pixar's computer-animation belt, and it's one of the better entries, with greater emotional resonance than anything they've done since "Finding Nemo." It's also a marked departure from the look and feel of their other films.

Gone are the celebrity movie star voice dubbers (Sigourney Weaver, in a nod to "Alien," is the only exception). Gone, also, is the bristly comedic irreverence. In fact, much of "WALL-E" plays like a silent film – a Chaplin or Buster Keaton film, to be specific. And that's intentional. Director-screenwriter Andrew Stanton and his Pixar legions have referenced such films as "City Lights" and "Modern Times" and "The Navigator," not simply as a film school exercise but to increase the sentimental resonance of the story and situate it among the classics.

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