WALL·E (2008) - 3-Disc Special Edition

Genre(s): Adventure / Animation / Comedy / Family / Romance / Science Fiction
Disney || G - 98 minutes - $39.99 || November 18, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-11-24


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Andrew Stanton
Writer(s): Andrew Stanton & Peter Docter (story), Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon (screenplay)
Cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver


Theatrical Release Date: June 27, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Burn-E
  • Presto: Theatrical Short
  • Deleted Scenes
  • 7 Featurettes
  • The Pixar Story - Documentary
  • BnL Shorts
  • WALL-E's Treasures & Trinkets
  • "Lots of Bots" Storybook
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

WALL-E is the latest hit from Pixar Animation Studios and even though for me Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are my favorites from them, this ninth (if my math is correct) animated feature film is one of the better entries of late. It’s far better than Cars, a film that is excellent for the voice talent of the late Paul Newman but falls short with the story, and even though I don’t think WALL-E rises to the level of Toy Story, it still offers enough to make it one of Pixar’s better movies.

The movie is about a robot named WALL-E, a cute little thing whose only purpose is, basically, a trash compacter. He scoops in some garbage and spits out cubes, with which he takes it and makes towers. The film takes place in a kid-friendly apocalyptic future in which Earth has been abandoned as it can no longer sustain life and poor WALL-E is all alone, though he has a friend in a cockroach.

One a ships lands and drops a robot that is searching for something on the desolate planet. The lonely WALL-E is attracted to this search robot, who, after a few tenuous moments, finds her name is EVE. What her objective is isn’t entirely clear, but they enjoy each other’s company, until she finds what she was sent for. Soon enough the ship returns and WALL-E, now basically in love, follows to save EVE who he thinks is in trouble.

We discover that the ship is a part of a larger space shuttle, a colony of humans who have grown (in more ways than one) accustomed to relying on technology and it’s obvious that they the idea of human touch is foreign as they are too involved with video chatting for slurping down on some unhealthy fast food products.

WALL-E has the cuteness factor times 200. This movie makes E.T. look like one of the most heartless movies ever released. This movie would make Johnny-Five from Short Circuit fall in love and commit any crime for that little trash compactor.

I actually wasn’t as in love with the movie as others, but coming from a so-so fan of most Pixar movies (even The Incredibles), I still enjoyed the movie for not only the cuteness factor but that it’s a story that both kids and adults can appreciate. Often, “kids” movies will be entertaining from them but bore adults, but WALL-E, and most Pixar films, crosses the line between the two ages. So even though I wasn’t wild about the movie, I have no hesitation in recommending this no matter how old you are.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Disney presents WALL-E with a 1-disc DVD, 3-disc DVD, 2-disc Blu-ray and 3-disc Blu-ray. This is a review of the “3-Disc Special Edition”, and definitely is the way to go for fans of Pixar.

Feature Commentary – Director Andrew Stanton provides an insightful commentary. It’s not too serious and he keeps your attention through the duration of the film. As far as solo tracks go, it’s actually one of the better ones I’ve listened to.

Presto: Theatrical Short (5:14) – Very funny short about a rabbit and a magicians nightmare performance as the rabbit does all he can to get his carrot.

BURNE-E (7:35) is another short about the robot BURN-E, a robot whose duty is to do repairs on the ship. In this, he tries to fix a light on the outer of the ship, but runs into trouble.

Animation Sound Design (18:43) – Legendary Sound Designer Ben Burtt (Star Wars) shares secrets of creating the sounds of WALL-E. It’s strange that this wasn’t included with the other behind-the-scenes extras on disc two.

Deleted Scenes (9:30) – 2 scenes are included with an intro (and final word) by Director Andrew Stanton as he explains why these were tossed aside.

The second disc is split into two parts: one for the adults, the other for kids.

The Imperfect Lens (14:32) - This is actually one of the more interesting featurettes that goes into how the filmmakers/animators went about getting the direction right in the animated world by doing tests in the real world. It also gives examples of how they wanted to give the movie a more ‘real’ feeling in terms of focusing and other “mistakes”.

Life of a Shot (5:08) deconstructs the Pixar process and introduces you to the various animators and what exactly they do for each shot. For instance, one person animates the dust, another WALL-E’s tracks, etc.

Robo-Everything (5:46) – This checks out all the “supporting” robots if you will, designing all the robots, making one for every task. The designers also come up with how to actually design them by taking different aspects and switching out parts.

Captain’s Log: The Evolution of Humans (7:57) - Initially the humans in the film were going to be green Jell-O-like blobs (symbolic at how devolved humanity had become) but instead they decided to go with human features but made them more unusual to get the point across.

Notes on a Score (10:39) covers the musical components of WALL-E and has interviews with composer Thomas Newman and others.

WALL-E and EVE (7:00) covers the designs of the two robots, how animators wanted to show, without using words, emotion coming from them and just the general process of making it as real as possible by testing things in the real world.

BnL Shorts (9:30) – 9 shorts, some of which can be seen in the movie, have been included. These are basically infomercials about the “BnL” corporation narrated by their CEO (played by Fred Willard).

The biggie on this set is The Pixar Story (1:28:30), a great documentary that chronicles how Pixar Animation came to be from George Lucas to Steve Jobs to a partnership with Disney. It also delves a little into the status of animation and how Disney basically abandoned 2-D animation.

Two more deleted scenes (12:45) are here with intros by director Stanton.

For the kiddies there’s WALL-E’s Treasures & Trinkets (4:54) and “Lots of Bots” Storybook. Finally, disc three contains the digital copy.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

For a DVD release, the picture looks very good. It’s presented in its OAR of 2.35 and I noticed no distortions or other issues with a bad transfer. Since it is an animated movie, this should be a given, but nowadays you never know. In any case, the colors are vibrant and the picture is crisp and clear.

The DVD comes with a Dolby Digital 5.1 (and DD2.0) track and the audio is pretty good. There aren’t many wow moments, though when the spaceship lands and takes off, it’ll make the room shake a little. The dialog or ambient noises comes through the other speakers and my rear speakers also were used.



.::OVERALL::.

WALL-E may not be the classic animated Pixar like Toy Story, but it is still a great film that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. This “3-Disc Special Edition” is aimed more towards adults, which I’m happy to say considering other animated DVD releases which only contain games and other featurettes for kids.