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DVD Review: WALL-E – Three-Disc Special Edition

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In 2200 man’s overindulgence has created so much waste that the Earth is no longer inhabitable. The Buy n Large corporation is put in charge of cleaning up the Earth and puts humanity on a space liner for a five-year cruise while the Earth is made habitable again. Seven hundred years later the Earth is still being cleaned up by Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class, or WALL·E.

WALL·E's job is to gather all the garbage and turn it into cubes to clean the waste. It’s a bigger job than his designers planned so he’s slightly behind schedule. One day while going about his routine he discovers a plant beneath all the garbage. He recognizes this as something valuable and preserves it. Soon after he meets EVE, a more advanced robot and shows her the plant, which triggers the next set of programming in EVE.

They go back to the cruise ship to have the plant analyzed and go to the next step, but humanity has become lazier than ever, floating around in hover chairs, each person easily weighing over 500 pounds. Certain programs on the cruise ship know that the five-year plan was a ruse and that humanity would never return home. But this plant throws their programming off-kilter and WALL·E and EVE must fight to get humanity back home and start a new civilization.

The film can definitely be viewed as a commentary about mankind and our overindulgences and need for excess; however, the kids will love all the robots. In fact I watched it with my almost two-year-old who was running around saying “WALL·E!” just like WALL·E does when identifying himself to various robots and lifeforms. So the movie is fun for the whole family and works on multiple levels, but it's primarily a fun movie about robots. What more could kids and sci-fi lovers want?

WALL·E is packed with extras, starting with a feature-length audio commentary from director Andrew Stanton to kick things off. Stanton talks about the film’s origins, production, and themes and gives the viewer an interesting behind the scenes view of how this PIXAR film was made.

Up next are two animated shorts. BURN·E is a short about the repair robot viewers see on the space cruiser The Axiom. This almost could have been a deleted scene but it’s very entertaining. The short Presto was the one that preceded WALL·E in theaters and is about a magician and his hungry rabbit and how the rabbit disrupts his master’s performance due to lack of carrots. Quite fun considering there’s no dialogue.

There are two deleted scenes on this disc, which gives you the option to have the scenes introduced by Stanton, and while you can understand why they didn’t make the film it’s nice to have the option to view them in their almost completed form.

"Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds from the Sound Up" is a featurette about the history of sound design in animation and if you’re an animation fan you’ll enjoy this informative extra.

Kicking off disc two there’s more deleted scenes; they’re in a much rougher format than those on the first disc, but still worth viewing.

There are several behind the scenes featurettes: “The Imperfect Lens: Creating the Look of WALL·E” is about paying attention to detail and covers the character designs and backgrounds. “Captain's Log: The Evolution of Humans” tells about some early story ideas which were eventually discarded. “Notes on a Score” covers the audio presentation as well as the score itself and includes comments from music editor Bill Bernstein and composer Thomas Newman. “Life of a Shot: Deconstructing the Pixar Process” talks about how much work goes into each shot, while “Robo-Everything” covers the robotic characters seen in the background of the film. Finally, “WALL·E and EVE” shows how the main characters were developed from their designs.

Throughout the film there are clips of Buy n Large, the corporation responsible for repairing the Earth. In the "Buy n Large Shorts" featurette you learn the history of the company; there are five in total which can be viewed separately or all together.

There are several extras just for the kids which include “WALL·E's Treasures and Trinkets”, “The Bot Files” which contains detailed fun fact pages about the main and supporting robotic characters, and “Lots of Bots Read-Along Storybook” which is a fun children’s story fully narrated.

The most interesting featurette has to be “The Pixar Story” which is about the same length as the feature film! It details the history of the studio chronicling its ups as well as downs and doesn’t shy away from talking about the rough times.

WALL·E is a fun film – with a deeper commentary about man's overindulgence – that the entire family can enjoy.

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