I think I first heard about Pixar's new movie WALL•E from this article
in February 2007. The writer, Jim Hill, tends to hype up all Disney projects whether or not they deserve it. But this- this sounded special. A love story between two robots on an abandoned Earth in the future. And not just that:
Now keep in mind that all I've described here is just the first third of "WALL E." Which plays out with little or no dialogue. By that I mean: The age-old trash-picking robot and the sleek new scanning droid may beep & boop at one another. But -- with the exception of the music & the dialogue that we hear coming from that VCR that plays "Hello, Dolly !" -- that's it. The rest of this section of Pixar's 2008 release is (in effect) a silent movie.
At that point, I ran downstairs and started yelling excitedly to my mother about this upcoming movie. (No one else was around to yell excitedly to.) Pixar doing a serious science-fiction story in the talented dialogue-free style of their short films
? That's exactly the sort of thing I'd
want to be able to do if I were them. Nothing like it has been done before, and there's no good reason not
to. That makes it brilliant.
And that anticipation was mixed with disbelief. Surely Disney would never let such a movie be made! How could they sell a movie so unconventional to the general public? Would they even try to? No, more likely the marketing department would start their meddling, and dilute the movie to the point where they know how to deal with it. I said to everyone I could find that if this movie were made with even close to
the ambition originally intended, it would be a minor miracle and likely one of the best animated movies ever.
And then was the long wait. Half a year later Ratatouille was released, another Pixar masterpiece, and as I sat there with my family the teaser
for WALL•E, which I'd earlier seen for myself on the internet, came on the big screen. It wasn't a conventional trailer, but the fact that my family was there, watching the trailer for such a movie, gave me shivers. It was real
. This idea which I thought could never be made wasn't just an idea. It was actually coming, and my family might even see it.
WALL•E didn't seem like just another movie to me. This was my
Months passed. Every so often a new little clip would show up on the internet, which I'd excitedly show to whoever'd look. Sometimes they'd say "That looks cute.", and sometimes I wouldn't get any reaction at all. Myself, I watched those clips over and over.
Then the movie got closer, and the reviews started coming in. Right from the very first ones, it was clear that this was exactly
the movie it was supposed to be. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive, but they talked about how ambitious and unusual and dark and meaningful the movie was!
And then the movie was actually released in America, and it did great at the box-office. You've gotta love a world where a science-fiction love story with a speech-less first third can do great at the box-office. There's some merit there.
It wasn't going to come to Israel yet, of course. So I kept reading reviews, I kept watching clips, I spoiled everything in the entire movie for myself and wanted more.
Then the date that I'd seen for when it was coming to Israel wasn't quite truthful. It was only coming to a film festival on that date, and would come to actual theaters the next week.
And then we couldn't go until next Monday. (We could have gone without my father, but my father likes science-fiction and occasionally sings "Hello, Dolly" thinking it's amusing and I really really want him to see this movie.)
So that's when we're going. Monday.