Wall-E, Economics, Nationality, and Androgynous Love

https://i1.wp.com/images.rottentomatoes.com/images/features/wall_e/wall-e_3.jpgI wrote a pretty glowing review of Wall-E over at Pushback, but I had a few more thoughts to add about the film. And that’s really all these are, completely incoherent thoughts, so I apologize for the stream of conscious style babble.

I was a little bothered by a few complete absences or blind spots in the film, like any seemingly non-Americans carrying on the human race on the space station, and the impossible economics of the movie. Right, right, it’s a kids’ movie. I know. But like, didn’t those people lounging around for 800 years in space have to pay for their ride? So, where were the poor people? Did they all die amid that garbage dump? Was that just too harsh a reality to show us alongside the rusted up Wall-E’s scattering the trash filled landscape? If that wasn’t it, how was that space endeavor being funded?

Now back to the nationality weirdness. Everyone on the space station was apparently American. Where was everyone else? Did they die out like the poor people?

So like, were we supposed to notice these gaps and then think the portrayed dystopia was even more disastrous because survival was so selective, or were the writers just completely blind to class issues — make that, money — and massively ethnocentric? Perplexing.

And so as not to go bizarrely from praise worthy post to condemnatory post, I’ll add one more thing I loved about it: how fabulously ungendered Eve and Wall-E were! I know, they had vaguely feminine and vaguely masculine names, but the animators so easily could’ve given them masculine and feminine secondary sex characteristics. Eve could’ve been a pink robot or worn a bow. As it was, she didn’t do anything particularly feminine. She did hardcore work and even carried a weapon. Wall-E was the twitter pated character and a dreamer, even though he was also a traditional blue-collar worker. I can’t even remember if they referred to each other as him or her or she and he at all during the film. They were like this close to being completely unsexed characters, and therefore, so close to being potentially interpreted as a queer couple. For a kids’ movie, this couple felt kinda radical…

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9 Responses

  1. I thought Pixar would at least be propelled to include more diversity purely from a commercial/profit perspective. Millions of people will watch Wall-e in Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America…

    I saw it last night, and quite frankly It was such a wonderful adventure. Afterwards, I kept wanting to hold hands with my bf, in the stiff robot way.

  2. […] a los que la idea no les hizo gracia (pobre gente obesa del mundo! discriminación!), y otros mas hueones aún que empezaron a ver una agenda pro-gay y anti-yankee en la historia… Y que apuesto que hay […]

  3. I think you’re missing the whole point…I don’t think it’s possible for them to show the entire earth on that space station…and maybe poor people did die from pollution…. maybe the rich will survive after all…isn’t it where the world is headed?

  4. ami me parece q WALL.E me parece q es una pelicula muy pero muy bomita y ojala salga pronto en venezuela edo tachita , san cristobal q para con nnuestros aigos familia y ni-os beamos la gran y espetacular pelicula WALL.E tqm

  5. I thought that the Axiom was just *one* of many space liners – the “jewel of the fleet.” Since it left from NY, all Americans…

  6. I see what you’re saying about the nationality homogeny, but I recon that after 800-1000 years of the whole human race space-floating (and it was most certainly the select and wealthy few who went on board in the first place- it *certainly* wasn’t the world’s current 6bn), the race WILL get homogenised. I think white americans were chosen because currently, it’s just the easiest thing for an American film studio to do. If the film was made in India or Egypt, the characters would look very different.

    If there is an arguement to make about how the humans are portraied, it is the fact they look just like 21st centuary humans. Well alright, with extra fat and immobility, but other characteristics would have evolved into the race! I would imagen suction pads on human skin to counter micro-gravity, deminished lung capacity and a change of eye shape (as ALL the light is artificial except from stars, which is extremely powerful).

    I’m in the UK and haven’t seen the film yet, but I’ve been bouncing about all day with excitment at the prospect of watching it! It comes out TONIGHT!. Woo! 😀

  7. Me encanta wall-e hasta fui a ver la pelicula .

    Quero que aagan juguetes de wall-e con todos los personajes, me encanto wall-e hasta me dio pena …

    adios sse despide Javiera

  8. I have to agree with Menna that you’re missing the whole point… It really doesn’t matter… This is an animation, NOT a documentary… Wearing a pink bow! Why are we trying to put meanings, gestures, sex etc. and left everything out of our imagination?.. Why is everything supposed to be given instead of imagined?. It’s not a fast food burger; it’s a (magical) story… Besides it was clear that Eve is female. it’s name is EVE… Remember, Adam and EVE?! I think the movie is perfect as it is… Subtle is just fine.. Giving human characteristics and emotions to a robot was an extraordinary idea and being able to apply it was another unbelievable achievement. I think Wall-e is the best animation ever. I applause its writers and directors, kudos!.

    By the way I don’t think it is a kids movie… Let’s stop thinking animations as kids’ movies. They are an outstanding work of imagination and creativity products, yet most of them are waaay better than motion picture movies.

  9. […] Wall-E post has been read more than 12,000 times, which for my blog is about 11,998 times more than the average […]

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