As the year draws quickly to a close, I thought one 2008 post that was worth revisiting was my review of the film "Wall-E" which generated more responses than any other post in the history of this blog. Needless to say, I had some real problems with this film and when my review here was linked to a national political blog, the comments starting rolling in (mostly from a lot of people who thought I was crazy). I loved the first 40 minutes of the film. It was the rest of the film that I, sadly, found offensive:
Unfortunately, the second half of the film finds us and Wall-E on a floating ark in space, the home of the human race for the past 700 years while they wait for creation to reclaim itself on their garbage-strewn home planet. While the humans wait for the little white robot Eve (the "dove" in this version of Noah's ark) to find an olive branch and bring it back to the ship to show them the earth is inhabitable again, the people have nothing to do but wait. It is here that the Pixar folks demonstrate an amazing amount of insensitivity in portraying all the humans as shockingly obese "do-nothings" who spend their days laying on hovering lounge chairs, sucking on sugary slurpy drinks while watching TV and being waited on hand-and-foot by robots. As soon as this part of the story began playing out, I immediately wondered how any heavy-set people in the theater must be feeling. Even worse, how might any overweight children in the theater be feeling about this obviously negative portrayal.
You can read the rest of the review (and subsequent comments) here. And just for the record: I stand by my original critique of the film and I have to imagine that Disney is also concerned about the perceived bigotry in the film. Why do I think this? Well, just as with the ad campaign for the theatrical release, there is no sign of the overweight characters in any of the ads for the DVD version.
Now, if I could just find a home video copy with only the first half of the movie....