A Case For Perserverance
You thought I was going to comment on Hebrews 12 or 2 Timothy 4, right? OK. But you sure didn't expect a DVD Review of WALL-E.
WALL-E was our Movie Night film this past Friday at GLCCKidz. (Believe me, it's a challenge finding movies to screen for a church group of 4 to 12 year-olds that everyone likes and are approriate. I'm glad fifth Fridays only come every couple of months.
Disclosure: I love Pixar films. I'm one of those Disney-holics from the way back. Before the Dark Times. Before the Internet. I saw Forbidden Disney and got every single joke. So I love all the little in-jokes and Disney references in these movies. I love the technical proficiency with which they can render expressions, skin, water, space... amazing. So I was eagerly anticipating seeing this movie.
WALL-E is a great film to show kids of all ages, and it has a hidden nugget in it - a great lesson on biblical perserverance.
The film opens with the basic set-up. On Earth in the 22nd century, trash has become such a problem that the obligitory Corporate Giant that Runs the World (Buy -n-Large) decides to evacuate the planet into giant starliners, and send an army of robots to clean up the planet. Soon it is decided it is easier to live in space than return to Earth.
WALL-E is the last functioning robot on Earth. After 700 years of recycling trash, we are introduced to the little feller, who is still doing his job. No supervision, no companionship, no accountability. But the little robot still goes out every day and does his job, rebuilding himself from the other WALL-E units who have failed.
Soon a life-seeking probe (EVE) returns to Earth and finds WALL-E. A budding robo-mance happens until WALL-E presents EVE with a plant. She shuts down right away, after locking the plant inside.
You can read Wikipedia if you want the whole plot. The point is this: both WALL-E and EVE give great examples of perserverance; WALL-E for doing his job for so many years when he could have easily given up, and EVE for sacrificing her own happiness for the sake of her "directive."
This film is not only an example of the best kind of science-fiction in that it takes us to a place clearly not our own, but makes that place completely believeable and does not allow the eye-candy to get in the way of the storytelling; but also great storytelling in it's own right. Indeed, there is very little in the way of dialogue from our hero and heroine. WALL-E's vocabulary seems to be limited to clicks, whistles and repeating names. It is astounding how EVE can express a multitude of ideas and emotions with the word "Directive."
One great bonus of the DVD version of this film, is the added short called "BURN-E." This short expands on the life of one throw-away character in the main movie, a little maintenance bot seen only for a few seconds. But the seven-odd minute short is cleverly wound into the events in the main film - as is a day in the life of BURN-E.
So put the popcorn on, head over to the Redbox and grab this Andrew Stanton joint. Get the kiddies on the couch, and pretend it's for them. And be sure to watch until the end of the credits.