I was really irritated by the portrayal of future humans in WALL•E as morbidly obese, lazy to the point of helplessness, and entirely self-absorbed... until I realized that the point was not to be a slam against fat people, but to liken the humans to infants. It really clicked for me when it occurred to me that they all wear one-piece jumpsuits (rather like layettes) and consume only liquids. And then I realized that even their obesity has kind of a cuddly appeal, like the chubbiness of well-fed babies. It's not that they're all gluttonous, disgusting slobs, it's that too much luxury and not enough challenge has robbed them of their independence. (And then I wondered how I ever could have made the first assumption, when it is a Pixar film—no one who works for John Lasseter would ever mistake fatness for an indication of laziness!) —Karalora
A throwaway line about the effects of microgravity on bone formation suggests that it was a serious attempt to represent the effects of hundreds of years in space. That said, the "babies" metaphor fits perfectly with the scene at the end where the Captain learns to walk for the first time.
Word of God confirms the infant explanation if you watch the DVD commentary.
Likewise, the infant explanation is referenced in Peter Gabriel's song Down to Earth, written for the movie, in the line "Coming down to Earth/Like babies at birth".
The first time watching WALL•E, I thought that his reawakening by EVE's kiss at the end was pure Deus ex Machina, as I didn't see how that little spark could do all that. Then, rewatching their first kiss, I realized that you could interpret his reaction as a system reboot. As such, the whole thing makes perfect sense: when EVE repairs him after his fatal system crash, he boots up in safe mode, with just the base operating system running. One clean reboot later, and all user customization is restored, including 700 years of learned personality. -dscrank
This Troper saw it differently. During their first kiss, I saw the spark as an exchange of information. So a part of WALL•E was transferred over to EVE. When Eve kissed him at the end, the information was copied back into his system. It is possible however he just needed some time to process.
I realized what Beta Couple Mary and John represented after seeing their names next to each other. They represent mankind, plus they are two of the three humans who actually meet WALL•E. Do their names remind you of anyone? Hint: Think Mary and Joseph. The ending of WALL•E is mankind creating a new beginning on Earth, it could be a way of saying their sins were being purged. Not sure if this was intentional, but it sure fits! -Gallows
I figured (thanks to the entry directly above) that is was Mary Magdalen and John the Baptist- The two most commonly-recalled Apostles. They helped spread the word to which WALL•E had opened their eyes, even after WALL•E got taken down in a self-defeating plan to keep the status quo from shifting. -JET 73 L
The names always seemed significant to me until I read that they are also the two most common names in English, showing how humans stopped thinking about things such as names or perhaps showing they were named by a robot that would only know really common names. - bookworm389
Mary (either the Magdalene, the "other one", or both, depending on to whom certain uses of the name referred and which books one accepts as apocrypha versus outright fabrication) was an apocryphal apostle; I accept and appreciate the correction/reminder that John the Baptist and John the Apostle were different people.
Apostle doesn't just have to refer to the twelve either. Paul, Barnabus, Timothy, Silas, and Apollos were also called apostles.
In WALL•E, after much thought, is that this could actually be considered Pixar's first live-action feature! The humans presented in the video of the BNL's starships were real humans, not CG Ied ones. As was Fred Willard's role as the CEO of BNL, Shelby Forthright and the previous captains of the main starcruiser. The reasoning is that since the people got so fat, their bodies bacame more mishapen and too puffy, it would look cartoony so they could get away saying it was CGI. The robots could have been either way since they're robots and would look good either way.
I had a moment of Fridge Brilliance when reading the page for Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale. A lot of people griped that it was unrealistic for the humans to survive on Earth after coming back. I thought about the distances involved... and then I realized, for WALL•E and EVE making the journey to the Axiom and back, time has no meaning. They're robots! As for the humans returning at the end of the film, they blast into what looks like a Star Trek style faster-than-light warp and come straight back to Earth in what seems like a few seconds. However, according to relativity, more time than what they experienced would pass on Earth. Hence, we see Earth going from having one small, limp-looking plant, to having entire fields covered in greenery in the last scene. Keep in mind that at no point does the captain or anyone else mention how long it has been since the EVE probes were sent to Earth, only that "no probe's ever come back positive before." It's quite possible that EVE was launched a long, long, time before the events of the movie. After all, they've been out there for 700 years. -nitrokitty
Actually, Auto does refer to EVE as 'Annual Probe 1', suggesting they are sent (or return) exactly once a year. Going by the montage of WALLE caring for EVE's dormant body (after EVE acquires the plant), it does seem that EVE was on Earth for at least a few seasons, so this makes sense.
WALL•E's trip on the EVE ship through space is clearly happening at sublight speeds, meaning it must take several centuries at least to reach the Axiom (The ship is seen within a nebula, and the closest nebula to earth is around 400 light years away; if the shuttle were travelling at near light-speed, space would appear distorted, so it must be travelling much slower than that). The return trip in the Axiom is clearly at warp speed. If it's a light drive, then it takes another 400 or so years for humanity to get back to Earth; if it's a hyperlight drive or a wormhole system, it could take as little time the few seconds it looks like in the film. Either way, there's plenty of time for the plants to flourish on Earth since the beginning of the film.
This is kind of thrown off by the fact that WALL•E's pet cockroach is still around and waiting for him, meaning it couldn't have taken that long for him to go and get back.
Fridge Horror — One might expect at the beginning that all humanity was evacuated onto the spacecraft. But near the end, the entire populace aboard the ship is visible; the population of a small town. Now one might ask: Did they really abandon more than 99% of the earth's population on the earth (which, at that point of time would have been much bigger than 7.000.000.000). And, if yes, where are the remains? There must be remains (well, at least skeletons) or at least survivors on earth. If there are any of both, they are never shown. Then again, one might think that the ship once held all of earth's population on board (and that it naturally decreased over the dozens of dozens of generations in those 700 years), but in the aforementioned final shot, it is apparent, that it never could have held anymore people than were presently on board (the aforementioned small town). So, what happened to the other people that possibly made it on board. Well, any answer and conclusion that we come to could easily pass as rather disturbing.
You're forgeting something though, there were other ships. The one the movie takes place on was the flagship, or the main one leading the others. Of course, it does beg the question of whatever happened to the other ship. Did the signal to go back to earth reach them? Did they die out and AUTO never told anyone? Did AUTO possibly disable the other ships as a big "screw you" before his deactivation?
Watch the credits closely - one of the shots is of escape pods landing and more humans coming out. So they got back, eventually.
You also have to consider that any people left behind would have disintegrated by the time of the movie. We know it's been at least 700 years, and the planet was so toxic that you required a gas mask/oxygen tank. And they couldn't support plant life. So, we know the air and ground were toxic, and we can surmise that the water was as well. No living thing could survive for long without radical adaptation or suffering horrific respiratory issues. Also, if the world was that toxic, it was probably capable of breaking down flesh and bone faster than normal.
The Directive A113 recording implies that there were people left behind, such as CEO Shelby Forthright and some BnL personnel, presumably to oversee the cleanup work while everyone else was off in space. On the other hand, Forthright's ragged appearance and the sirens blaring in the video suggest that what's left of civilization was falling apart from all the toxicity. One has to wonder way became of all of them...
Shelby's final "let's get the heck out of here" implies that he has someplace to go. He may have just meant another building in some miserable company compound, but if you want to be optimistic, perhaps BnL had saved one last ship.
Disobeying directives. At first, EVE thinks of nothing but her directive, but as her gain of human emotions increases thanks to her contact with WALL•E, it becomes less important to her, until she has to make a choice between staying with the broken WALL•E and continuing to try to repair him or delivering the plant to the captain. She chooses to try to fix WALL•E. In contrast, AUTO never, ever strays from his directive, no matter what extreme measures he has to take to obey it (such as throwing WALL•E down the garbage can after shocking him, confining the captain to headquarters, or forcing EVE to watch WALL•E get seriously hurt and nearly killed.) It's essentially what makes him a Shadow Archetype to EVE.
Fridge Horror - WALL•E takes pieces of his fallen friends and comrades for himself so that he can stay alive. Cannibalism, anyone?
More like donating organs, really. He's not eating them or even using them as fuel, he's replacing broken parts of his body.
Plus, we see him take off his treads when he enters his "house"... maybe those sorts of things are more like clothes. It's still a bit creepy to take clothes off of corpses, but not that creepy.
Fridge Horror: Let's see... BnL Is the government and owns every business. Communism?
You got it backwards, dude. BnL is a business and owns every government. Capitalism.
No, communism is the elimination of private property entirely. If the government owns all the means of production, that's closer to socialism, not communism. Communism would be if the means of production were owned by nobody, but instead were treated as though they were owned by everybody and could be used according to need instead of possession. Words mean things; communism is not a catch-all word that means "political system I don't like".
Fridge Horror: It's presumed that all Pixar movies so far take place in the same universe. In pretty much all of the Pixar movies, one can find a reference to another Pixar movie. In WALL•E, the Pizza Planet truck can be seen, just briefly, in the garbage pile. In Toy Story 3, it's even shown that Buzz Lightyear runs on Buy n Large batteries. Seeing the other Pixar movies making references to each other implies that they're all linked together. (such as Toy Story references in Finding Nemo, Cars, and Monsters, Inc..) That means in WALL•E, a film taking place in the future, all the characters from the other movies may be dead. Seeing how polluted the earth is, clownfish may even be extinct. If the toys from Toy Story haven't died yet, it means they just wander the wasteland forever, no one to play with them and only waiting for death...
Well, yeah, but that's not to say they all didn't live long, happy lives. It's like if they made a movie about dinosaurs. Unless it ends with a meteor flying through the sky, it's not confirmed they died immediately. But still, by the time the other movies take place dinosaurs have gone extint. The lovable characters have died by then, but life goes on. It's not that bad.
Actually, all of a sudden, Carsmakes perfect sense. The automobiles are all the super-advanced AI-controlled auotomobiles that everybody left behind when they abandoned Earth.
If I recall correctly, there was a man named Andy in the prequel comic, Out There...
Now that I think about it, we've seen how "built to last" B&L products are. Assuming Woody etc are B&L products or at least repaired with B&L parts, who's to say Andy's family and friends haven't been passing the gang down to other kids for 700 years? Just because we don't see toys doesn't mean there aren't any.
Fridge Horror: One of the robots in the repair ward is defibrillating everything in sight. WALL•E lets him loose. Where was he between being released and when we next see him? The residential quarters? The daycare? Where??
Fridge Horror: As noted by another troper above, Pixar loves referencing its own canon in each new film. WALL•E collects things he finds while compacting trash, and one of the items briefly glimpsed in his home is Rex the dinosaur from the Toy Story trilogy, in good condition! Assuming toys are indefinitely sentient, this Rex has quietly witnessed the centuries of self-indulgent destruction of everything he once knew back in Andy's room. By the time the events of this movie take place, he's likely consigned himself to just remain on WALL•E's shelf for the rest of eternity.
Of course, Rex could be up and about while WALL•E is off at work, which could make for a pretty interesting (albeit creepy) spin-off short...are you reading this, Pixar and/or Wallace Shawn?
Near the end of the movie, while the Captain fights AUTO for control of the ship, it starts tilting. The gravity also tilting. But if they're in space, a 0G environment, with artificial gravity, wouldn't it be the same no matter the ship's orientation?
Near the beginning of the movie, Eve's fondness of her BFG and general trigger-happy tendencies seem a little brash for a well programmed, professional piece of equipment. Of course, that's just the point- Eve was programmed to think of Earth as wild and dangerous for living things, just like Auto. To her, Earth is land of Everything Trying to Kill You.
Fridge Horror: When we first see future-earth, the only things living on earth are A. a cockroach and B. a sapling of a plant. Unless there are more species somewhere, the earth occurred a mass extinction because of the human's pollution. That's right, this movie pretty much contains genocide.
Only if it was intentional and I don't think anyone planned to make Earth unlivable.
Averted in the credits where we see more species, but that leads another question. How did they get there? Did they evolve from the cockroach?
Maybe there was a zoo on the Axiom, or another ship, keeping animal species alive until the time to return to a cleaned-up Earth to repopulate its ecosystems; it could have doubled as a live animal exhibit to entertain the passengers.
Fridge Horror: Somewhere on that ship is a cute robot system for disposal of dead bodies.
And that is more horrifying than the kind of body disposal that we engage in now because...?
Fridge Brilliance: Buy n Large never learned. It's still compacting its trash into cubes and throwing it out, even on the Axiom.
Which leads to another question: where is the Axiom getting its raw materials for the products it uses and throws away?
The nebula they're hanging out in contains raw elements for lifetimes. They've surely got the technology to handle that. The question is why don't they recycle? Do the robots self replicate? Who made those mice???
Maybe the mice were made to gather any recyclable material.
Maybe there was a trailing ship that collects the cubes for processing (WALL-Ps, if you will). The Axiom was a liner, not a factory.
The fact that all the robots have to interact with machines by pushing buttons seems dumb, but when you look at how AIs work, it makes perfect sense. The easiest way to get an out-of-control AI is to let a bunch of them network together and share information and processing power without human oversight. By making sure the only way they can interact with each other is through buttons and switches you can keep the robots from evolving into something uncontrollable.
The two times EVE "kisses" WALL•E, he gets an electric zap. When she touches a light-bulb, it lights up. The robot lifeguard is not waterproofed. Has everyone forgotten about electrical insulation?
Eve seemed to have to make a choice to light the light bulb (she only did lit it when she held her hand in a particular way), which appears to be the with her kissing Wall-E (they bumped heads at the very end, but no spark). The lifeguard on the other hand... that's a bit of an oversight.
Fridge Brilliance: Assuming the closing image of plants growing outside the city is real-time, and not a glimpse of Earth's future recovery, the cockroach's survival and presence of Wall-E's plant make more sense. They're not lone survivors of their respective species; they're organisms that just happen to have wandered (as wind-blown seed in the plant's case) out of the already-vegetated areas. The only reason that Wall-E hadn't realized life was thriving outside the city's fringe is that he'd not yet run out of trash to scoop and compact, so never left the area which was had been most heavily-polluted and thus took longest to recover. Likewise, the only reason the Axiom hadn't returned to Earth centuries ago was that all previous EVE-probes were eliminated by AUTO before they could activate the green-leaf signal, not having a stowaway around to disrupt the landing-bay area and prevent this EVE from being disposed of quietly, too.
Or perhaps, the city was just where WALL-E stockpiled the trash (eg his personal landfill). Given how much trash there was, he was probably spending as much time maintaining the city and his roadways as he was getting new trash. The plant might have caught his attention for it's unusualness rather than it's uniqueness eg he found it odd that a plant would be growing in the trash rather than with the rest of the plants.
Fridge Horror: One has to wonder why there is such thing as a self-destruct button in the escape pods. Imagine if said pod got somehow damaged, misguided, or any rescuer failed to retrieve it. Instead of a slow, painful, death by starvation or thirst the self-destruct would be almost a bless.