Friday, February 13, 2009

Eco kiddie film - five stars from me!

Bertie and I finally watched WALL-E tonight, and it was magical. A great main storyline (how can a romance between robots be so emotional and compelling?), a great message about the meaning in our lives, the world we live in and on, the environment and our relationship to it, and the beauty and importance of connections between beings, whether they be human or robot or cockroach.

This film ends up being extremely uplifting and hopeful - a great choice for a family flick to sit down and watch together. I think this film would provide a good starting point for some parents to converse with their children (or children with their parents?) about environmental issues. It'd also be a great one for primary or secondary school kids to watch and discuss in class.

There were some amazing images in the film that really stayed with me - the skyscrapers WALL-E makes from rubbish blew me away; I thought they were a great way to conceptualise the link between development and 'progress', and waste/rubbish/excess in our world. To begin a 'children's film' with an Earth that has been abandoned due to pollution, rubbish and toxicity is a very powerful thing, and I think Pixar handles it well in that it has an impact without being too overwhelming or depressing. The loveable WALL-E characer (and the romantic storyline) certainly balance out the potentially doom-and-gloom-ish beginning.

Another image that stays with me is that of a plant, a bit of green, in a world that is mostly dead and brown. To see a small green thing being sought after, protected, cherished... another great way into conversations and lines of thought around the environment. What do we value? Why do we value it? What would it take for us to value environmental assets as well as, or even instead of, financial ones?

A lovely movie for kids, an even lovelier movie for adults. I must admit to a bit of a film cry, though that could come down to my being a wee bit exhausted and emotional. Who knows.

If you happen to get the extras on the dvd, watch the two shorts. The one about the BURN-E robot is gold, and is a lovely complementary storyline to the main film.

The best Pixar film yet, in my opinion. Five stars from me.

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