Criterion Corner: WALL-E (#1161)

For a while, I’d catch all new Pixar releases at the cinema. I missed out on Toy Story, their first feature film, when it originally came out, but I remember enjoying A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2, and I loved The Incredibles when it came out (though I have to confess that I never enjoyed Finding Nemo as much as most people did). At the time these were something we’d not seen before, not in this quality. Obviously Pixar’s artistry was amazing, in a genre that, when the first few Pixar films were released, was still fairly new – and with each film, the company would introduce new innovations. The fur in Monsters, Inc. (apparently there were over two million hairs on Sulley that needed to be animated), water and the way it was lit in Finding Nemo, the way musculature behaved on human beings in The Incredibles: Pixar were technological innovators as much as they were artists, but above all, they were storytellers. Their movies were technological marvels from the first, but most people aren’t wowed by textures or shaders alone: if these aren’t used to tell interesting, engaging stories, the films that use them won’t be remembered. I mean, how many people still talk about Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within?

Continue reading