WALL-E, the charming, delightful walle robot who is the last being left on a planet full of waste. Making its cinema debut way back in 2008, I remember the exciting anticipation to be taken to watch it. Begging my mum for a trip to our local Cineworld, delighted to see the adorable walle robot in the bright lights in front of me. Loving the cinematography, rewatching the new Pixar classic, many times over.
But, fast forward to 2022 and now more acutely aware of our current waste crisis, it dawned on me. This is not a film of escapism, with a cute little walle robot battling evil – this depiction of a waste laden world is becoming reality. As I sat in front of my TV, with anticipation to enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane it occurred to me, had Pixar accurately predicted what was to come? To my fear, it may be possible they have.
The film opens with cheerful tunes of ‘listen barnaby’ but quickly we are welcomed to murky scenes of nuclear chimneys and miles upon miles of barren wasteland. WALL-E quickly speeds over a discarded newspaper headline. It reads ‘Too Much Trash!!! Earth Covered‘. He hurries to his rituals of sorting through the endless piles of waste, squeezing neatly into cubes.
Although little dialogue is heard throughout the film, the message that is projected is loud and clear. I was stricken by how powerful the images of waste piled storeys high was; clear indications of human destruction apparent.
This is not a film of escapism, with a cute little walle robot battling evil – this depiction of a waste laden world is becoming reality.
We see glimmers of hope throughout the film, early on there is the teasing of life in this wasted world. When WALL-E discovers the stork of a bright green plant (upon laser opening a rusted fridge-freezer). Further on, this same smidgen of life found on earth provides the sign of life ones more being possible on planet earth. Upon returning home nearer the end of the film, everyone is shocked to see the state of their once glorious planet.
Of course, do I predict we’ll be whisked off to a spaceship and leave behind a ruined planet of waste? No is my answer to that. But, the point of this was to talk about Pixar’s depiction of a planet contaminated by wasteful, discarded items. If the world they created in WALL-E was predicted correctly, and unfortunately, I feel it is entirely accurate to where we are heading.
We have the wastefulness of the fashion industry – no walle robot can clean this up single-handedly. We have plastic being wasted in the million tonnes; approximately 300 million tonnes each year, I last read. You don’t have to look far without another outcry of waste pilling high, landfill overspilling and our world becoming a more cluttered space.
WALL-E quickly speads over a discarded newspaer headline. It reads ‘Too Much Trash!!! Earth Covered‘.
As I watched the film end, it pans out to life beginning to grow again. Greenery amongst the waste. Showing that if left alone, nature thrives.