After finally seeing Wall-E Tuesday night at the El Capitan, your easily susceptible guest blogger is comfortable calling it a colossal achievement — an assertion backed up by other reviews going live today, including Variety's and Roger Ebert's. However, not all is innocent in Pixar's mostly-silent masterpiece: Republican environmental policy takes some not-so-thinly veiled hits, thanks to the movie's pro-green message (when a corporate overlord played by Fred Willard encourages his underlings to "stay the course" in the face of catastrophic environmental disaster, you might expect him to add, "You're doing a heckuva job, Brown-E!"). Now, critics at the conservative New York Post are piling on, calling Wall-E "anti-fat."
Says outraged film critic Kyle Smith:
Wall-E...supposes that the human race of the future will become a flabby mass of peabrained idiots who are literally too fat to walk. Instead they zip around in flying wheelchairs surfing the Web, chatting on phone lines and stuffing their faces with food meant to be sucked down like milkshakes while unquestioningly taking orders from the master corporation that controls all aspects of their existence. I'm trying to think of a major Disney cartoon feature that was anywhere near as dark or cynical as this. I'm coming up blank. I'm also not sure I've ever seen a major corporation spend so much money to issue an insult to its customers.
The Post's Lou Lumenick weighs in, though he's careful to point out he's a fan of the film:
Many of the early early reviews, including mine, have noted this may offend Disney's target audience... it turns out that large people have been blogging angrily about "Wall-E'' since at least November. "Will general audiences (which form the bulk of Pixar's demographic), upon seeing a fat blob 'drinking liquified food from Big-Gulp-esque cups, and forever surfing (and chatting) on chair-mounted video screens' think 'Oh, wow, so that's what gravity does to humans!' or 'Wow, so that's what the obesity epidemic will do to humans!' says a post at The F Word. Gripes a writer at Fatshionista: "this is so INCREDIBLY disappointing. I feel personally betrayed by Pixar right now.''
Too true! When will Pixar realize that the movie's central romance — between a square, boxy robot and a love interest shaped like a white, floating pear — promotes unreasonable body image issues? Parents of America, do not let your daughters starve yourself and sand off their sharp edges to look like EVE! Only a return trip to the overweight delights of Kung Fu Panda can save you now...
- Disney's "Wall-E": A $170 Million Art Film [Kyle Smith]