It looks like Pixar can do no wrong.? This animated movie is worlds apart from their previous offerings.? WALL.E is set in a bleak future earth where everyone has left and is now living in space because of the accumulation of trash.? So the backdrop for this movie is not exactly fun and games.? Add to that the fact that there is very little dialogue and it is somewhat stunning that this movie is so well received by every age group.? That’s not to say that it shouldn’t be.? It is amazing how the very human emotions of joy, loneliness and love can be so clearly communicated by animated robots.? But those messages come through loud and clear… and then some.? WALL.E ends up being a heart-warming and thoroughly enjoyable movie whether you sit in a high chair or a lift chair.? But beyond the simple enjoyment, there were some pretty cool lessons that shine through as well.
DOING YOUR BEST AT WHATEVER YOU DO
WALL.E is a robot all along, doing a thankless job.? And yet in the midst of all this isolation and with no incentive whatsoever, WALL.E never fails to do a great job.? As you watch the opening scenes, you realize that he has learned to copy the structure he sees in the buildings humans left behind, and build replicas out of trash.? It’s not enough for him to simply clean up and make cubes out of trash.? He creates out of trash.? How much better served would we all be if we would make the best of our situations… and even learn to be creative at it.? How much would our attitude change.? Maybe we’d become a bit more like WALL.E who we see whistling on the way to work.? The New Testament gives us just that sort of advice when we are challenged to do whatever we do “as unto the Lord”.? The task is not relevant.? The attitude with which it is tackled is.
When WALL.E first spies the object of his love, I was immediately reminded of the biblical story of creation.? The Bible tells us that Adam was created first and God put him to work.? But Adam noticed he didn’t have a partner, another one like him.? Then God makes Eve… and I’ve always imagined Adam sort of flipping out when he first lay eyes on her, saying “Way to go, God!”? WALL.E was all alone at the beginning of the movie but on that fateful day that his love interest showed up he was immediately smitten.? I about fell out of my super-comfortable theatre chair when she said her name was EVE.? I have to think that was no coincidence by the creators (pun intended) of the movie.? It was clear that WALL.E was out of his league, but that didn’t stop him.? And through a variety of circumstances that unfold througout the movie, he consistently shows unconditional love, come rain or shine (literally).? Wouldn’t it be cool if we, as Christ folowers could live liek that.? We are urged to througout the New Testament.? That is one of the key ways that we are supposed to represent Jesus Christ to the world around us.
UPDATED INFORMATION – It appears as though the director, Andrew Stanton,? may very well have been processing this movie through a spiritual lens himself.? I just found this quote from an interview with him that I thought I would pass along to all of you:
“?what really interested me was the idea of the most human thing in the universe being a machine because it has more interest in finding out what the point of living is than actual people. The greatest commandment Christ gives us is to love, but that?s not always our priority. So I came up with this premise that could demonstrate what I was trying to say ? that irrational love defeats the world?s programming. You?ve got these two robots that are trying to go above their basest directives, literally their programming, to experience love.
With the human characters I wanted to show that our programming is the routines and habits that distract us to the point that we?re not really making connections to the people next to us. We?re not engaging in relationships, which are the point of living ? relationship with God and relationship with other people”
IT’S NEVER TO LATE TO RISE UP
As the movie unfolds, we see that all humans live in “hover chairs”.? They don’t walk anywhere.? I’m thinking that I may be in training for that lifestyle when I plop down in my recliner every night.? Anyway, at one point, the captain of the space ship realizes that they need to return to earth.? But the auto-pilot tells him that they cannot return.? It’s a matter of surviving.? The Captain then summons up the courage to say, “But I don’t want to survive.? I want to live!”? How many people have simply settled for surviving because they’ve given up on living?? No matter what your situation or condition (heck, these guys could barely walk anymore after all that hovering), it’s never too late to start living.? We were never meant to simply survive.? That is not why God created us to live.? And when sin entered the equation and messed that up, Jesus Christ said in John 10:10 that he came to restore us to that original design… that we might live, and live to the full.
There is much to enjoy about WALL.E and I encourage you to take it in either in the theater or on DVD.? Enjoy the laughter and the real human emotion.? But don’t miss the lessons either.? There’s plenty to go around.