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Paul Nicholson
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

How WALL-E was not an environmental movie

Ok, i mentioned this briefly in my last post (recapping all the summer movies i've seen), but this apparently needs to be addressed again.

My cousin-in-law just made a post about the movie and he has comments disabled, so you get to hear my rebuttal here. Be warned that this post will be as spoiler free as possible, but if you haven't seen the movie, just know that both Brian and I liked it and you should go see it. Then come back and read the article and participate in the discussion.

Brian starts off by taking issue with "the crystal clear liberal environmental objective."
Just gotta take that first and ask: Why does anything environmental have to be liberal? Christy and i are very environmentally conscious. Letting the left-win-liberal-politicos co-opt environmental responsibility is just as bad as letting the right-wing-conservatives co-opt Christianity. But then again...that gets us down the broken two-party system rat hole (see here for another example)... Moving on...
"The entire premise of the movie is that the earth has become overrun with garbage and taken over my big business."
Nope. Those are important facts, but that is not the premise of the movie - that would be the setting and set-up for the movie. The premise and plot of the movie... well...he actually gets close to it here in a second...
"...this is a really good illustration of how we have to be very sensitive to what messages our families - especially our children - are bombarded with...It is our responsibility to protect our children and shape a biblical worldview in their hearts"
Now we're getting closer to what the movie was actually about. The fact that the Earth was grungy and people had to move off of it wasn't the point at all. As Brian said "The hero of the movie is of course Wall-E [sic], a garbage compactor." And what is WALL-E's story about? A relationship. He is lonely and wants a relationship. Brian describes what he finds on the spaceship: "people are on a space ship, where they have been for hundreds of years, and are now all overweight and lazy." ...and...haven't seen each other face to face and interacted as people in generations.

The point of this movie was not that we trash the planet then move off, become even fatter and more lazy (and more commercial), and then WALL-E convinces them to go fix the Earth. The whole fixing the Earth bit at the end thing is what the industry calls a "subplot". It was EVE's motivation through the movie and helped provide conflict for the antagonist to give the movie some action. The point of this movie - the real message, is summed up very well by something i heard writer/director Andrew Stanton say in an interview after i saw the flick: "What would happen if the most human thing left in the galaxy was a robot". You could call this an anti-technology movie. A pro-social/relationship movie. A love story. But environmental movie it was not.

WALL-E reminded the people on board how to be human. He pushed through barriers and loves EVE. That message, together with a subplot reminding us that we were put on this planet with a specitic instruction from God: GEN 2:15 "The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

Both of those are messages i'd be glad for my kids to internalize one day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen? I have to agree. Christians should in fact be the most vigilant of caretakers of the planet as we have a relationship with the Creator and Giver of said planet and resources. I have only seen ads to the movie, but your arguments seem to support what I have seen...and ocol message!