Comic-Con 2007: Wall-E

"What if mankind had to evacuate Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off?"

This is the idea behind Wall.E, which stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth class (pronounced "Wally," as in George). Director Andrew Stanton is determined to capture the epic spirit and sense of wonder in the '70s sci-fi flicks he grew up with...but done PIxar-style.

yep, this is a Pixar-Disney production, and in the spirit of the MTV movie awards, is next year's "Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen Yet."

Earth has been overrun with trash, and mankind evacuated to starliners, ostensibly for 5 years, while trash compactor robots like Wall.E re-terraform. But something went wrong, and humanity never came back. The last one of his kind still working, Wall.E is starting to develop feelings.

(Fans - check out Haven't been there yet myself, but they just announced it in a clip.)

We see a clip of the movie, as Wall.E goes through trash, collecting "artifacts" -- a diamond ring gets thrown away, though he keeps the box; car keys still chirp an alarm on, and a small green plant is growing in the rubble. Then a red light appears, like a laser pointer; he follows it, and it turns out to be a landing sensor for a rocketship.

Fake film-break, end of clip.

Eventually he will find the last luxury rocketship, where humans have evolved -- gotten fatter while bones have atrophied, so they're all blobby and in hover-chairs. Wall.E will fall for an iPod-like female probe drioid named Eve, who has not yet evolved feelings.

Stanton wondered how to handle robot-dialogue, so when he realized it was basically "R2-D2 The Movie", he went to his neighbor Ben Burtt, the "father" of R2. Burtt demoed the sound live, to impressive effect -- mush of the robot-speak is electronic sounds, but the vocal elements there are from Ben's voice.

Is it true there's a live-action element like Happy Feet, asks one person? "We're not doing anything like Happy Feet." Huge cheer. "But there is a live-action element. That's all I can say."

New Pixar intro showed the lamp character in the Pixar logo burning out a bulb. Wall.E comes in and changes the bulb, then knocks over the "R" and compensates by forming the shape of the R.

Wall.E's eyes are inspired by binoculars Stanton had at a baseball game -- though coincidentally, remind one of the walking binoculars in Toy Story.

Looks like Pixar has hit a homer again.


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