|Life Vs Film|
Wall-E, Pixar's environmental parable starring a couple of initially Earth-bound robots, could well be my favorite animated film, and is certainly my favorite Pixar piece. It receives a great deal of praise for the first reel of dialogue-free insight into the everyday life of Wall-E, the last remaining trash-compacting 'bot charged with cleaning up the human mess on a now deserted Earth. But whilst I do love that period of the film, it is another, similarly silent (dialogue-wise, at least) scene that I love, occurring significantly later in the film once Wall-E and EVE, the droid sent to Earth to find signs of vegetation, have made it into space and to the Axiom, a giant space cruise-ship within which the last of humanity have been living for centuries.
Having narrowly escaped the detonating escape shuttle Wall-E had become trapped in, he and EVE meet in space when she rushes out to save him. EVE propels herself with her futuristic glowing blue in-built jetstream, whereas Wall-E goes typically old-school with a fire extinguisher he picked up from the shuttle. It would only be better if he had been riding atop an office chair during the flight. When they meet, after some playful fire-extinguisher-in-the-face shenanigans, Wall-E - who fell pretty hard for EVE when he first set binoculars on her - goes for the traditional wooing approach by giving EVE a flower. Or, more specifically, the plant-in-a-boot she has been searching for, and which holds the key to her not being de-programmed. She's justifiably elated at his gift, and gives him the spark-kiss he's been longing for all this time.
Wall-E's look of pure ecstasy/short circuiting the kiss causes is both hilarious and heartwarming, causing the little metal dude to drift off aimlessly before he and EVE begin a breathtakingly beautiful dance around the ship, weaving between the thrusters and elegantly gliding around. Thomas Newman's score perfectly encapsulates and accompanies the moment, and I love every second of it.
Just these two dancing around would have been more than enough, but we're also treated to their show causing Jane (Kathy Najimy) and John (John Ratzenberger), the two humans Wall-E has met so far on his journey, to discover one another - and the world around them away from their face-screens - forming what is potentially the first face-to-face human relationship seen on the Axiom in decades. Add to this the Captain (Jeff Garlin) and his boundless quest to discover the wonders of human life - seeds that grow pizza! - and you have one of the most joyous sequences this film has to offer.
Eventually, of course, Wall-E's fire extinguisher must run dry, and EVE gently catches him and takes him back to the ship; their brief moment of shared joy is now complete, and it's time to get back to the mission at hand, in much the same way that this scene has provided us with a breather from the film's message, and instead treats us to a scene of sheer joy.