Can machines develop emotions? Are they capable of love? What separates man from machine? These are all hotly contested questions of futurism and science fiction, yet to enjoy the Disney film Wall-E, you sort of have to let these questions fall to the wayside.
Wall-E is perhaps the only family post-apocalyptic film ever created, taking place at a time in which the Earth has been mangled and made toxic, no longer with any ability to sustain life. Humanity, of course, leaves on a galactic cruise, waiting in outer space for machines to clean up the mess left on the planet. As the cleanup takes longer than expected, humanity continues to tour the galaxy, with subsequent generations becoming fatter and lazier, forgetting what typical 21st-century human life is actually like.
While the film is adorable, it hits too close to home in its sad, satirical forecast. Is it just a matter of time until we become pod people, losing our bone structure and becoming so fat and weak that we are rendered unable to move ourselves? I guess this is neither here nor there for the purposes of this discussion, which will focus on the portrayal of the film’s lead characters, Wall-E and Eve. And for the purposes of this discussion, we do away with our doing-away with the aforementioned questions. This isn’t about enjoying the film; it’s about having a good, weird science fiction discussion. And believe me, it’s going to get weird and un-family friendly pretty quickly. Continue reading