Director Andrew Stanton, the man behind FINDING NEMO, came down Saturday for WonderCon to show off some clips from Pixar's latest movie WALL-E, and to answer some questions from the audience.
Clip 1 - Much like the trailer, this first clip starts out with WALL-E getting ready to work on an average. He powers on and makes an old Mac start-up sound, which got a big laugh from the audience. Then there's a gag-filled montage of him examining materials in a junk heap, like a bra, fire extinguisher, and paddleball. Very slapstick, very funny.
Clip 2 - The clip begins with WALL-E showing off his collection of junk to EVE, an advanced robot who he's become infatuated with. There are a bunch of funny gags with her popping bubble wrap at an insanely fast speed, turning on a light bulb just by holding it, and solving a Rubik's Cube within five seconds. He also shows off a videotape, which she unwittingly pulls apart. Mortified, WALL-E fixes it as fast he can and tests it out. It works, and HELLO DOLLY starts playing on the TV. WALL-E dances to it, using a hubcap in place of a top hat. When EVE tries to dance, though, she accidentally smashes the floor of the ship repeatedly. After getting her to stop, WALL-E shows off a different dance move: just spinning around. EVE tries, but spins progressively faster until she whacks WALL-E into the side of the ship and a giant dent forms on the outside.
Clip 3 - Seeing EVE picked up by the ship that previously dropped her off, WALL-E climbs onto the side of it and finds himself launched into space, allowing him to admire its visual splendor. Some time later, the ship enters a much larger ship, and the clip ends.
Clip 4 - EVE, now awake, tells WALL-E that he needs to go back home. She hides him from the other robots onboard while he sneaks off to look at a plant that's been left in an escape pod. Before EVE can save him, the escape pod shoots into space, with a self-destruct timer counting down. EVE shoots into space after him. WALL-E tries to open the door, but can't, and the escape pod explodes. Out of the distance, he comes flying toward EVE, using a fire extinguisher as a jet pack.
- Andrew Stanton was very determined to adhere to the idea that WALL-E was a machine first, and a character second. His actions as a machine are what make him the character he is.
- When asked about WALL-E's design similarity to Johnny Five from SHORT CIRCUIT, Stanton said that he had honestly only ever seen the film once, and that the main inspiration for WALL-E came from a pair of binoculars he saw at an A's game.
- The film's style emulates sci-fi movies from the '60s and '70s.
- Watch out for the first 20 minutes of the movie, and you may be able to spot the Pizza Planet truck (which is a recurring easter egg in Pixar's films).
- John Ratzenberger will be doing voice work in the movie, and for the first time ever, he will even be playing a character named John.
- Thomas Newman is doing the score.
At this point, I feel no hesitation in saying that WALL-E may just end up being Pixar's best film yet. Considering that it has THE INCREDIBLES, RATATOUILLE, TOY STORY, and FINDING NEMO to compete with, that's really saying something.
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