WALL-E

  • Review Date: June 25, 2008
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Brainy, charming, eco-friendly animated adventure.
  • Review Date: June 25, 2008
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Underlying the whole movie are messages about the dangers of over-consumption and excessive waste; the vision of Earth as a garbage-strewn wasteland (and humans as hoverchair-bound lumps who can barely walk) speaks volumes. The importance of protecting the environment -- and the consequences of inaction and greed in the face of potential environmental catastrophe -- are a cornerstone to this movie.

Positive role models

Lead characters WALL-E and EVE are extremely sympathetic. They're sweet, conscientious, loyal truth-seekers who are able to transcend technology and develop the capacity for love. EVE is dismissive of WALL-E at first, but she comes to appreciate his dedication. The human characters are a bit more flawed; they got into their predicament because of their own bad habits (particularly laziness, selfishness, and greed) -- which the movie is clearly taking a stand against. But in the end -- thanks in no small part to WALL-E -- they come around and appear to have the best intentions of making things right.

Violence & scariness

A human does battle against a robot, which pokes him in the eye and tosses him around, but it's not too aggressive. Robot EVE has a powerful gun in one of her arms, which she doesn't hesitate to fire at possible threats (including, early on, WALL-E). At one point, in frustration, she sets off a series of vivid explosions in old oil tankers that could scare some very little kids. A gang of rogue robots faces off against similarly mechanical peacekeepers; their conflict is more funny than scary. Human characters are briefly in peril.

Sexy stuff

Gentle, sweet, understated romance blooms for two robots, as well as for a human couple.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Excessive consumerism is one of the movie's themes. It's personified by the Buy N Large mega-corporation, which seems to own and operate everything in WALL-E's world. It's fictional, but its brand is everywhere.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this winning Pixar adventure is thoroughly charming and, yes, romantic, the youngest viewers may get a little restless during the atmospheric, virtually dialogue-free first half-hour. They'll still enjoy it, but -- unlike older kids and grown-ups -- they won't be that impressed by how much is said with so few words. But the action (which includes some robot fights, weapons being fired, explosions, and chase scenes) picks up soon enough. Underlying the whole thing are strong environmental messages: Reduce, reuse, recycle, and think about what you're doing to the planet (and yourself).

Parents say

What's the story?

WALL-E begins on an Earth centuries in the future. It's a bleak, garbage-strewn place whose only citizen seems to be WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), a sanitation robot who's improbably enamored of the musical Hello, Dolly! Then one day, a spaceship drops in for a pit stop and leaves behind an egg-shaped robot. Her name is EVE, and she's sleek, speedy, and stunning -- and WALL-E is immediately smitten. But before the two can make beautiful musicals together, an unexpected discovery hurtles her back to mankind's current home: a giant spaceship called Axiom, where humans float on personal hovercrafts, interact with others via screen phones, and have grown so obese and sedentary that they've forgotten how to walk. Determined not to lose his new companion, WALL-E follows EVE to the ship -- and sets in motion a chain of events that just might put people back on a healthier path.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Who would've expected an animated feature with stretches of near-silence, a deeply intellectual and ecological bent, and a robot with relatively few bells and whistles to be profoundly moving and thought-provoking, yet still entertaining? WALL-E hits those marks, and how. Much of the credit is due to Andrew Stanton, who directed and cowrote (with Jim Reardon) the movie, which takes Pixar's success in turning out animated hits to the next level. Gorgeously detailed and, more important, ambitiously challenging, WALL-E is cinematic art -- especially early on, when WALL-E, alone on Earth, plays with his trusty cockroach sidekick, or, later, courts a reluctant EVE. They interact as if in an intricately choreographed silent movie, or, yes, a musical: She's aloof, he's smitten; she's distant, he's bowled over. (Kudos to Ben Burtt for adding such emotion to WALL-E's squeaks and bleeps.)

Early scenes in which WALL-E wonders at the detritus of human life -- a velvet box holding a diamond, a rubber duckie, a spork -- are especially poignant, particularly when juxtaposed against the massive pile of waste he's meant to tame. The movie's pro-planet message is hardly subtle, but it feels refreshing to see an animated film take a stand about a political and social issue. The virtually dialogue-free first act may stretch a bit too long for younger audiences -- even though they'll benefit from being given a green lesson in such a lively, fun package -- but they'll get the animated action-adventure they crave soon enough. By the end, WALL-E feels less artsy and more like the typical Pixar film -- not that there's anything wrong with that.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages. What is it saying about the media's effect on people? Do you think the future humans in the movie were exaggerated to be funny, or could that really happen? 

  • How is satire employed to drive home the movie's message on the environment and big business?

  • This film contains very little dialogue early in the movie. What do you think would be the challenges in making a movie about a robot who doesn't speak English (or any human language) whose only friend at first is a roach?

  • Why is WALL-E so fascinated by Hello, Dolly? What does he learn from the movie?

  • Why is WALL-E so eager to make a connection with EVE? How does he win her over?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 27, 2008
DVD release date:November 17, 2008
Cast:Fred Willard, Jeff Garlin, Sigourney Weaver
Director:Andrew Stanton
Studio:Pixar Animation Studios
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Robots, Space and aliens
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of WALL-E was written by

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Quality

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  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 4 year old Written bykat_shoshin May 1, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

finet for older kids, but not for pre-schoolers

Too violent - the angry shooting made my 4 year old really agitated and we had to turn it off before he could arrive at any message.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old April 25, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

BEST MOVIE YOU SHOULD WATCH IT!

AWESOME MOVIE!! so funnyyyy! luv it!
Teen, 14 years old Written byeastside01 May 30, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

WALL-E will delight everyone.

Can you really even think of any other better animated movies than disney i don't think you can because disney/pixar has done it again with this great film for everyone it should be seen by everyone who likes good movies and take an hour and a half to see a charmer.

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