WALL-E  [Blu-ray] [2-Disc Set] [UK Release] `WALL-E' is a Masterpiece for All Ages! From The Creators of FINDING NEMO and CARS!
The highly acclaimed director of `Finding Nemo' and the creative storytellers behind `Cars' and `Ratatouille' transport you to a galaxy not so far away for a new cosmic comedy adventure about a determined robot named Wall-E. Experience the exciting animated hit film with theatre-quality sound and the most pristine picture available on Disney Blu-ray Disc.
After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, the curious and lovable Wall-E discovers a new purpose in life when he meets a sleek search robot named Eve. Join them and a hilarious cast of characters on a fantastic journey across the universe.
Transport yourself to a fascinating new world with Disney-Pixar's latest adventure is totally unsurpassed on Blu-ray Hi-Definition. Loaded with bonus features, including the animated short "BURN-E," these 2-disc set overflows with fun for the entire family.
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: 2008 Hollywood Film Festival: Won: Animation of the Year for Andrew Stanton. 2009 Academy Awards®: Won: Best Animated Feature for Andrew Stanton. Nominated: Best Original Score for Thomas Newman. Nominated: Peter Gabriel (music and lyrics), Thomas Newman (music) for "Down to Earth." Nominated: Best Sound Editing for Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood. Nominated: Best Sound Mixing for Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt. Nominated: Best Original Screenplay for Andrew Stanton (story/screenplay), Jim Reardon (screenplay) and Pete Docter (story). 2009 BAFTA® Awards: Won: Best Animated Film for Andrew Stanton. Nominated: Best Film Music for Thomas Newman. Nominated: Best Sound for Ben Burtt, Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Matthew Wood. 2009 Golden Globe® Awards: Won: Best Original Song for Peter Gabriel, Thomas Newman for "Down to Earth." Nominated: Best Animated Film. 2009 Grammy Awards: Won: Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for Thomas Newman and Peter Gabriel for "Down to Earth." Won: Best Instrumental Arrangement for Thomas Newman, Peter Gabriel for "Define Dancing." Nominated: Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for Thomas Newman. 2009 Hugo Award: Won: Best Dramatic Presentation in Long Form for Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter [story]; Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon [screenplay] and Andrew Stanton [director].
Voice Cast: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard, MacInTalk [AUTO voice], John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, Sigourney Weaver [Ship's Computer voice], Teddy Newton [Steward Bots voice], Bob Bergen, John Cygan, Pete Docter, Paul Eiding, Donald Fullilove, Teresa Ganzel, Jess Harnell, Sherry Lynn, Mickie McGowan, Laraine Newman, Lori Alan, Jeff Pidgeon, Jan Rabson, Lori Richardson, Andrew Stanton, Jim Ward, Colette Whitaker, Kim Kopf (Hoverchair Mother) (uncredited), Angus MacLane (BURN-E voice) (uncredited), Niki McElroy (Pool Mother) (uncredited), Garrett Palmer (Blond Boy in Commercial) (uncredited) and Kai Steel Smith (Brunette Boy in commercial) (uncredited)
Director: Andrew Stanton
Producers: Gillian Libbert, Jim Morris, John Lasseter, Lindsey Collins and Thomas Porter
Screenplay: Andrew Stanton (screenplay/ original story), Jim Reardon (screenplay) and Pete Docter (screenplay/ original story)
Composer: Thomas Newman
Cinematography: Danielle Feinberg and Jeremy Lasky
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 2.0 Audio Description, French: 5.1 DTS-HD and Dutch: 5.1 DTS-HD
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French and Dutch
Running Time: 98 minutes
Region: Region B/2
Number of discs: 2
Studio: PIXAR Animation Studios / Walt Disney Studios
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: PIXAR's animation film `WALL-E' is one for all ages, a total masterpiece to be savoured before or after the end of the world, assuming, like the title character, you're still around when all the humans have taken off and have access to an old video player. WALL-E is a trash compactor, the last of his kind from an age in which cleaning up garbage was mankind's highest priority and before people threw in the towel and the broom, and apparently rocketed away. Now, this robot with his pivoting goggle eyes resides in a metropolis surrounded by skyscrapers that turn out, on closer inspection, to be compressed trash bricks piled high into the soot-grey sky. This animation film, directed by Andrew Stanton and his PIXAR collaborators have taken all cultural detritus, especially bits and pieces from cherished film genres, pop icons, visionary sci-fi tropes, half-remembered bric-a-brac from childhood and compacted it all into a sublime work of art. This PIXAR animated film is widely recognized as a critique on society. It brings up real issues that the world, and especially densely populated areas, are dealing with today and even more so in the future. Katherine Ellison asserts that “Americans produce nearly 400 million tons of solid waste per year but recycle less than a third of it, according to a recent Columbia University study.” Landfills are filling up so quickly that the UK may run out of landfill space by the year 2017.
There were advance rumbles that WALL-E would be tough going for children and go over their heads, that its story would not be understood, with its grim outlook in its storytelling experimental. Although the images are frequently flabbergasting, the narrative is as simple as Chaplin, Keaton, Jacques Tati, even the Teletubbies! Maybe the animation film only seems experimental because it's evenly paced, linear and doesn't call for viewers to do the perceptual equivalent of multitasking (which viewers these days seem to like!).
Although there's plenty of silent film slapstick, the apocalyptic context adds a hefty dose of melancholy. We laugh when WALL-E finds a little box with a diamond ring and then tosses the ring and keeps the box, but the thought of the couple that left it behind is rather poignant. Dust storms drive WALL-E into his lair, where he endlessly re-watches clips from the film Hello, Dolly! and particularly the opening number with Michael Crawford warbling about going to the city and kissing a girl. It's WALL-E's only link to the 1890s senses and world of limitless horizons and conspicuous consumption and crowds of people. For companionship, WALL-E is limited to a sort of cockroach (evolved) that's virtually indestructible and also indestructible are cream pastries he consumes that are clearly modelled on Twinkies [American confectionary] and a great punch line to all the jokes about the perishability of that synthesised cake like product.
From the beginning, PIXAR, a beacon for the future of animation film technology, explored themes of loss, decay, and the dark side of materialism. The old-fashioned toys of `Toy Story' were soulful repositories of childhood love rendered obsolete by newer and fancier models. Even PIXAR's most routinely plotted film, `Cars' was steeped in the romance of old machines. It's as if those machines hold memories that humans forget and beauties that have been overlooked with growing up in a fast-paced cyber-world.
Here, director Andrew Stanton (`Finding Nemo') extends that theme to the ruination of the entire planet, which he explicitly ties to an unchecked free-market embodied by a giant corporation that took over with the "Buy `n' Large" and I feel they are aiming their target at Wal-Mart. And its message is aimed at too much consumption, that helps to soften and fatten the human race (which you can see the results with the humans on the AXIOM spaceship) and separate them from the natural world. The storms, meanwhile, conjure up the planet's most catastrophic man-made environmental disaster and especially the Dust Bowl, born of greed for corn profits, that left topsoil suddenly vulnerable to winds.
The first part of `WALL-E' has no verbal talk, apart from the ‘Hello, Dolly! VHS Tape Video and Fred Willard on an old video as Buy `n' Large's "global CEO." Then a rocket descends, accompanied by Thomas Newman's score, which, like the animation film, is a gloriously inspired mélange, like Warner Bros. cartoons. What emerges from that ship is Eve, a smooth white egg like robot with a head that floats above her unattached, but vaguely Japanese look, with violet cat eyes, like a sprite out of Miyazaki. WALL-E is instantly smitten, even though Eve blasts anything she deems a threat and culminating in an edgy courtship at the start of their contact.
Eve's mission and where it leads eventually to Eve and WALL-E discovering each other. But humans are sort of involved, and there are rollicking chases and eventually a tender love story. When a little-girl giggle comes out of Eve, WALL-E suddenly seems like one of those animation films where two lonely robots discover each other and share wordless adventures. There's a rocketing space pas de deux between WALL-E and Eve in which the lyricism is positively transcendental. Somehow these two robot machines have to rein fuse what's left of mankind with the joy of play. Their electronic coos and twitters recall `Star Wars' and `E.T.;' especially with their only visual aid is a tiny pot.
Like all previous PIXAR films, the meaning of `WALL-E' is deeper and more profound than the merchandising opportunities found therein. It's a love story, yes, but it's also a story about staying true to your own heart in the blandly evil face of authority. It's a tale about saving the small things and cherishing the world you live in, no matter how imperfect its surface might seem. Andrew Stanton, who won an Oscar in 2004 for `Finding Nemo,' has certainly earned his place in the pantheon of animation pioneers, but with `WALL-E,' he has taken not only the art of animation, but the art of storytelling to new, unimaginable heights. This animation film of `WALL-E' as a character is a very poetic figure of the robot drawn to human splendour, remains powerful throughout and PIXAR's loveliest creation.
Blu-ray Video Quality – 'WALL-E' gets a direct-to-digital transfer presented in a stunning 1080p encoded image video and with a brilliant 2.40:1 aspect ratio. PIXAR has crowed that there is not a pixel out of place, and the hyperbole is justified. 'WALL-E' is a visual masterpiece, and the sparkling surfaces are as sharp and clean as any high-definition image you are going to see. Much of the animation is photo-realistic, and the level of detail to the picture is five-star. A good portion of 'WALL-E' takes place on dusty planet surfaces, so there is some intentional diffusing of the picture, but it's absolutely appropriate to the intended look of the film. Shadow delineation is also superb, with even the darkest areas of the picture revealing the finest of textures still visible. The colour palette is expansive, and one of the best examples I've seen yet of the improvements high-definition offers over standard-def. Comparing the Blu-ray and standard DVD editions of 'WALL-E,' it's clear how much smoother fine gradients of colour are in high-def. Hues are also richer, especially primary colours. Flesh tones, as they are, are also accurate. But most impressive about 'WALL-E' is the sense of depth to the picture. This is as close to 3-D as you are going to get without wearing glasses and on a large screen the effect is magnificent. Predictably, the encode image is rock solid, with no artefacts, edginess or moiré patterns, and an absence of noise. For my money, 'WALL-E' is the new reference standard for an animated presentation on Blu-ray. Please Note: Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is offered for 'WALL-E.' There are no other mixes offered (not even standard Dolby Digital or any other foreign language dubs or subtitles. The audio is superb, delivering a fully immersive experience that is sure to dazzle. Animated films are always a treat to enjoy on high-definition because their soundtracks are constructed wholly in the studio, from the ground up. Every element sounds in the right place, with an expert balance of effects, music and dialogue. The added surround channel helps open up the rear soundstage wonderfully, with excellent seamless pans between all channels. Discrete effects are numerous, and subtle ambiance is almost always sustained. The score is also perfectly integrated and bled throughout. Dynamic range is rich and robust, with excellent clarity and attenuation across the entire frequency spectrum. Low bass is as tight as a drum and never overpowering to the rest of the mix. Though 'WALL-E' is surprisingly light on dialogue (particularly the first half of the film), the spoken word isn't given short thrift and the mix is always perfectly balanced. Finally, it's no surprise, given that this is a PIXAR film, how well-recorded 'WALL-E' is. The mix never sounds artificial or processed, and the source is as clean and slick as a newly-waxed floor. 'WALL-E' sounds as good as it looks.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: PRESTO  [1080p] [5:00] ‘PRESTO’ is a 2008 PIXAR amazing imaginative and visually-gorgeous Computer Animated Theatrical Short Film, was released with the theatrical release of ‘WALL-E.’ ‘PRESTO was directed by veteran PIXAR animator Doug Sweetland who made his directorial debut with this animated film, and also voices the two main characters Presto and Alec Azam. This short is about a magician named Presto DiGiotagione and his cute hungry rabbit, Alec Azam. At the beginning of the short, Alec is seen locked in his cage in Presto's dressing room, trying to reach a carrot inches out of his reach. Presto comes in, having finished a meal, to test his magic trick of pulling Alec out of a hat. After he sees that the trick works, Presto is about to feed Alec the carrot, just as he hears a knock on his door, letting him know that it's time for him to go on stage and do his act. Now extremely angry, Presto chases Alec behind the stage and gets pulled by a rope into the air, but soon slips and falls with many heavy objects falling above him. Alec then saves Presto from being crushed by making him fall into the hat. After a short pause, the crowd begins to cheer for Alec and Presto. Alec, in a bad mood, begins to walk away when Presto beckons him to come over. To cheer Alec up, Presto makes the carrot appear again, which Alec immediately eats when he comes out of the hat. They end the show as friends and Alec becomes an even bigger part of Presto's act. I liked it even better than ‘Burn-E.'
Special Feature: BURN-E  [1080p] [7:00] A beautifully-animated and whimsical PIXAR short film. ‘BURN-E' is a repairbot (a welding robot) who is determined to do his job, but is foiled at every turn by WALL-E's adventure aboard the AXIOM. The BURN-E (stands for "Basic Utility Repair Nano Engineer") and the character is first seen briefly as a welder robot in ‘WALL-E’ when WALL-E and EVE fly around the AXIOM Starliner, and enter through a door, locking him outside of the ship. BURN-E is seen banging his fists against the door, and ultimately realizing that he has been locked out. After the credits, an arm comes out from SUPPLY-R's body and pats BURN-E's head and he says, in a dull, motionless voice, "There, there."
Special Feature: BURN-E with Boards  [1080p] [7:00] This the short film ‘BURN-E’  that is also viewable in a PIP mode that includes a running storyboards for the entire short.
Special Feature: WALL-E's Treasures & Trinkets [1080p] [5:00] A vaudeville of WALL-E's favourite misadventures.
Special Feature: Lots' of Bots Storybook: Play Games, solve puzzles, and have fun with WALL-E in his storybook adventure. Narrated by John Ratzenberger and Kathy Najimy.
Special Feature: The AXIOM Arcade: Bot Files [1080p] This is essentially a still gallery, with individual animated visual files for 28 different robots seen in the film. Each robot gets a 360-degree visual spin of the robot, with a narrator filling us in on some interesting facts about the machine.
Deleted Scenes [1080p] [23:00] The "Humans" section kicks off with four quite meaty scenes here, which you can play individually or as a group with introduction by Andrew Stanton. The scenes are a mix of wholly completed and rendered scenes, and some in more raw states of completion. The four scenes are: "Garbage Airlock;" "Dumper;" "Secret Files," and "Docking."
Special Feature: Behind-the-Scenes [1080p] [9:00] This three-part documentary gives us a fairly thorough visual overview of the conception and production of 'WALL-E.' Interviews with Stanton and most of the main PIXAR crew are intercut with extensive making-of footage shot during the story development, animation, and post-production processes. "The Imperfect Lens: Creating the Look of WALL-E" [14:00] covers the beginning stages of visual design. "Animation Sound Design: Building Worlds from the Sound Up" [19:00] dissects the creation of the film's entire soundtrack, which was constructed completely in the studio. Finally, "Captain's Log: The Evolution of Humans" [8:00] goes in-depth into the conceptualisation and rendering of the film's human characters.
Special Feature: BnL Shorts [1080p] [9:00] Full-length versions of the three short films watched by WALL-E in the film are presented here uncut and fully-animated. The three shorts are: "Captaining the Axiom," "Operation Cleanup" and "Meet the BnL Bots."
Special Feature: 3-D Set Fly-Throughs [1080p] Click on this feature and an interactive map of the AXIOM spaceship appears. There are various points of the ship you can click on to watch a full 3-D "fly-through" animated tour of the location.
Sneak Previews: ‘UP;' ‘What's On Blu-ray Discs;' ‘Pinocchio' 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition; ‘BOLT;' ‘The Princess and The Frog;' ‘Tinker Bell and The Lost Treasure;' ‘Disney Channel: Wizards of Waverly Place.'
Finally, `WALL-E' is the kind of animate film that has the power to touch even the most cynical soul. It's a rare treat of a film that inspires and takes one's breath away with its almost effortlessly astounding storytelling. `WALL-E' is a film for all ages that has the potential to entertain every member of the family and isn't limited as entertainment for children. PIXAR has done a remarkable job with this stunning Blu-ray package. The animation film's video presentation is truly reference grade and will remain a standard as demonstration material for years to come. The audio presentation is equally exceptional and creates a palpable sense of atmosphere and immersion. Supplements are also robust and the set's many in-depth and entertaining documentaries will provide hours of entertainment beyond the film itself. Wall-E is a must-own title on Blu-ray and deserves a place in every Blu-ray collection and it especially goes pride of place in my ever increasing PIXAR Blu-ray Collection. Very Highly Recommendation!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom