DVD Review: Wall-E 3-Disc DVD

Wall-E on DVDThe sure-fire victor of the 2009 Academy Awards, Pixar’s Wall-E flies onto DVD this Tuesday, bringing with it one of the most ambitious, creative and visually stunning films ever made. Last year’s Oscar-winner Ratatouille was downright amazing for these same reasons (my roommate prefers the rat film), but

Wall-E managed to make a likable character and a smart, entertaining story with minimal dialogue. For a big budget film – a kid’s movie, no less – to feature almost no English is downright risky, but if there’s any studio that would take on such a task, it is Pixar.

As you can tell, I’m a huge fan of Wall-E; I doubt it will receive a Best Picture nomination as has been rumored, but we shall see. You can read my full Wall-E movie review here.

As for the three-disc DVD, it’s pretty good. The third disc is a digital copy of the film, so that doesn’t count, but the second disc is loaded with a good amount of interviews, making-of featurettes, deleted scenes and some family friendly features as well (the disc is split into Humans, for film fans, and Robots, for families).

I am currently watching The Pixar Story, an hour-and-a-half documentary that explores the creation of Pixar and computer animation in general. It’s quite interesting, as the lead animator began at Disney, was fired, and then moved to Lucasarts. From Star Wars to Young Sherlock Holmes (one of my favorites), computer animation begin to grow. Of course, money was an issue, and so Steve Jobs of Apple helped finance the spin-off company Pixar. That’s as far as I’ve gotten, but it’s pretty interesting.

Other features include:

  • Deleted scenes
    There’s no real animation here, other than crudely drawn storyboards with music and audio added in for effect. I’m not a big fan of these, but as far as faux deleted scenes go, these are pretty good. It’s interesting to see that the ship’s computer was originally a stand alone robot, not something that is in fact connected to the ship itself.
  • BnL Shorts
    This is a video designed for the ship’s captain that explains the brilliance of BnL, the reason for leaving Earth and the responsibilities the captain has for controlling the ship. His hardest task is that he has to clap his hands twice to get his morning coffee. This is pretty funny.
  • Featurettes
    There are several behind-the-scenes featurettes that explore various aspects of the film. While each one is short (thankfully), these are pretty insightful as we get to see the thought processes put into the level of detail, the style of animation and so on and so forth. We get to see how Wall-E is inspired after bomb-detonating robots and many others, and, most interesting, the original plans for the film, which involved aliens (no humans) and eventually humans that had digressed into blobs. I’m glad they finally settled on overweight humans, however.
  • Family-friendly features. I didn’t explore these too much, but there is one snippet that involves Wall-E being “attacked” by a variety of items including a magnet and vaccuum cleaner. It’s pretty funny, and I’m sure kids will have a blast wth it. There is also a feature where children can select from 30-40 robots seen in the movie and learn a bit more about them.

I also give Disney props for displaying the running time of each feature, so I knew how much time commitment I was putting in. All DVDs should do this.

The Wall-E DVD isn’t anything amazing, but insightful featurettes and a great movie make this a must-buy for all DVD fans.

By Erik Samdahl
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