Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Chaplin, Twinkies an Si-Fi



There already has been much said on the merits of the movie Wall-E. I for one enjoyed it immensely, as did my children. That said I would like to add two more things that helped make this movie move into my top 10 list. First is that Wall-E is very Chaplinesque. The heart of Chaplin’s Tramp character is summed up by his quote, “A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.” All those seem to sum up Wall-E. Chaplin never liked talkies because he considered cinema essentially a pantomimic art saying that,"Action is more generally understood than words. Like Chinese symbolism, it will mean different things according to its scenic connotation. Listen to a description of some unfamiliar object -- an African wart hog, for example; then look at a picture of the animal and see how surprised you are.” The first two thirds and the last 5 mins of this film could easily be viewed as a silent picture with only three words of dialog, “Wall-E”, “Eve”, and “Directive”.
It also seems that G.K. liked Chaplin as he is mentioned several times in the Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton: Illustrated London News, 1929-1931.

Watch Chaplin move on wheels here

With that in mind Pixar always includes some brilliant visual jokes in their films and many are very subtle. The one I liked in this movie was the inclusion of the urban legend that a Twinkie never dies and bugs won’t eat them. It was one of those jokes that I did not get until the next day. (Seriously after 700 years without humans and Wall-E pulls out a fresh Twinkie and I thought nothing of it). I love when a movie continues to unfold after the lights come back on.

2 comments:

Tim J. said...

Velveeta, too, never goes bad. It is "The Cheese that Cannot Die". It can also be used for small repairs, so I always keep some in my car.

Joe said...

Velveeta ... "The Cheese that Cannot Die". It can also be used for small repairs ...

Tim - sounds like great fodder for a poem!