Pixar Sci-Fi

It's to the point now where my wife and I will see a movie just because Pixar made it. Finding Nemo and The Incredibles are two of my favorite movies of all time. Today, Wall-E didn't move me as much as those two did, but I think that's only because the family and father/son themes resonate much more strongly with me. Which is to say that Wall-E is a good movie, and it's not Pixar's fault that I wasn't moved to tears this time. (MINOR SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW).

I also thought it was interesting from a sci-fi point of view. I've already noticed in my own stories a recurring theme of world-destruction. It's what Travelers is about, and it lies waiting deep in the history of Air Pirates. So I immediately enjoyed seeing another take on what could happen to Earth and to all those colonists who fled and forgot where they came from.

Unfortunately, my brain can't help finding flaws. Part of that is because S.C. Butler wrote a post about Wall-E at SF Novelists. I couldn't get the plant-in-space thing out of my head the entire time, and I found myself watching for other logical absurdities as well.

There were a number of questions that were left unanswered, like how does reproduction work on the Axiom, and why did the Axiom fly so far away from the Earth if they always intended to return, and (perhaps most pressing) why didn't they just shoot the trash into space? Questions that could have been answered, but weren't quite.

One big flaw that bugged me was that the humans who (as far as I could tell) had never walked in their lives, could walk when the plot needed them to. After generations of sedentariness, I don't think their bodies would be able to support their own massive weight. I could've let it go if the movie hadn't specifically mentioned the possibility of "bone loss" (in a video that was meant for colonists returning after 5 years, not 700, but whatever, another unanswered question). It could be explained away by low gravity, but when they got to Earth they had no problems there either.

Like Butler's plant flaw, it didn't ruin the movie for me, but I won't be able to get it out of my head. I don't accept the excuse that "it's a kid's movie" either. The folks who write kid's movies should care about what they do (esp. at Pixar) just as much as those of us who write for adults. After all, when our kids watch a movie over and over again, we have to as well. And the movies that do really well are the ones that both kids and adults enjoy.

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