WALL*E in Burbank


Wednesday, 6.25, 9:05 pm. I’ll probably never eat here again (don’t ask), but every so often at night I need to pull into the parking lot and lean against the car and just stare up at the damn sign and take in the early 1950s vibe.

Wednesday, 6.25, 7:10 pm. A wee bit late to this evening’s WALL*E screening on the Disney lot, I was struck by the soothing green-lawn, tree-shade vibe just outside the Animation Building. A sweet, amusing and reasonably profound save-the-earth parable, WALL*E’s reliance on 85% visual, mostly dialogue-free storytelling (which makes it a kind of silent film) recalls the artistry of Charles Chaplin, Harry Langdon, Jacques Tati and other others whose style of performance art has been dormant for so many decades. It lives again. WALL*E is a masterpiece of its type. It’s going to win the Best Animated Feature Oscar. And the above-the-liners (Andrew Stanton, etc.) who are saying this is mainly a “robot love story” are deliberately disinforming the public. Of course, not everyone is going to understand how good this film is. A woman who saw it with me said to a young publicist on the way out, “It’s nice but I was bored.” So beware — some are going to say it’s not…whatever, snappilly entertaining enough according to current popcorn-munching standards. Anyone who says this, take my word, is a plebe and a moron. Six months into 2008 and WALL*E is one of the two or three best so far, if not the best of the year. It’s a major film and an occasion for enormous pride on Pixar’s part.
  • Chris Willman

    Agree on all counts. Except for the part about not eating at Bob’s.

  • Craptastic

    I imagine Wells sitting in a booth by himself, dead-eyed, with strands of dripping, chili spaghetti hanging out of his mouth, saying, “Waaaaaaleee”.
    Seriously though, Jeffrey… what was so bad about Bob’s? Yes, the menu is gross for the most part but once you walk through the door you have to know what you’re getting into.
    For my money (and you’ll find me and a friend or two there every Sunday morning) Frank’s in Burbank is, and always has been, the best in town.
    Well… for typical diner items anyway.

  • scooterzz

    i usually know when to leave well enough alone but, really wells, your lack of aesthetics is sometimes astounding…
    the first half of WALL-E (the part that takes place on earth) is some of pixar’s best work….the second half is just deficient …. and even stanton says the second half lacks, well…budget…..the space/cruise ship shit is just that…shit….
    and anybody who doesn’t agree is a…well, it takes a certain sort of person to call those who don’t agree a “moron” or “plebe” so i won’t go that far….
    but i will point out that people who eat breakfast at ‘norm’s’ and dinner at ‘bob’s’ probably only dream of ‘high thread count’ living…..

  • D.Z.

    “It lives again. WALL*E is a masterpiece of its type. It’s going to win the Best Animated Feature Oscar.”
    You never know. It might face a strong upset by “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”.
    Anyway, I’ve been to the Bob’s in Downtown L.A. when I was a kid, and remember loving the salad.

  • scooterzz

    now, i’m just procrastinating…
    but, you’re taking pics @ 7:10 when due for a 7:00 screening?!?…PLEASE don’t say you missed the first few minutes of the film……the set-up is really nice…….
    y’know, the problem with this movie isn’t just in stanton’s denial of an eco theme but also his denial that any part of the film is ‘without dialog’….. according to stanton, it’s flush with dialog, just not the dialog we’re used to hearing………
    such spin is just unseemly…….

  • http://clarkblog.typepad.com Clark Perry

    If you’re ever on the Disney lot and you have the time, I recommend a stroll through the Animation Building. It now houses several production offices but the main hallway is open to the public, and on display are many original animation cels from classic Disney movies.
    You can even riff the pages of some well-worn animation tests hanging there.

  • gruver1

    Wells to scoooterz: They started WALL*E around 7:13 or so. Maybe 7:14 pm. Wells to Clark Perry: Thanks — I’ve strolled through the Animation Building and savored the atmosphere. I’ve been coming to screenings in that building since the mid ’80s.

  • Midwest Doug

    Midwest’s gotta represent. Don’t dis the Big Boy! Jeff, next time I’m in LA I’ll treat you to a Slim Jim.

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