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"WALL * E" trailer soft-pedals the more controversial aspects of this new Pixar film

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"WALL * E" trailer soft-pedals the more controversial aspects of this new Pixar film

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Hey, have you heard that there's a new "WALL * E" trailer up on the Net?

 Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

As I understand it, this is the official theatrical trailer. The one that will run in theaters now through June 27, when this new Andrew Stanton film finally reaches the big screen. And as you might imagine, the publicity staff at Walt Disney Pictures has just loaded this 2-minutes-and-30-second ad up with memorable moments from this new Pixar movie ...

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... Like that sequence from the film where the Axiom's probe ship flies so close to Saturn that WALL * E can actually reach out and touch its ring.

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

And let's not forget about those scenes in this picture that will be sure to melt your heart. Like when this little robot sits alone in his trailer ...

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... watching an old VHS version of "Hello, Dolly!" Dreaming of the day when he too can discover that "It Only Takes a Moment" to fall in love.

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

But then comes Eve. And WALL * E is now able to do those things that he's only dreamed about. Like holding his girlfriend's hand ...

 Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... while they watch a romantic sunset.

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Of course, the reason that this sunset is so spectacular is because of all the pollution in the air. I mean, let's remember that "WALL * E" 's basic premise is that man has done such a poor job of taking care of our planet that we're all eventually forced to abandon our homes ...

 Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... leaving behind the Earth itself (which is now basically this brown trashball floating in space) ...

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

... so that we can then live in these huge, sleek spaceships. And wait for the day when our planet was once again clean & pristine, so that we can finally go home.

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Okay. I know. That part of "WALL * E" 's storyline hasn't really been played up in any of the ads that have aired up until now. And to be honest, even this trailer soft-pedals that particular aspect of this story. Mostly because Disney's publicity department isn't entirely sure how audiences are going to react to the social satire aspects of this new Andrew Stanton film. Especially those moments that twit our far-too-consumeristic modern society.

 Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Of particular concern is what the moviegoers of today will make of the humans of the future. You see, because we have yet to learn from our previous mistakes and have continued to mindlessly consume ... As depicted in "WALL * E," mankind has become so grossly overweight and slothful that we've basically lost our ability to walk. Which is why we now travel about in ... Well, they're sort of like flying barcoloungers.

From what folks in publicity have told me, Disney's PR department is very concerned that this rather bleak prediction of humanity's future might turn off would-be "WALL * E"" watchers. Which is why they've kept the clips from that portion of the picture down to a bare minimum in this trailer. And even then, they only showed the fat humans and all of their floating chairs in a shot that was taken from high above the Axiom's shopping mall area. So that it's hard to make out what you're looking at here.

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

As for the ship's captain (Voiced by "Curb Your Enthusiasm" vet Jeff Garlin) ... He's in this trailer for less than a second. Again Disney Publicity deliberately showed this character from above because  ... Well, that angle makes the Captain look less fat than he actually is in the finished film.

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Now don't fault the folks in publicity at Walt Disney Pictures for putting together the sort of the campaign that they have for "WALL * E." After all, their main goal here is to put asses in seats. To make sure that they get as many people as possible to head out to the multiplex on June 27th to see Pixar's latest production.

Besides, setting "WALL * E" 's social satire aspect aside for a moment, there are lots of other reasons to admire this new Andrew Stanton film. Like its solid story construction ...

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

You see, Stanton's one of these guys who genuinely believes in the "Chekhov's Gun" school of story construction. Meaning that if you introduce a gun in the first part of your story, that gun must then be fired before you reach the end of your tale.

Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

So if you substitute "fire extinguisher" for "gun" in the above axiom ... Well, you now have a clue as to how Eve & WALL * E get out of a particularly tight spot in this new Pixar film.

So don't let the fact that "WALL * E" mixes sci-fi, sentiment and social satire prevent you from seeing this new Andrew Stanton film. Remember that seeing a movie that moves you as well as makes you think, is a good thing. Especially during summer blockbuster season.

 Copyright 2008 Disney Pixar. All Rights Reserved

Though -- that said -- you may want to hold off on buying that $7.00 tub of popcorn & that $5.00 soda on your way into the theater to see "WALL * E."

Why For? Well ... Trust me, folks. You may have trouble finishing up all of your refreshments once you see the humans of the future.

Your thoughts?

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  • I must say, WALL*E is the first Pixar film since the Incredibles that I'm really looking forward to. As for the marketing, I understand why Disney removed the satire elements (as some viewers and media are way to sensitive) but as long as their still in the movie, I don' care.

  • Ah, no wonder the trailer didn't show much about the plot and focused too much on the comedy aspect. Some people may still be confused. Still, I liked the trailer a lot and I'm looking forward to seeing the film.

  • Much like last year's Rat, this movie should do well in spite of the inept Disney Marketing Dept.

  • And, Curmudgeon, don't be surprized if the international box office makes up 60 to 70 percent of the total grosses for "Wall*E."

    Filmgoers in Europe, Japan and elsewhere just seem to have a deeper respect and appreciation for animated films than do mainstream American audiences.

    Pixar (and hopefully Disney) is slowly changing that here in the U.S. ... but there are still too many adults who see the word animation and automatically dismiss a film as "kids stuff."

    Hopefully more and more Americans will see the name Pixar and think high quality storytelling -- something worth catching on the big screen.

  • This looks fantastic.  My boyfriend and I can't stop talking about the sound design by Ben Burtt (us being film nerds and all...), and that was only after seeing the trailer on the computer!  

    As I said while watching the trailer, "This movie would have to suck pretty hard for me to not love it."  And, even though I've got a weight problem, some tubby future-humans won't be ruining the plot for me one bit.

    Oh, and as for that $5 soda...  It's $1 with our souvenir cups, and it's Diet Coke.  ;)

  • I think that anyone that has seen 'Over the Hedge' from Dreamworks will testify that an animated film can balance entertainment with social commentary.

    I don't think that Disney has anything to worry about, and I don't think that they are actively hiding anything from the public at this stage.

  • My thought is that Wall E literally has a chance to be one of the greatest films of all time. I don't know the last time I was this excited for a movie before.

  • I predict that WALL-E will be as big a hit as Finding Nemo, the story really reaches out to little kids who will want to see WALL-E be saved by EVE or whatever the plot is, . . . plus the sci-fi backdrop looks fantastic and it has been a while since a futuristic movie came out so I think it will be a big hit with adults who wanted to escape the 'dirtiness' of our lives on earth.  As for the fat humans: little kids either 1. won't care or 2. will think its funny that WALL-E can out maneuver the adults, as for adults 1. won't care because the whole premise of human becoming fat and going off into space IS funny, 2. won't be offended because they will be happy that we still live on earth and can exercise and most of us aren't that morbidly obese, . . . but the biggest reason why movie-goers won't care is because humans are not the focus of the film, the robot is, remember that little girl from Finding Nemo with the braces? Not the most flattering rendering of humans, but it didn't matter because Nemo was the story.  Here the robots are the story so it really doesn't matter what people are doing.  Also, everybody has been saturated in the media about the growing "obesity epidemic", so people will find it intriguing that someone portrays humanity that way, and people will probably eat more popcorn and coke because most people aren't that fat, it will make people feel skinner

  • I'm curious. At what point does what is called "social satire" become "enviro-whacko propaganda"?? I guess when Wall-E comes out, we'll see.

  • You know what? This movie is about a robot who is cleaning up after our mess.  It's HIS story. I imagine that he will be doing something heroic that will somehow help these humans who've made this mess and we'll all learn something. No one is going to care about the FAT HUMANS and the fact that they've made this mess.  The story is about them.  They are the backdrop. Constantly harping about this backdrop is ridiculous. The movie is about an amazingly cute and engaging ROBOT.  We all want to see it.  Stop pointing out the negative stuff!

  • This is no surprise to me. In all the discussions of WALL*E over the last 2 years by the Pixar family members they have always mentioned it's a story of a robot - that is left behind on earth to clean up our mess because we can't take care of the planet. There were more descriptions too. Would all of America know to look for comments, etc.? I doubt it. But then it seems to me this same sort of story was written right here on JHM - about how many americans may "feel sqeemish" about seeing a rat in a kitchen cooking" and as the weeks went by, and the dollars came in, there was still a push for "not good enough"...

    I see the commentary repeating, unfortunately. It's the MO of the site. On another note - of COURSE Disney marketing will withhold some of the parts they feel are too much for people to see.  Do you think the Harry Potter franshise showed everything in their marketing?  The fact that someone died in Goblet of Fire made hoopla online but was part of the story - so it fit, people got it, and life went on.  

    Story, story, story.  Those whining Marketing insiders that are touted so much as contacts should stop it and understand that the public enjoys good STORIES - not image....

  • What? Are you for real... If those are "strong statements that will put off audiences", than I'm a freaking chicken! (And nooo, I'm not.) I'm sorry, but this isn't controversial AT ALL. It's a beautiful story about a robot finding love and living in a difficult galaxy ('cause world doesn't apply here anymore).

    No worries!

    (Now, read my article about it :D http://www.nehold.com/?p=1053)

  • I hate to say but  Honestly Jim, What did pixar do to you that you feel the need to break down an awesome trailer. .   Do you want another rattoutille repeat? should i expect another article from you in three weeks saying  Pixar/Disney worried about merchandise sales.

                 Ill be waiting for yoru pixar bashing

  • "should i expect another article from you in three weeks saying  Pixar/Disney worried about merchandise sales."

    It's usually the forth week. Week three would be the debate over the words of the reanimated body of John Wayne; who proclaims Pixar to be " the last bastion of the enviro-whacko propaganda movement".

    You heard it here first.

  • Uh...I think, Jim, you're blowing this way out of proportion here.

    First of all, it's a freakin' movie. Secondly, so what if it depicts humans as rotund, lazy, consumer-driven half-wits with fatty fingers? I've seen other films that depict the human race as far worse creatures.

    And because it's Pixar/Disney is the reason why there are so many red flags going up? You know, I can almost guarantee that 90% of kids who go to see this won't even get half of what you're griping about. They're going to see it because of a little robot that's quirky, cute, curious, and causes some mischief.

    Let it go, Jim. Go cover the construction over at DCA or something...

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