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Monday, June 30


man what a great flick.

It's true what you're hearing - it is a little preachy. But that's ok, because its a flat out masterpiece.

This film is a culmination of the collaboration of the best of the best in the story, animation, and sound design fields. As an audio guy, I think that this has to be the most interesting sounding films I've heard in a long time, and I loved every little sonic nuance about it.

so, I'm going to geek out for a bit now.

First things first, here are some short features with Ben Burtt - who was credited with sound design/character voice design, and the voice of Wall-E - and has been getting a fair amount of traditional media press since the release of the movie.

The La Times

In the end, Burtt used his own heavily tweaked voice for Wall-E's rudimentary speech. "I was experimenting with processing human voice input," he says, "and it was like Dr. Jekyll in his lab: 'Well, there's nobody else around -- I guess I'll drink the potion.'

Info and a cool behind the scenes movie courtesy of FilmSoundDaily

the Ben Burtt interviews on FilmSoundDaily (All kinds of gold in there. Check them out)

a thread on the Gearslutz forum about the film. This is a forum where pro audio guys hang out, and the response is universally positive to the film.

the Kyma, Burtt's most likely weapon of choice when designing the voices in Wall-E. (you can see him working his wacom tablet around on it in one of the filmsounddaily vids)


I think the film is another in a string of superior efforts out of Pixar. The story always comes first, and in this film almost everything except for the story has been stripped away. Wall-E is an emotional flick, but it is one in a very universal and authentic way. With the language mostly stripped away, the robots of the film are essentially very intricate puppets that are masterfully coaxed around a series of spectacularly detailed sets. And they're not just dancing, they're genuinely connecting with their lives, thier work, and each other in a way that the humans in the film are not.

(I'll note that our lack of ability to connect is a very prominent recurring theme in lots of the films I've seen recently - There Will be Blood, Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride, even back to The Matrix and V for Vendetta. Maybe that speaks more to my taste in film than to the state of filmmaking, but hey whatever.)

The point is that the story is told to a large degree in pantomime, and it's done brilliantly. It so flat out refreshing to not have plot hammered down my neck. The subtlety of all of it - story, imagery, and sounds - survives, and the film is all the better for it.

Go see it. I've run out of words and i have not done it justice.

1 comment:

el ranchero said...

I think lack of connection/empathy is a pretty common theme in movies lately. On top of your list, off the top of my head I can add Syriana, Babel, Lost in Translation, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and Crash. I understand the new Batman movie will have shades of it as well.

To be honest, I think some of it is political. It may be a controversial statement, but I believe we're becoming a more compassionate and empathetic society, where the younger generations are taught from school and TV and movies and many parents to respect diversity and see things from others' point of view, and thus are more insistent on equality and compassion than any before. We are more accepting of different sexual preferences and racial identity than even 10 years ago, less tolerant of bigotry (toward anyone aside from Muslims, anyway), and less amenable to the death penalty. Yet we are laboring under the thumb of a proudly ignorant, belligerent, and self-absorbed strain of conservatism that's held sway since Rand and Reagan preached it, and these movies are an example of writers and creative types reacting against it.

I've always thought that the supposed shared character traits of "generations" were overstated, but I'm starting to believe that the selfishness of the Baby Boomers is for real and not just everyone else projecting.