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.