Wall E Wins the World

An Interview with Academy Award winning creator Andrew Stanton


A science fiction tale in animation form, Wall E confronts adult issues as a robot in outer space travels to Earth to clean up a polluted planet. It grossed a whopping 23 million on its opening day, and over 63 million on its first weekend, going on to break records as one of the most successful launches of an animation film by Pixar Studios of all time. To date has grossed over a stunning half a billion dollars world wide. It won Golden Globe for best animated picture of the year.

After Wall E easily later scooped up best animated feature film of the year at the Academy Awards ®, the films screenwriter and director stepped over in the press room of the Oscar’s ® to have a few words and tell us all his thoughts on animation, storytelling, and the creative process of his work.

Q. WALL E was kind of a film that a lot of people described as groundbreaking in terms of its character development. Do you see (animation) going in that direction now?

ANDREW STANTON: To be honest we were trying to go that deep with the first movie we made at Pixar. TOY STORY was an attempt to just show that it's a movie and we just happen to be using animation as a medium to tell it. It's like saying because it's in black and white suddenly it means it has to be a cop movie or mystery… We have just been trying to make the most sophisticated film that we can with the very deep characters, with and we assume that if it's well told then any age will understand it. So, that's been sort of the same attack on every film. Even though WALL E is different and maybe it's getting more attention, I don't feel like we have approached it any differently than we have in any of the other films. So, yes is the answer, but we have always been that way.

Q. The theme of this film is extremely important. Some people said it may be the most important theme that's dealt with here at the Oscars, so, would you talk about the importance of this…?

ANDREW STANTON: I think a lot of people attach a little too specifically to the ecological aspect or the complacency aspect of humanity, but I use those as devices to focus on the biggest issue, which is people caring about one another, people connecting with one another. Whether that's literally love between two characters like robots or just your acknowledging that your neighbor is right next to you, as opposed to being (spatially) blocked between a cell phone or something. I feel that disconnection is going to be the cause indirectly of anything that happens in life that's bad for humanity, or of the planet, so to me, my focus was connectivity. It wasn't any other specific consequence other than that.

Thank you for your time.

ANDREW STANTON: Thank you very much.
Copyright © Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. © 2009, The Holl
ywood Sentinel. Used with permission with kind courtesy of the 81st Academy Awards®.