Background note: This whole post was inspired by a comment by probrown1896, “Wall-E’s first dialogue-less 40 minutes are the finest 40 minutes in film animation, ever.”
This got me thinking “Was it?… I know it’s up there in the finest moments of film animation, but finest “ever”?… I racked my thoughts to see if I could think of a better sequence. Like probrown stated, I could “come up with dope scenes/sequences but I can’t think of 40 straight minutes.”
Then late last night it hit me what was wrong with my thinking. It was the “40 straight minutes” line that got me tripped up. I was trying to come up with ONLY 40 minutes, and I believe that its not fair to judge films on snippets and sequences. For example, even though Wall-E‘s first half was SPECTACULAR, honestly the 2nd half was less than inspiring, the movie was still great mind you, but still I had to take into account the film as whole. Compared to say Nausicaa, which didn’t have the long awe-inspiring sequence, but was a little bit stronger and more consistent as whole. But all this is subjective (like all the reviews we do), so I tried to flip the script and make this objective. Here’s my attempt:
I went back and re-watched the sequence from Wall-E, still good as ever btw. Looking back though, it really wasn’t “40 straight minutes.” There were more moments that stuck out more than the all-out 40 minutes. And apparently, even though, animation wise, it was still technically good, crisp, and posed well, Kung-Fu Panda was even more crisp, more fluid, and more well thought out in terms of animation (according to some animation students and teachers I asked) hence the reason why KFP won all the Annie Awards and Wall-E got nothing.
So what made those first 40 minutes of Wall-E so memorable and one of the finest moments in film animation? Continue reading