Sunday, January 04, 2009

WALL-E (DVD) Review

WALL-E took our Movie of the Year for 2008 due to its touching nature and excellent animation. Such a simple and entertaining film the likes of which I haven't seen nor been entertained by in a long time, and of course, like all Hollywood films, it's now available to own on DVD.

I purchased the single disc DVD edition, and while the film is the same and thus I won't review it again (original WALL-E review found here), there are a few Bonus Features tossed in.

The first of which is Presto, the animated short that was shown before WALL-E's theatrical release and, in my opinion, it's the best of the Bonus Features. Presto features a magician who actually has in his possession two magic hats, putting your hand in one hat will cause it to come out the other. Thus, the magician can literally pull a rabbit out of an empty hat, but what happens when that rabbit is starving and won't cooperate until he's fed?

Presto features the same high quality animation we've come to expect from Pixar, but with much more of a traditional animated look as the whole short feels more like a classic cartoon, which I class as a good thing. There's loads of animated slapstick humour to be found, and Presto is simply an excellent short all around.

The next Bonus Feature is another animated short, BURN-E, whom we actually briefly glimpsed outside the Axiom during WALL-E. BURN-E is a repair bot, who's purpose is to perform maintenance on the outside of the Axiom's hull. In this instance, a running light is damaged and needs to be replaced, but thanks to the events involving WALL-E and EVE, this proves much more challenging than a routine maintenance detail.

I was overall less impressed with BURN-E than I was with Presto. While the animation was still top-notch, I just didn't find it hugely entertaining and thought it rather redundant and more of a marketing stint for the DVD. It's a short that's alright to watch, but if you miss it, you're not missing much.

Perhaps that's because it somewhat parallels the larger story of WALL-E and is lost in it's shadow, or perhaps I'm just being too picky, but BURN-E is not a short I can see myself watching again and again.

Lastly, we have two deleted scenes, complete with director intro and extro. They're interesting simply because both scenes are largely complete, and the first one was completely re-designed for the final version of the film, with a little role reversal happening.

Since Presto can be found for free online, the DVD's Bonus Features aren't enough to warrant a purchase, but the film itself certainly is. WALL-E is an exceptional film, and worthy of a place in anyone's DVD collection.

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