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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Mark Rich: WALL-E for President

Mark Rich of The New York Times has a good write-up of the new Disney/Pixar movie WALL-E, and how it might serve as a mirror of the times we live in...
The “Wall-E” crowds were primed by the track record of its creator, Pixar Animation Studios, and the ecstatic reviews. But if anything, this movie may exceed its audience’s expectations. It did mine.

As it happened, “Wall-E” opened the same summer weekend as the hot-button movie of the 2004 campaign year, Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Ah, the good old days. Oil was $38 a barrel, our fatalities in Iraq had not hit 900, and only 57 percent of Americans thought their country was on the wrong track. (Now more than 80 percent do.) “Wall-E,” a fictional film playing to a far larger audience, may touch a more universal chord in this far gloomier time.

Indeed, sitting among rapt children mostly under 12, I felt as if I’d stepped through a looking glass. This movie seemed more realistically in touch with what troubles America this year than either the substance or the players of the political food fight beyond the multiplex’s walls.

While the real-life grown-ups on TV were again rebooting Vietnam, the kids at “Wall-E” were in deep contemplation of a world in peril — and of the future that is theirs to make what they will of it. Compare any 10 minutes of the movie with 10 minutes of any cable-news channel, and you’ll soon be asking: Exactly who are the adults in our country and who are the cartoon characters?

More good thoughts from Rich at the link above. Between what he's writing here and a lot of other positive reaction to WALL-E, it reminds me a lot about when Forrest Gump came out in 1994.

Good stories, both of 'em. And a lot of others too. Maybe someday we'll start to take some of their messages to heart.