I have decided that if WALL-E isn't at least nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, then Pixar will have gotten totally robbed. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association apparently agrees that the little robot that could deserves some high-profile recognition: they've named WALL-E their best picture of the year.
I think computer animated films overall have been woefully underrepresented at the Oscars. From a layperson's standpoint, I think the "wow factor" comes into play here -- how do they make it all look so real? How it is possible to give such an emotional depth and range to something like a robot? Pixar deserves an Oscar for that alone. And not only that, but for the superiority of the storytelling over most conventional films. I totally prefer a movie like The Incredibles over most mass-produced Hollywood crap.
Also, I think WALL-E resonates so much because the way things are going, Pixar's haunting image of a future garbage-strewn earth looks awfully prescient. If we don't stop overproducing plastic crap that no one needs, the planet is screwed. And we probably won't have an "Axiom" spaceship to fly off on.
Regardless of what you think of the movie's message about conservation, the love story, with its underlying message of hope about the power of human (and, uh, non-human) connections is an unequivocal home run. We've been through the DVD a dozen times in the last couple of weeks and I still can't get through it without sobbing. WALL-E and Eve are among the great big screen couples. Can anyone think of another movie with so little dialogue that still manages to be so moving?
So, long shot though it may be, I'm rooting for a Best Picture Oscar for WALL-E come next year. I can't think of a more deserving film.