A friend believes that the WALL*E team chose their ruined apocalyptic storyline due to the need for “simple dramaturgy — you need to start with your character in some kind of hole, with some sort of imbalance in his life. Something he needs to dig his way out of. And nothing could be simpler or more visual (or more humble for WALL*E’s vocation) than endless piles of trash.” In other words, he believes, “the eco-friendly message was a by-product of the storytelling process, rather than a driving force.”
I hear you, I responded in an e-mail, “but c’mon…global ruination and unbridled consumerism and gluttony are the raison d’etre of the thing. It’s the atmospheric masonry upon which the movie stands. And those tubby tubas in the space ship? The movie screams mirror reflection and green metaphor at every turn.
“The robot love story is the sweet through-line and the congenial icing on the cake, and that’s fine. But I find it almost comical that the Pixar guys make the damn thing, and then when the release approaches they back-pedal like crazy trying to pretend it’s not what it is. Because we live in a nation of obese consumers and the Pixar marketers don’t want to piss them off. Amazing.”