I’m also taking slight exception to Todd McCarthy‘s observation that WALL*E is dialogue free until the 16-minute mark. It’s true, technically, that Fred Willard‘s hologram dialogue kicks in briefly at this point, but it hardly constitutes the beginning of give-and-take talk. Any more than the singing Hello Dolly clips can be called dialogue.
My screening started around 7:14 or 7:15 pm and I noticed the first semblances of sustained word exchange happening around 7:50 pm. Jeff Garlin‘s character obviously talks quite a bit once we’re aboard the Axiom, but the film often reverts back to beeps, digi-sounds, crackles and blip-blips for long stretches after that. It felt to me as if a good 80% of the film was “silent,” so to speak. Perhaps even 85% or so. I’d like to see a chart from Disney or Pixar that explains precisely how many minutes and seconds of dialogue are in this thing.
I just think it misrepresents matters slightly to say it’s purely visual for only 16 minutes. McCarthy says “there is considerably less dialogue [in WALL*E] than in the generally talkative Pixar films, which creates a significant difference in feel.” But it’s way more reliant upon purely visual storytelling than almost any major mainstream film I can think of, except maybe Fantasia.