An Allegory for Animated Film WALL-E

WALL-E a film directed and written by Andrew Stanton and co- written by Jim Reardon sets the tone of a lonely robot left on a trash filled Earth. It is the year 2805 and Earth has been evacuated by megacorporation Buy-N-Large. Left behind, WALL-E, a self healing robot, joined by his indestructible roach friend, spends every day trying to tidy up the Earth one garbage pile at a time. Later a spaceship lands on Earth and sends out EVE, an extraterrestrial vegetation evaluator. EVE strikes WALL-E’s eye and it seems as though it may be love at first sight, at least for him. Throughout the plot, WALL-E chases EVE back to her mother ship in which she has to return the healthy seedling WALL-E found growing on Earth in order to bring back the Axiom and all its passengers back to a restored Earth.

At the end of the story, WALL-E and EVE may have gone through challenges and dilemmas, however they work together to bring human life back to Earth. All through the movie the audience notices that WALL-E lives in a ruined world. In fact, upon closer examination, the viewer understands how Stanton illustrates the Earth’s demise through the use of allegoric elements. An allegory is the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence. When added together, Stanton’s use of allegories in WALL-E shows a push for environmentalism and how human reliance on technology among other things will lead to a terminating Earth.

Stanton immediately captures the story of how two determined individuals try to save the Earth and preserve the last of its beauty at the beginning and end of WALL-E. At the beginning of the movie the scene that is set is mountains that are piles of trash and the entire surface is nothing but waste. On a newspaper WALL-E drives over, the headline reads, “TOO MUCH TRASH! EARTH COVERED,” and the deck reads, “BNL CEO Declares Global Emergency” (Stanton, et. Al)! The trash is not only an indication of how polluted Earth is but this also shows the audience that humans inflict so much damage on the Earth. For WALL-E this has always been how he knew the Earth. Him being a literal garbage man, his job was to pick up trash.

The audience should realize that the Earth is “Lush, green, colorful, [and] inviting” (Stanton, et. Al), however in scenes of the movie the Earth is dark, depressing, and uninhabitable. What the audience should realize happens at the end of the movie. In this scene the passengers plant the green stem and water it. As music plays, “And that is all that love’s about…and we’ll recall when time runs out…That it only took a moment….To be loved a whole life long” (Stanton, et.Al). The plant, being a symbol that gives the audience hope the Earth can still sustain life. The setting of a prosperous Earth zooms out leaving the hope of a changed world in the viewer’s mind.

In addition to the setting, Stanton uses the Axiom to illustrate humans’ reliance on technology. This can be displayed when Wally tries to pass Mary to get to EVE. Mary was face timing her friend on a flat screen attached to her chair when WALL-E accidentally breaks it off. Her chair shorts out and “for the first time Mary has an unobstructed view. Her eyes slowly dilate. It’s as if she’s seeing the world for the first time” (Stanton, et. Al). Every passenger aboard the Axiom is controlled by technology, they are told what to do, and are always waited on by robots. It has become an addiction to them much like it has to the audience.

This probes the question of what can technology not do? As humans technology is all around, from self driving cars to literally walking around with phones on our wrists. Technology is such an integral part of our lives even though it has lead to lacking socialization, and as each generation is becoming more and more dependent on it they no longer sustain skills such as reading and writing cursive or how to set up a written letter. In the film Mary and John, even in their vestigial shape start to appreciate one another once the screens have been turned off. This should focus the audience’s attention of what has been keeping them from interacting with the person sitting right next to them.