Ain't It Cool News (
Animation and Anime

Steve Yun illuminates the PIXAR panel and the WALL-E footage he saw there!

Hey folks, Harry here with a report from Steve Yun on Pixar's Comic Con panel - Sounds fantastic. Meanwhile... Did you see something that wasn't covered on AICN's coverage thus far, by all means - send your report in to our address so we can let the rest of the world know, asap! Here ya go...

Hi there Harry, this is Steve Yun I noticed that you guys don't have a report for the Disney/Pixar panel at San Diego Comic-Con. I was there yesterday for the two hour panel. The first half was about Prince Caspian, the second half was about WALL-E. I'll tell you about WALL-E for this report. The lights dim, and we get a short intro movie: The Pixar logo comes on screen, and Luxo the lamp jumps on the I in Pixar. When Luxo stomps on it, his own lightbulb breaks. Wally wheels in from the right side of the screen, takes out the broken lightbulb in Luxo, puts in a new lightbulb, and Luxo's face is shining again. Wally rolls off screen but accidentally knocks over the R in Pixar on the way out. He tries to fix it, but can't, so he contorts himself into the shape of an R. Lights out. Shown next is an infomercial about Buy N Large's new product, the WALL-E. It's a flashy commercial kind of like a car or videogame commercial. W is for World. Female voice recites some spiel on a world theme. Allocation, blah blah blah. Load, blah blah blah. Lifter, blah blah blah. Earth. This is the Earth model of WALL robots. At the end of the informercial is a wordy legal disclaimer about how Buy N Large is not responsible for any of the claims made in the informercial. Director Andrew Stanton talks about the general premise of the movie; Earth is polluted, humans move into space condos, Buy N Large is contracted to clean Earth up. Because of several malfunctions and red tape, the job takes 700 years and is still incomplete, but nobody seems to care; everyone's become complacent. All the robots have broken down except for Wally, who has been toiling away for hundreds of years cleaning up garbage. A probe robot named Eve comes to Earth, and Wally falls in love with her and follows her into outer space, ditching his job. This is the first third of the movie. If Ratatouille's technical advances were about convincing lighting effects, Incredibles was about human skin and Monsters Inc was about realistic hair, WALL-E is going to be all about sound design. Most of the movie is without dialogue, and Stanton wants to let the characters communicate through 1) body language and 2) sound effects. Stanton acknowledged that this is something of a gamble for Pixar, making a movie with almost no dialogue. To give the characters their "voices," he hired the guy who voiced RD-D2, Ben Burtt. Ben came out with a fancy sound board and did some nice demonstrations where he introduced characters and played some of their sounds. Wally has beeps and whines like RD-D2, motor noises, tread noises and other weird gargling noises when he's in a hurry. Eve is a probe robot that Wally falls in love with. Her body is an iPod white upright oval with two oval arms, with a face and head like HERBIE from the Fantastic Four cartoon (blue eyes and no mouth). She has lots of OLED lights on her body. I'm not sure how to describe her sounds, it's very robotic and computerized and surprisingly not feminine. MO is a Microbe Obliterator. He constantly says "unsanitary" and waves around a vacuum roller. Then there's the ship captain, a tentacle eyeball thingy that looks like Jabba's doorman in Return of the Jedi. He has a very deep voice, and makes lots of bell and whistle noises reminiscent of ship bells and whistles. The captain has lots of prehensile finger digits that orbit around its eye. Next, we got some animation test and pre-visualisations of humans. All humans have turned into couch potatoes after living in luxurious space condos for hundreds of years, and all humans have a levitating recliner chair that they use to move around. The video clip showed a big plaza where dozens of these couch potato humans were moving about in their hoverchairs. The next clip showed one human attempting to roll out of his chair and falling on the ground. Humans are big and fat, but not quite blobs or mutants. Just fat humans. Then, we got an awesome 10 minute clip from the beginning of the movie. Andrew Stanton stressed that it was unfinished. Still, it looks amazing. *****SPOILERS BELOW***** We see Wally, asleep as a little compact cube. We hear the Mac startup chime. The entire audience laughs. Wally wakes up, attaches an empty ice chest to his back, and then rolls out of his garage. He accidentally rolls over a cockroach. He reverses and attempts to revive the cockroach, which wakes up and runs around again. Wally motions to the cockroach to move somewhere safe. Wally makes his commute to a huge garbage dump in an abandoned metropolitan city. Wally collects lots of trash, compacts them in his belly, and spits out little cubes that he stacks. Wally finds a bunch of keys and plays with them. Off in the distance, you hear a car alarm. He finds a bra, stretches it out, plays with it a little and covers both of his eyes with it. He puts it in his ice chest. Wally compacts some more garbage. He finds a diamond ring in a velvet box. He opens it, throws out the diamond ring and saves the velvet box in his ice chest because it looks interesting to him. Wally compacts more garbage. He opens a refrigerator using a laser between his eyes. Inside, he finds a little mound of dirt and a small bean plant growing out of it. It was such a tender, touching moment that I got choked up. Here was an entire planet covered in garbage and you immediately understood that a single simple plant like this was something rare and wonderful. Wally picks up the plant with a clump of dirt and puts it in the velvet box in his ice chest. On the ground, a red dot appears, something like a laser pointer. Wally attempts to pick it up and it moves. Wally tries to touch it again and it moves away. Wally starts chasing the laser dot the same way a cat does. Off in the distance, you see an entire line of laser dots flowing over the skyscrapers. Wally continues to chase this one single dot into a dirt field. As the line of laser dots approach, you realize that it's actually a giant circle of laser dots encircling Wally and closing in. Wally finally catches up to the single dot and grabs it. Out of the sky, huge columns of fire shoot down, and Wally is enclosed in smoke. Rocket thrusters are firing down, and Wally digs into the ground to hide. A giant rocket lands right above Wally, looking sort of like the rockets in Looney Tunes cartoons that are shaped like an upright football with three fins for legs. Wally pokes his head out from underground, his head trembling the way a scared dog or cat does. He pops out of the ground and approaches a ramp that has come down from the rocket. The ramp has a robotic arm that drops down a pod which opens up and reveals EVE. *****END SPOILERS***** At this point, the film started falling out of alignment, froze and started melting like the trailer for Grindhouse. It was the end of the clip. Steve Yun Harmony Gold
Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus