A great start...
The movie begins on planet earth, and we're immediately presented with an image of how the planet could evolve if mankind continues to live as it does today. Make no mistake, there's an underlying "green" theme throughout Wall-E, and we'll come back to that later.
Amid skyscraper-tall stockpiles of trash, we're greeted by a small robot who's cleaning up our planet and has been doing so for hundreds of years. The robot, Wall-E, doesn't talk and communicates only via his gestures and mechanical noises. It's this opening sequence that immediately entices viewers. Wall-E is incredibly curious, and watching him roam the landscape as if he were a human worker on an average day is simple but effective.
In a manner resembling that of Chaplin, Wall-E's on-screen antics are highly amusing and his puzzled interaction with everyday items such as car keys, fire extinguishers and bras makes for thoroughly enjoyable entertainment. Though, there's one small problem. If you've seen some of the Wall-E teaser trailers, you've already seen the best moments from the movie's first 20 minutes. You'll soon get the feeling of "oh no, the trailer summed up the whole movie."
Fortunately, that feeling passes when Wall-E gets an unexpected visitor; EVE, one of many robots scouring the universe in the search for a planet capable of sustaining human life. On Earth, amid EVE's purposeful directive, she encounters Wall-E and the two soon become friends. Wall-E, who has longed for companionship and a friend other than his pet cockroach, spends his time trying to impress EVE and ultimately win her hand.
Despite the fact that they are merely robots, it's a romance story that works. Wall-E's longing for EVE is refreshingly innocent, and her subtle encouraging laughter, accompanied with an adorable squinting of the eyes, makes for plenty of on-screen chemistry.
Add to that some very impressive animation, and a stunning score from Thomas Newman, and you've a movie with all the promise of a real blockbuster.