Elements of Pastiche in Wall-E, a Postmodernism Analysis

Topics: Film, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Silent film Pages: 6 (1948 words) Published: June 23, 2013

An example of postmodernism application in film is WALL-E. It is an animation movie released in 2008 by Pixar Animation Studios. The film is about a robot named WALL-E. Throughout the story, there are references or similar encounters with the previous or past works in films. These elements are the pastiche of WALL-E.

3.1 Post-Apocalyptic Earth
First of all, the setting of earth in WALL-E is clearly a resemblance of other post-apocalypse films. 28 Days Later (2002) is one obvious example of this. Both films take place in the post-apocalyptic world and the earth is portrayed as the abandoned planet. Also, there are clips within the films which describe the preceding events that commence the apocalypse.

Picture 2
Picture 1
From the pictures above, it is portrayed how both cities in the films were abandoned and full of waste. In WALL-E (picture 1), the city was full of garbage and the air looked polluted as well. Not to mention that the city looked dead without any activities seen. Meanwhile in 28 Days Later (picture 2), there was trash everywhere and the road seemed to be empty without any car or pedestrian passing by as Jim, the main character, wandered around. Furthermore, both characters are seen to be walking and exploring through the (different) empty city with tall buildings everywhere. This situation describes how there is a style of portraying a post-apocalypse future, in which the character (s) is seen in the middle of the big city where there used to be noisiness of commuters and traffic due to the rush hour. It is created that way so the contrast between before and after the apocalypse is palpable. Picture 3

Picture 4
Another implication in 28 Days Later and WALL-E is that the main character is always left alone; or becomes the single survivor. In most post-apocalypse films, the first scenes always tell or convey how the main character has no equal company but eventually they show up as the story goes on. The pictures above depict the situation in which both characters meet new characters that make them realize that they are not alone after all; WALL-E met EVE and he interacted with her(picture 3), and Jim was rescued by Selena and Mark (picture 4).

3.2 Silent Film
Secondly, the first 30 minutes of WALL-E is almost free from dialogue. Even when WALL-E and EVE speak to each other, their dialogues are mainly saying each other’s name. This style refers to the old films where there were no dialogues spoken – which are known as silent films. Despite the lack of dialogue, the story is still delivered smoothly and the audience Picture 6 can still grab the idea of what it is all about.

Picture 7
Picture 5
The pictures above show the similarity between WALL-E (picture 5) and a film starring Charlie Chaplin (picture 7), a prominent actor known for his roles in silent films. In the first picture, the WALL-E is seen to be ordering the cockroach to move to where he directs. There was no dialogue exchanged between them or said by WALL-E. Another scene in which WALL-E was showing a movie clip to EVE also happened without any dialogue (picture 6). Then in Chaplin’s movie, it looks like his character and the woman’s beside him were “communicating” using their eyes. Both descriptions show how despite of the lack of exchanged dialogues, the story can be understood nevertheless. This style may bring back memories from the early years of cinema industry because it is very rare to find movies that have no exchanged dialogues today. The creators of WALL-E could have made the robot to be able to talk human language so there will be dialogues or monologues, but they made a bold move by ignoring the possibility and thus kept it unique.

3.3 Star Wars
The third style found in WALL-E derives from Star Wars saga. WALL-E shares similarities with a particular robot in the saga that is called R2D2. As a start, R2D2 does not talk human language, although the other characters in the movie can...
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