I finally saw Wall-E today. If you can suspend disbelief enough, it works as a robot love story (which sounds just plain weird, I know. This is not a Shields and Yarnell or Saturday Night Live bit, even if sounds like it could be). I have a disagreement or two with some analysis of the film, which I'll get to. By now most know the general premise, but just to be safe...
Okkay, yes the robot love story works. I'll leave that be. It's a cartoon. It's cute. It works. That's all.
The main theme might be seem to be "love conquers all" with a secondary (or is it primary?) theme of "give a hoot, don't pollute" mixed with "get off your butt, and open your eyes." There is another as well: the 'defective' non-conforming individuals are the agents of change and progress.
That's true, but not universal. A nut is more often just a nut than someone making real advances. But almost anyone making such advances will be considered a nut. Bit a of a problem there. And sometimes there is someone, such as Tesla, who really is a nut but makes a tremendous difference. Still, this was a cartoon and that was hardly the primary theme. In fact, I suspect a good many folks might not even take notice of it.
The message that bothered me was the "give a hoot" and such. Yes, a good thing not to trash the place and a good thing to get away from screens and really see, and yes a good thing to get off your butt and move around for yourself. No disagreement on that. But this is what broke my suspension of disbelief. Yes, I know, it's a movie and I should just relax. It's a cartoon, even. But the premise doesn't work.
For what happened in the movie to happen, things have to get far, far, FAR out of control. So far that seeds survive and yet fungi do not. Fungi are tenacious things. They show up pretty much everywhere. At least once a fungus has been found growing on, of all things, a fungicide. Earth would be covered in fungus if nothing else.
But to get that far, everyone who is even remotely environmental (which is a far larger group than the self-identified "environmentalists" who can at times get extreme to the point of silliness - which why others shy away from the term for themselves) would have to give up or disappear. That seems most unlikely. Someone, actually a whole lot of someones, will be caring long before things reach that state. The giant heaps of trash don't make sense either. Only if the energy supply is virtually limitless and virtually free, would it be feasible to continue to mine everything and not re-process it. Note that I said "feasible" not "a good idea." With a lot of cheap energy it'd be more sensible to take trash and reprocess it (even if it meant running it though a mass spectrometer to get individual elements - not a cheap thing, but if you have that much power available you can do that sort of thing - add some computing power and nano-assembly and you have a true "Santa Claus Machine" that can make about anything) rather than mine replacements all the time.
The space-ship jettisoning trash is even sillier still. The population of earth (or at least the remainder of it...) surviving 700 years and generating that much trash - and just dumping it? On the ship there is nothing to mine. Just how well provisioned was that ship?! And as we see, there is a tremendous amount of power available or all that automation wouldn't be possible. Unless there are other 'bots mining asteroids or such, recycling is the only thing to be done. And wouldn't mining 'bots sense the trash and go after it? Junk is really high grade ore - it's already been smelted! The real problem is centralized collection and that one appears to be solved on the ship.
The lazy folks looking at screens all the time? Sure, there are folks nearly that oblivious. There are others noticing them. On the ship, how did those children happen if people just sit and stare at screens all day? There would be some folks concerned, nay, obsessed, with how they looked and they'd know about the pool and jogging path and most likely a bunch of other things. Granted, I did feel a bit of satisfaction from having bicycled to the theater. But I did that for Kung Fu Panda too.
Okkay, yes, it's the premise of the picture and it's fiction. But many times I've read folks commenting on it with "I can just see that." and to a degree I can as well. I just don't believe that something like that would happen on a universal scale. So, I can see some people going that way. Even if the Axiom started out with people who were that way 100%, each and every one, after 700 years (20 to 35 generations depending on how long you care to make each one) that uniformity won't be held. If only through mutation, someone will take things differently.
Now, the cartoon short before the main feature? That was just plain funny.