Has Pixar Finally Found Its Flop?

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There’s a new (I think) clip from Wall-E here, the next big Pixar project. (With French text, found via Ain’t It Cool.) I’ve heard good buzz around Wall-E, but deep down I can’t help but wonder if Pixar isn’t groping its way toward its first flop with this one.

I know, I know, Pixar is sacred and papal in its infallibility. And I know, Wall-E will be directed by Andrew Stanton, who did the hyper-competent Finding Nemo. But look at the signs. Ratatouille was universally praised, and commercially robust (it topped $200 million), but the concept was mighty wobbly — a rat who wants to be a chef, who controls a kitchen boy by hiding under his hat and pulling his hair? It’s hard to see anybody but Brad Bird pulling that off.

And now Wall-E. It just smells off to me — strangely saccharine and recycled. Is it the Disney influence? That little robot with its cute funny businesses and its R2-D2 noises, and those huge sad eyes, which the camera almost throttles us into staring deeply, deeply into. Damn thing looks like a papier-mache E.T. by way of Short Circuit.

And how, how, how could they dare to burgle the holy Brazil soundtrack? If this doesn’t end with Michael Palin drilling a hole in Wall-E’s adorable head, I want my money back.