The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


In love with “WALL-E”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last night, my wife and I finally went to see “WALL-E”; everybody else on the planet was going to see “The Dark Knight,” so it was easy to get tickets.

Two hours later, I staggered out of the theater, wiping the tears from my cheeks. It just got me. My wife squeezed my hand. “It’s allergies,” I sniffed. “Or the air conditioning.”

Aside from the technical brilliance of the movie — the filmmakers imagined an altogether amazing, tangible, depressingly plausible world, and then made it come to life — the movie has a wild, warm, sentimental heart beating underneath. So much has been focused on its environmental message; but in a recent interview, the movie’s director Andrew Stanton spoke candidly about the story’s strong Christian theme of love:

Well, what really interested me was the idea of the most human thing in the universe being a machine because it has more interest in finding out what the point of living is than actual people. The greatest commandment Christ gives us is to love, but that’s not always our priority. So I came up with this premise that could demonstrate what I was trying to say—that irrational love defeats the world’s programming. You’ve got these two robots that are trying to go above their basest directives, literally their programming, to experience love.

With the human characters I wanted to show that our programming is the routines and habits that distract us to the point that we’re not really making connections to the people next to us. We’re not engaging in relationships, which are the point of living—relationship with God and relationship with other people.

Yes. I think that is what stirred me so deeply and had me rooting so much for the hapless title character. Thomas Merton wrote: “We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone; we find it with another.” “WALL-E” is an achingly poignant reminder of that.

See it with another. And see if you aren’t moved by its simple message of love and hope and renewal. Life began in a garden — and as the movie shows us at the end, that is how it will continue, too.



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Gabriel McAuliffe

posted July 20, 2008 at 6:21 pm


Deacon Greg -I couldn’t agree more with you. Both my girlfriend and I were touched by the film as well. It was a beautiful message.I would also like to point out that Bob Mondello of NPR mentioned the allusions to Chaplain’s Modern Times–great bit of movie filmography!



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Stone of Bethel

posted July 21, 2008 at 2:30 am


I was so shocked at how powerful and yet subtle the underlying message of Wall-E was. Almost painfully so. The film is never preachy but we TRULY get smacked in the face with just where we are heading. The Pixar films are always head and shoulders above the Dreamworks pics, not only in animation, but in the richness and depth of their story-telling. Their film Cars had an equally wonderful message.And I have to admit I was a tad misty at the end of Wall-E as well!



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