Australian Council on Children and the Media

WALL-E

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Not recommended under 5, PG to 8 due to violence and scary scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for WALL-E
  • a review of WALL-E completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 18 September 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 5-8 Parental guidance due to violence and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 8 OK for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: WALL-E
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 98 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

700 years after planet earth has been abandoned, WALL-E (voice of Ben Burrt) a lone robot continues to function in his quest to clean up all the trash and waste that humanity left behind. WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth-Class) is an eccentric little machine who is desperately lonely. His only friend is a cockroach until a mysterious ship drops off a flashy, space-age, robot called EVE (Elissa Knight). EVE (Extra-Terrestrial Vegetation Evaluation) is on a mission to find life on earth and couldn’t care less about friendship. Undeterred by EVE’s tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, WALL.E shows her his collection of rarities, among them a solitary plant shoot he discovered growing amidst the garbage. Eve is delighted, places the plant in her cargo hold and shuts down. WALL-E is devastated. He looks after EVE, caring for her like a person, and accompanies her back to space when the ship arrives to pick her up. The space ship Axiom is run by the Captain (Jeff Garlin) with the aid of a lieutenant robot, Auto (Macintalk) and filled with thousands of surviving sedentary humans serviced by robots.
EVE is horrified when she learns that WALL-E has followed her and tries to get him back to earth before the Captain or Auto find out that there is a stowaway on board. The Captain is delighted that Eve has found a plant as this means that they can now return home. However, the computerized co-pilot is under confidential orders not to let the spaceship, with its human cargo, return to earth and sets about trying to destroy the plant and anyone who gets in the way. Wanting nothing more than to help EVE, WALL-E does all he can to save the plant and, in the process, teaches both the human passengers and the robot world about what it means to be human and how it feels to be alive.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Environmental impacts of our consumerist and ‘throw away’ society.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence and accidental harm in this movie including:

  • EVE shoots at anything she doesn’t understand and nearly destroys WALL-E a few times.
  • EVE blasts a huge hole in a rock, nearly hitting WALL-E, who is cowering on one side.
  • EVE shoots a magnet, blows up a ship and annihilates an abandoned ship yard while trying to escape a magnetic force.
  • While spinning, EVE accidentally hits WALL.E and breaks his eye.
  • WALL-E is hit by lightning twice during a thunderstorm.
  • WALL-E grabs EVE’s detached arm and accidentally shoots a machine, which triggers a system malfunction and causes all the dysfunctional robots to escape.
  • EVE shoots a computer screen.
  • The co-pilot brutally attacks WALL-E, shuts down EVE and dumps an injured WALL-E down a garbage chute.
  • EVE shoots at the robotic police force.
  • Rogue robots attack and destroy a police contingent by beating them to pieces.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • When WALL-E is stuck in a little pod ship trying to save the plant, the ship is set to explode before WALL-E can escape, or so it appears. He is still frantically pushing buttons when the explosion occurs. EVE panics and rushes forwards. Eventually she learns that WALL-E is unharmed. Some young children may be worried that WALL-E did not survive.
  • People are nearly killed when the ship tips and a group of babies are almost crushed.
  • The Co-Pilot brutally attacks WALL-E while he is trying to save the plant. WALL-E is partially crushed and is very badly damaged and broken. Eve tries everything she can think of to help fix him. Nothing works. In a last ditch effort, once they have returned to earth, she ransacks his stash of rarities trying to find the appropriate parts. She pieces him together but it is not the same WALL-E. His personality has gone. The desperation and damage depicted in some of the scenes may worry or frighten some young children.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

WALL-E is an animated adventure employing the use of some excellent computer animated graphics. At some stages the story becomes tedious and younger children may be bored. However, this family film contains some powerfully educational messages about commercialism and the consequences that global waste can have on our planet.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • hope
  • determination
  • friendship
  • justice

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of making informed choices about what products to buy and what activities to choose, instead of letting advertising or popular culture determine how you will live your life.

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