Even though I knew what magic Pixar was capable of, from “Toy Story” to “Ratatouille”… Even though I loved Andrew Stanton‘s previous movie, “Finding Nemo”, more than any other Pixar production until now… Even though everything I’d heard or seen about this new picture was promising… Man, did I not expect “WALL•E” to be this amazing! I’m almost tempted to use the m-word, but let’s hold back a little for now, ok?

Ok. In the 29th century, the blue planet has become the rust planet. 700 years before, when the skies had become filled with so much smog and the ground covered with so much trash that almost all plants and animals had gone extinct, what was left of mankind took off on a huge space cruise ship, intending to come back a few years later, once robots had cleaned up their mess. Alas, that didn’t pan out and humans have been floating in space ever since. Back on Earth, only one of the Waste Allocation Load Lifter • Earth class is still active and, understandably, it’s feeling lonely. So when EVE, a sleekly designed probe robot shows up, little WALL•E falls desperately in love with it…

…and we totally buy it! “WALL•E” as a whole is brilliantly conceived and gorgeously crafted, but what makes it such an extraordinary achievement in the field of animation is how, not unlike Chris Cunningham’s music video for Björk All is Full of Love, it manages to make us believe that robots could grow feelings for each other. And not only did I believe it, this love story moved me more than any other in years! What’s more, all of this is communicated purely through visual storytelling, as 80-90% of the film is dialogue-free. As such, “WALL•E” recalls the physical humor and poetry of silent comedies, specifically those of Charlie Chaplin — “City Lights” for the romance, “Modern Times” for the satire, maybe?

Speaking of which, another extraordinary thing about the movie is what a fierce satire it is. Not satisfied with anticipating what our world might end up looking like if we keep dirtying it up, Stanton bitingly imagines humans having become so reliant on technology and concerned with nothing but constant consumerism that they’re all morbidly obese, spending all their days lying in hovering chairs, staring at TV/ computer/ videophone screens and stuffing their face. Do you think audience members whose life pretty much resembles this already will get the message?

Looking like a cross between R2-D2 and Johnny-5 from “Short Circuit”, WALL•E most importantly has a lot of personality, which makes this “Hello Dolly!”-loving buzzing trashcan an instantly adorable creation. EVE is also quite the charmer, and the rest of the robot cast (which includes what seems like a close relative of HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey”) and the few human characters (voiced by the likes of Fred Willard and Jeff Garlin) are a lot of fun as well.

All in all, “WALL•E” is by far my favorite Pixar production to date and the best film I’ve seen this year whatsoever. Don’t you dare miss it!