I saw Wall-E last weekend with AJ.
This film in the first 20 minutes does some serious Silent Film channeling. Portions are even slapstick. Very interesting to see this emerge. What is perhaps more intriguing is that these same opening bits were also quite cyber-punk. I almost wanted to burst out in song (“These Are A Few of My Favorite Things”).
More or less, the Earth’s surface had been destroyed through pollution and all that remained were the left over trash. Even the movies premise, that a lone sentient being (Wall-E itself) is left to fend for sustenance on society’s discarded scraps, serves to reinforce this cyber-punk theme. The sky and ground are the same diseased yellow-brown. It is all soul crushingly lovely.
The movie seems to do a full turn around with the entry into “clean” space. However, this is nothing more than a trick of the eyes, an illusion. One cyber-dystopia is replaced by another. The society on the Axiom spacecraft is oppressive and sterile. It is new-speaked to the point that people do not even realize that there are other human beings next to them.
Hollywood has a problem with letting dystopic futures track all the way through a film. But for a solid hour or so, we were in a world not worth living in where only the cyborgs survive and only robots are capable of love.