In other words…

Christianity Today film critic Josh Hurst *loves* WALL-E!

It’s more than a little ironic, then, that the studio’s greatest achievement to date is a movie that is, on one level, about technology, and that the picture it paints is not a pretty one. WALL-E, from director Andrew Stanton of Finding Nemo, is arguably the purest work of hard science fiction to appear on the big screen in ten or fifteen years, and the world that it creates is bleaker and more dystopian than in any American animated film you care to name.

This is science fiction the way science fiction is meant to be. It creates a world that’s clearly not our own, but it’s totally believable as the place we’re headed, maybe a hundred years down the line. But it’s not cynical or misanthropic; like the best sci-fi, it uses these imaginative conceits to ask big questions about our world and our humanity. It’s a movie about love amidst chaos, about the dangers of unchecked greed and the forces that overcome it.

And it is absolutely not a political movie, no matter how hard a small faction of political bloggers might try to pin it as one. Yes, it has a message about the environment — take care of it. And yes, it has a message about capitalism—too much of it can be sinful. These aren’t political points; they’re very basic moral ones, and no rational Christian has any grounds on which to object to them.

But even more than a great work of sci-fi, this is a great work of cinema. WALL-E is Pixar’s boldest, bravest film yet, opening with half an hour in which no dialogue occurs. Much of the story is told, then, only through images, and in this regard, it’s the most sophisticated and subtle film Pixar has yet made. There are moments of inspired visual humor, and of poignant visual metaphors. There are small gestures and little moments that say more than a script ever could. It’s so gloriously evocative, surely it deserves to be called poetry.

P.S. Okay, my headline was just a joke. If it makes any sense at all for Focus on the Family’s blogger to read CT’s mixed-review of Sex and the City and respond with the headline “Christianity Today Relishes Sexual Perversion,” well, then, the same logic would lead to this headline…

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