WALL-E is the latest animated film from the American company Pixar, which also made Toy Story (1995), Finding Nemo (2003) and The Incredibles (2004).
It came out in the United States in June this year, and in many other countries soon afterwards.
Just like Pixar’s other animated films, WALL-E tells a story that both adults and children can enjoy. Although it has a serious message, showing what might happen to our planet if we don’t take care of it, there is also a lot of humour.
The story begins on Earth about 800 years into the future. There are no humans any more because they all left in spaceships in the 22nd century, when terrible pollution made it impossible to stay. They thought they would only be away for a few years and left behind thousands of robots to clean up the mess they had made, but the pollution was so bad that they couldn’t return.
Now, 700 years later, all the robots have stopped working – except one, WALL-E, who spends most of his time picking up rubbish and putting it into piles. He has developed feelings and is very lonely, with only a pet cockroach for company.
Then, one day, a female robot, EVE, arrives in a spaceship. The humans, who are still living out in space on other spaceships, have sent her to see if there is any sign of life on Earth.
WALL-E falls in love with EVE, but it seems she does not feel anything towards him. When a spaceship comes to pick EVE up, WALL-E decides to take a chance and follow her into space – and that’s where the comic adventure really starts.
WALL-E and EVE go to a much larger spaceship with a population of humans and robots. We see how living for 700 years away from their planet has changed these humans: they spend their time in chairs that float just above the floor, and have become so fat that they cannot even stand without the help of the robots. Some of the other robots are very funny, such as little M-O, who hates dirt and rushes around the spaceship cleaning things.
WALL-E starts to influence both the humans and the other robots in important ways, but this is not the place to say what happens at the end of the film: let’s just say it’s a happy ending for WALL-E himself, and that there are positive changes in the humans’ behaviour.
adventure noun — an exciting, unusual, and sometimes dangerous experiencebehaviour noun — the way that someone behaves
Anna was sick of her brother’s behaviour.
coackroach noun — an insect similar to a large beetle that lives in places where food is kept
come out phrasal verb — if something such as a book or a film comes out, it becomes available to buy or see
We’ve recorded a new album, and it’s coming out in the spring.
comic adjective — funny
company noun — the activity of being with other people
I thought you might be glad of some company tonight.
dirt noun — a substance that makes something dirty
His face was covered in dirt.
fall in love phrase — to start to love someone
Why do we fall in love with one person rather than another?
float verb — to be lighter than air, and to move slowly through it
Bubbles floated in the air.
funny adjective — someone or something that is funny makes you laugh
a funny story/joke
humour noun — the quality that makes a situation or entertainment funny
a novel full of humour
influence noun — the effect that a person or thing has on someone’s decisions, opinions, or behaviour or on the way something happens
Without his famous father’s influence, he would never have got the job.
lonely adjective — unhappy because you are alone or because you have no friends
She must feel desperately lonely with all her family in Scotland.
mess noun — a situation in which a place is dirty or untidy
‘What a mess!’ she said, looking at the kitchen.
pick up phrasal verb — to lift someone or something up from a surface
He picked the phone up and dialled.
pile noun- a number of things put on top of each other
She sorted her clothes into tidy piles.
planet noun — a very large round object that moves around the Sun or another star
pollution noun — chemicals and other substances that have a harmful effect on air, water, or land
robot noun — a machine that looks and talks like a human and can do many of the things humans do, especially in science fiction stories
rush verb — to hurry to do something
Hayley rushed to answer the phone.
sign noun — a piece of evidence that something is happening or that something exists
I couldn’t see any sign of progress.
spaceship noun — a vehicle that can travel in space
take a chance phrase — to do something even though it involves risk
It is just not worth taking any chances.
Exercise 1 Answer the questions about the text.
1. When does the story of WALL-E take place?
2. What kind of pet does WALL-E have?
3. How long is it since humans lived on Earth?
4. What is the name of the robot that hates dirt?
5. What job does WALL-E do on Earth?
6. Why did the humans leave Earth?
7. Why did the humans send EVE to Earth?
8. In what way does the film have a serious message?
Exercise 2 Decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F), or if the text doesn’t say (D).
1. Pixar is a company from the United States.
2. WALL-E was one of many robots that the humans left on Earth.
3. At the start of the film there are only two robots still working on Earth.
4. In the spaceship, the humans spend their time sitting on the floor.
5. EVE travels to Earth in a spaceship with some humans.
6. EVE falls in love with WALL-E at the end of the film.
7. The humans have been away from Earth for longer than they expected.
8. M-O and WALL-E quickly become friends.
9. M-O does not move much.
10. WALL-E takes his pet cockroach into space with him.
Complete the crossword below. If all the words are correct, the name of the director of WALL-E (and also Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles) will read from top to bottom.
- WALL-E and EVE leave Earth in a ___________ .
- WALL-E is a robot with ___________ .
- The film has a happy ___________ for WALL-E.
- M-O doesn’t like anything that is ___________ .
- WALL-E came out in the United States in ___________ 2008.
- The film ___________ what Earth might look like if pollution gets much worse.
- The robots’ job on Earth was to clean up the terrible ___________ the humans had made.
- WALL-E is a ___________ .
- The humans in the film have become very ___________ .
- WALL-E ___________ the humans and the other robots in the spaceship.
- Because of the ___________ , humans could not live on Earth any more.
- WALL-E feels very ___________ on Earth before EVE arrives.
- WALL-E is an ___________ film.