Monday, October 7, 2013

31 for 21: Wall-E


As I've said before, Elise is ALL about movies...and as she is very low verbally, I am always intrigued with the ones she picks as her favorites.  I may perhaps overthink things, but I think you can always figure on deeper connections than kids can say...

Wall-E is another one of her favorites.  I have to say, it's on my short list, too. 

There is VERY little dialogue in it...I'd say better than 75% of it is based on beeps and body language.  And yet, it is rich in story.  Deeper than many.

The short version of Wall-E is this:  Wall-E is a janitorial robot that had been left on Earth after humans basically trashed it and left, planning to return when life retakes it.  Wall-E's job it to smush trash into squares and store it neatly.  He is alone.  No explanation for how he is the last one left.  My own theory, is that he allows himself to be intrigued by life, and therefore continues to live fully.  He collects trash that is interesting to him, and  sorts and stores it.  He is obsessed with a musical number from "Hello, Dolly", and has a best friend, a cockroach, whom he feeds Twinkies.

The ship that left Earth with the survivors sends out reconnaissance robots to look for plant life.  The reconnaissance robot that lands on Earth is a very feminine robot named EVE. Wall-E falls in love with her.  He woos her, and offers her a plant he found, she goes into sleep mode, as she found her goal, to wait for the ship to reclaim her.  He watches over her and follows her on board the ship.  And ultimately inspires the captain and ship to return to Earth to start over.
Why do I think Elise loves this movie?  I believe that it has very poignant tones of her own life.
Elise LOVES to sort.  She LOVES to watch bits of movies over and over.  She seeks relationship bonds and forms very strong connections to people.  She is unshakable, once she is committed to an idea or person.  She is enchanted with simple things.  She is inspiring with her passion for life.
Wall-E is a commonplace robot, with a monotonous life, with a tedious job, with no aspirations of grand things.  BUT he lives his life with gusto and a fullness of pleasure in the magic of day to day.  He discovers what is in the corners of life, and appreciates it.  This simple desire to enjoy and share joy with someone is the most basic of desires. 
I feel like we have muddied the waters a bit over the centuries...and instead of spending time building the most foundational parts of life, we look for the grandiose cloud castles, which are not only not filling, but unsubstantial and disappointing.  The fluff leaves us soft and dissatisfied, and even malcontented.
Wall-E sacrifices himself for EVE, who in turn, dives in to rescue him. 
The ultimate of achievable fairy tales, don't you think?  To love past yourself so much that you inspire?  When you jump out of your comfort zone and are willing to persevere in the monotonous, your castles will be built on a solidity that cannot be shaken.
I think Elise sees the grand in the simple, and her love of Wall-E somehow illustrates that.  And, it is her love for the plain, that beautifies the life around her and touches those in her circle. 
As Mother Teresa said:  “The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty -- it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There's a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”  
This is why I feel the impact of those with disabilities can be so great, and why they achieve a somewhat undeserved status as "saints" and "angels"...They help us see what is important and filter what is real in life.  And that is why it is so imperative that we help them achieve their dreams and live their lives to their fullest, no matter what that be.
The stars are after all, touchable, when you are shooting for the heavens.

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