As Dirty Harry writes in his 2 1/2 star review:
For all its charms and wonders, one moment sticks in my head and, well, craw. It also confuses me. Why? Why go there? Other than the dark chuckles from the liberal critics around me, what’s to gain? And other than a lack of self-control or hubris on the filmmakers’ part, there’s no explaining it. But they did it. They actually had the President (Fred Willard) say about his failed mission, “Stay the course.”
Have we lost Pixar? Have we lost the wonderful studio who brought us The Incredibles and Ratatouille to Bush Derangement Syndrome? Here you have a winning streak going back ten-years, enormous amounts of public goodwill, equal amounts of credibility as serious storytellers, and they stop things cold, yanking you out of the story with the liberal nonsense. Quite a disappointment. Anyway…
And then there’s this post on The Conservative Mindcleaner titled “Will You go See Wall‑E Knowing it Makes Fun of Bush?”
I haven’t seen the movie yet — that’s my big plan for this upcoming weekend — so I can’t speak to how well the line works (or doesn’t). But as one of the commenters over at Looking Closer puts it, this all strikes me as much ado about nothing.
As Dirty Harry points out, Pixar is a studio that has a winning streak going back ten-years, enormous amounts of public goodwill, and equal amounts of credibility as serious storytellers. Additionally, you could make a very convincing case that Pixar is one of the few studios out there — Walden Media being the other one that immediately comes to mind — that consistently releases movies that most would consider to be in-line with “traditional family values” (e.g., The Incredibles, Finding Nemo). Indeed, Pixar is the rare case where “family friendly” isn’t a pejorative or a handicap.
To ignore all of that because of a single line of dialog strikes me as a slight case of overreacting.
All that being said, I found this recent CHUD editorial, entitled “Is Wall‑E Environmental Or Hypocritical?”, to be very thought-provoking:
[W]hether or not Andrew Stanton wants to own up to placing environmental and political messages in a film that includes a robot recreation of a protest riot has nothing to do with whether or not they’re there, but I think everyone seeing the movie this coming weekend will have to admit that these messages exist. And most of those people will have to also admit that they’re good messages, the kind we should be happy are included in a kid’s film. The problem is that these messages — intentional or not — are being undercut by a cynical marketing campaign that will likely have a bigger impact on kids than the movie itself. And worse than that, it’s a marketing and licensing campaign that will help advance us just a little bit towards the environmental devastation shown in the film.
Frankly, the concerns that Devin Faraci raises strike me as a much bigger cause for alarm than any jab at the President.