Best animated film ever

During my time at KIRO I think I only had one extended conversation with conservative host Michael Medved, and surprisingly it was on a subject on which we both agreed, the animated children’s film Happy Feet. We both hated it.

Medved, who made his name as a movie reviewer, hated the film because of its preachy environmental message. He went on a bit about a lack of consensus on global warming, the film’s manipulative storyline and its many allegedly factual and scientific errors. I, who made my name as a purely political blogger and talker, hated the film because it had a sucky script. It was visually beautiful and all that, but it was godawful boring. It was a bad, forgettable, waste of a theater ticket and a bag of popcorn.

Well, my daughter and I just returned from an opening day matinée of Pixar’s Wall-E, and I’m afraid this instant classic is going to pose a tough dilemma for conservative critics like Medved, who are no doubt going to hate the film’s environmental, political and social message, but are going to have a tough time panning what is possibly the best feature length animated film ever.

Oh, it’s certainly not the funniest animated film ever made, or even the most entertaining; I can think of a couple of Pixar films that beat it in both categories. And while Pixar’s animation is of course stunning, the visuals are at times so bleak that it’s breathtaking beauty goes by unnoticed. Indeed, the very fact that it is animated at all often goes by unnoticed, an amazing feat for a film that features two anthropomorphized robots.

How perfect is this film? Perfect enough, I’m not ashamed to admit, that this 45-year-old cynic, sitting in a darkened theater on a Friday afternoon, had tears well up in his eyes at the sight of two robots just, well, holding hands.

Wall-E isn’t a mere cartoon, it is a work of art, a G-rated animated film that transcends the genre of G-rated animated films, and sets new standards for what is possible in the medium. It is a love story. It is a comedy. But it is also a morality tale that directly challenges the consumer culture that defines our nation, and the irresponsible environmental stewardship that threatens our planet.

Judged solely on its merits, and not its message, it is difficult to imagine anybody with a passion for cinema giving Wall-E a bad review. It will be interesting to see if critics like Medved are willing and able to rise to that daunting challenge.


  1. 1

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Best animated film ever? Goldy, dear dear dear Goldy. I’ll give props to Pixar for their work, and I’m actually looking forward to seeing WALL-E. But a) it’ll have to be better than Ratatouille, and b) we’d just be talking about the best animated family movie. Nothing Pixar has ever done or will ever do will match Ghost In The Shell or Spirited Away.

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The definition of “conservative” is someone who can’t enjoy a film that is just a good story instead of rightwing propaganda.

    By the way, John McCain was great as the deranged general in Doctor Strangelove.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In other news, DOJ has settled with Dr. Stephen Hatfill for $5.8 million. That’s what it cost taxpayers to buy the inept Bush administration a scapegoat for the unsolved 2001 anthrax attacks.

    $5.8 million may sound like a lot of money, but Dr. Hatfill isn’t making out all that great. Basically the settlement only replaces lost income and pays him nothing for being slandered.

    Assuming his lawyers get 40%, Hatfill will get $500,000 upfront (remember, he hasn’t worked since 2001, and probably has a ton of unpaid bills) and $150,000 a year for 20 years.

    That may sound like a decent income, but Hatfill’s reputation is ruined, and he’ll never work again. And because it’s spread over 20 years, that amount has to be adjusted downward for inflation. And it not only has to replace his salary, but also fringe benefits, health insurance, pension benefits, and reduced Social Security benefits as a result of being forced out of the workforce prematurely.

    The settlement probably equates to 20 years of employment in a $50,000 a year job.

    Still to go: Libel suits against news organizations. The government got off easy. The newsies might not be so lucky.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Bill Gates quit his day job today.
    Roger Rabbit didn’t go to work today either.

    But look at it the bright side, righty wage slaves: You have a whole fucking weekend to enjoy before you have to go back to work.


  5. 5

    rhp6033 spews:

    Talk about right-wingers who rant about movies, I ran across this “letter to the editor” by a guy who swears he won’t go to another I-Max film because the one he saw about the Grand Canyon was, in his opinion, the work of “Enviro-Nazis”.

    IMAX Movie Was Just Political Propaganda

  6. 6

    Broadway Joe spews:


    Those inbred morons need to go back to picking banjos and sodomizing Ned Beatty. It’s hard to not feel superior to those ingrates.

  7. 7

    proud leftist spews:

    Joe @ 6
    As a banjo-picker, I take offense. I have not, on the other hand, ever sodomized Ned Beatty. Nor, do I plan to do so.

  8. 8

    Jane Balough's Dog spews:

    If this film was OK with a liberal story line it would be a blockbuster if is had a conservative storyline. Everyone knows that liberalism bombs at the box office. I do like it though when Hollywood produces liberal movies because it usually means some liberal producer lost money which is good for everyone.

  9. 9

    proud leftist spews:

    How does a guy in his late 40s whose only child is in college and so not terribly interested in going to an animated film, go see an animated film? Doesn’t a guy in that demographic have to have a wide-eyed child accompanying him to go to the cinema for an animated film?

  10. 10

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Goldy, have you seen Spirited Away or Howl’s Moving Castle? Just sayin’, Miyazaki’s achievements are nothing to sneeze at.

    He went on a bit about a lack of consensus on global warming

    So now Medved is a climatologist? I hate to tell him, but there is a wide consensus on climate change, and it is contained in the IPCC Report, which is available on the internet – I’ve linked to it here several times already. Maybe he should read it sometime if he wants to understand what the scientific consensus is.

  11. 11

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    @6: Haha! Somebody told me today they saw the following bumper sticker:

    “Paddle faster – I can hear banjo music”

  12. 12

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Proud Leftist–
    Only 1 child huh.
    I have 4…conservatives.
    Eventually you KLOWNS will birth control & abort yourselves into oblivion…where you belong.

  13. 13

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Hey Mr Cynical – ever seen the film Idiocracy? If you have, I will just say I think I see where you’re going @12…..

  14. 14

    Blue John spews:

    @8 That begs the question, what is a animated film LIKE with a conservative story line?
    Name a couple of “liberal” animated films and rework them to be “Conservative”.
    This I gotta see.

  15. 15

    michael spews:


    Back in the day I palled around with one of the heads of the Washington State College Republicans and I asked her about how she could stand people like your letter writer. Her reply: Those people are old and they will be dead soon.

  16. 16

    Blue John spews:

    @12, That’s ok.

    I have 4…conservatives.

    It’s like “where do Gay people come from… Straight people. “(Badum Boom)
    Once the Cynical-ettes leave the nest, I bet most of them, once they are exposed to the real world, will change their views. Maybe not to raving liberals, but to something that will annoy you to no end.

  17. 18

    My Left Foot spews:

    Thank you, Goldy. Teresa hates movies but has been eyeballing the cute robot. I just forwarded your review to her. She thinks you are funny and smart and clever. Hoping you can sway her to join me. I am a sap for a good animated picture.

  18. 19

    YLB spews:

    I didn’t like Happy Feet either.

    But the name of the movie is good for yucks over the plight of that whacky Republican Larry Craig.

    Who along with “huggies” Vitter is now defending marriage!

    You just gotta love these Republicans.

  19. 20

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    I once heard that asswipe Medved describe a movie star’s kids as “mutts.”

    He’s the worst of the right wing shit heads because he SOUNDS intelligent, whereas the Handjob Hannity and Lush Flimbaugh types are obviously ignorant on their faces.

    So Mr. Medved – as someone who’s described a so-called political enemy’s kids “mutts,” because they were adopted from third-world countries…I hope your own kids, AND THEIR kids, suffer horrible, pain and disease-filled lives that end badly and before your worthless ass goes off this planet to Hell.

  20. 21

    The Real Mark spews:

    BBG @ 20

    You are an angry, angry little boy. Are you still mad at Mommy for leaving you in a dumpster?

  21. 22

    The Real Mark spews:

    And for the curious… the Gravatar is Goldy with a pacifier in his mouth — reflecting his recent (hell, his usual) childish behavior. Either that, or Lee’s pro-drug posts have convinced Goldy to start taking Ecstasy like those rave-frequenting, Obama-voting junkie kids.

    *NOTE: Image is in compliance with Goldy’s stated OK of “editorial” Gravatar photos.

  22. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    McSame Endorsed By Commie

    The Associated Press reports:

    “HAIPHONG, Vietnam (June 27) – John McCain has an … endorsement … from the Vietnamese jailer who … held him captive … as a POW ….

    “‘ … I would vote for Mr. John McCain,’ Tran Trong Duyet said Friday … in the northern city of Haiphong ….

    “At the same time, he denies prisoners of war were tortured. … Duyet claims the presumed Republican presidential nominee made up beatings and solitary confinement in an attempt to win votes.”

    (Quoted under fair use)

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: If McSame is so great on national security, why do our enemies vote for him?

  23. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In other news, Taliban militants executed 2 Afghan men accused of spying for the U.S. in front of a cheering crowd of 5,000, then killed 2 people and injured 6 more in the crowd with celebratory gunfire. Sounds a lot like the NRA on Wednesday.

  24. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Speaking of anger, we’re coming … oh, man, we are coming … defense attorneys will be busy for the next 4 years.

  25. 27

    The Real Mark spews:

    Roadkill @ 23

    Uhh, Bunny Boy, the United States has had normalized relations with Vietnam for over 10 years.

    And, for the record, we’re on good terms with Japan, Germany, Spain, Mexico and even England.

    Even assuming you’ve been taking your Aricept, your utter confustion is not a surprise, considering that you mixed-up Dems conversely think that holding hands and singing Kumbaya will solve the Iran issue.

  26. 28

    The Real Mark spews:

    Roadkill @ 26 “we’re coming… oh, man, we are coming… defense attorneys are going to be busy for the next 4 years.”

    A couple of things about your comment are troubling. First, the use of the royal “we” when discussing your state of ecstasy. Does your little friend talk to you, too? Perhaps advise you who to vote for or what to post on the blogs?

    Second, while I figured you might have a fetish for lawyers, I didn’t know that defense attorneys were a particular fetish sub-category. But, since Dems are more likely to need them, I guess it is understandable that you’d develop fixations.

  27. 29

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Can you imaging what the Fake Marky and his inbred right wing pals would do if something like this had happened to the last Democrat to run for President?

    An endorsement from a VC jailer no less?

    Handjob Hannity and Limpdick Limbaugh would have their heads spinning right off their necks.

    This is too fucking funny.

    And to RR – after we get through building enough prisons to hold all the republican crooks we catch, do you think there will be time to send out squads to round up all the cowardly traitors like Marky? He wants a cell mate named Bubba I hear.

  28. 30

    Jane Balough's Dog spews:

    Speaking of anger, we’re coming … oh, man, we are coming … defense attorneys will be busy for the next 4 years.

    06/28/2008 at 5:37 am

    Good. We republicans will be patting each other on the back exercising our second amendment rights. Good luck… you will need it. roof roof

  29. 31

    YLB spews:

    30 – Mutt, if you respected the law unlike many Republicans then you have nothing to worry about.

    Oh wait you did break the law.


  30. 33

    ROTCODDAM spews:

    Only 1 child huh.
    I have 4…conservatives.

    1. Up a clock tower with a rifle before his 18th birthday.
    2. Running away from home at 16 to join her lesbian lover in an Okanogan garlic commune.
    3.Living in the basement eating pizza rolls and playing WoW until his 30th birthday when you finally kick him out.
    4.Scholarship to Mills – following sex change.

  31. 34

    Jane Balough's Dog spews:

    30 – Mutt, if you respected the law unlike many Republicans then you have nothing to worry about.

    Since when has that ever stopped a donk. The dems are the party of false accusations.

  32. 35

    I-Burn spews:


    I didn’t realize our “enemies” had the ability to vote in our elections, Roger. Is this something new? Can you explain how that works, for us poor, ignorant, wingers? Thanks…

  33. 37

    Broadway Joe spews:


    That’s why I included the word ‘and’. Most banjo pickers are decent citizens, and those who would wish to sodomize Ned Beatty are weird, but usually reasonably fuctional within society. Those who would want to do both are the inbred ingrates I was referring to.

    And kudos to Tlaz for backing up my opinion of Miyazaki.

  34. 38

    Reformed republican spews:

    I am so glad I ma not a republicna anymore – the average IQ of the republican trolls on this website has to be below 50 given the pathetic comments they put out.

    Has there been a single constructive comment?
    Anything on the economy?

    Anything that is not name calling – the equivalent of a third grader?

    You liberals…Everyone knows that…Since when has that stopped a donk..

    This is what passes for intelligent conversation?

    On a more substantive note, the IG at the Justice department is just starting to unravel all of the ways our justice department was perverted by the Bush administration. Poor Justice was not only blind – but has been sodomized by the republicans as well..

  35. 39

    Sam spews:

    Good call. I just saw it and it is an amazing testament to human creativity. Take a break from politics and go have some fun.

  36. 41

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Jane I got NO problem shooting a lowly dog. I am one of those Democrats that gives you cowardly right wing traitors nightmares. I own LOTS of guns and am GLAD the US Supreme Ct ruled the way it did this week. Makes it just that much easier to put you traitors down in the event that you stop bothering with ceremony and just try to pull a Mugabe in the next election.

    You bring your gun and I’ll bring mine. We’ll see who is the better shot.

  37. 42

    Blue John spews:

    @8 I’ll ask again. What is a animated film LIKE with a conservative story line?
    Maybe list a couple of “liberal” animated films and rework them to be “Conservative”.
    I’d love to understand what a conservative would like in an animated film.