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Pillow People

While I was on one of my aforementioned trips I went to see the film Wall-E. I noticed all those overweight people being depicted as lazy and ignorant and it wasn’t until later that I realized maybe I should be offended.

The “Pillow People,” as I call them, seemed like plot devices to emphasize the film’s “Don’t be lazy!” message. I just didn’t take it all that personally, maybe because there were no thin people for them to play against. Also, my expectations for the depiction of overweight people in Hollywood are pretty low.

I was much more offended that Americans seem to have been the only ones to survive this fictional apocalypse. There is no culture AT ALL in the film’s  post-Earth version of society. It would not have been hard to have the captain translate his directives into more than one language, or do a better job making the humans’ features multi-ethnic. The idea that the only survivors 1,000 years from now will be the all-powerful Americans is kind of offensive. Unless they were trying to say that Americans throw their weight around enough to kill off everyone else and become survivors by force? But if they were trying to say that, why didn’t they address it? My guess is that the film’s creators didn’t think very deeply about either of these things.

Maybe, in this case, we should follow their example. This movie had an overreaching message, but I guess it’s best we don’t think about it too much. It makes my head hurt.

Categories: media, reviews Tags: , ,
  1. December 13, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I do not know about the sociological aspect, but I myself saw the film today and loved it.
    I am from India, and this is one few rare commercial Hollywood films I have seen that criticizes the Americans themselves. Else, in all other films, they are the savior of the world. Be it Independence Day, or any other (I have around a 100 examples in my chest pocket).
    Anyway, what Wall-E shows is the epitome of consumerism. I do not know about mainland Europe, but in Asia, or Africa the consumerism is much less. People still use their brains, and not ads to buy goods, use their legs to get to work rather than vehicles, and depend upon bio-clock rather than alarm clock to wake up in the morning.
    May be due to this tsunami of consumerism in the US, this film concentrates so much on the Americans.

    Well, of course, you will be a better judge. But these were just my reflections. Tell me what did you think of them.

  2. Amy
    January 5, 2009 at 11:59 am

    To think that there is only one ship from one location for the entire world is kind of silly, from my veiw I like to think it is only one of a fleet of ships that left earth and not the only one, it makes sense and it would be easier to have ships dotted around the planet all the same but with one main language system on it from where it originated.

    Also i dont really focus much on the human side when the focus is on wall e and eve a marvel in technology that managed to achive self cognative abilities and become self aware and also fall in love

  3. secretsociologist
    January 5, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks for your comments.

    Amy, you make a lot of sense. You do have to have a “suspension of disbelief” when you watch this movie, and your assumption (about the fleet of ships) is a good one.

    Dashu, you’re right, we Americans are a consumerist, nightmarish society. We are paying for it and will continue to pay for generations to come. Please don’t think all of us are hopelessly unaware, though. Some of us are all right.

  4. April 29, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    I watched this movie a couple of days ago and liked it immensely. As Dashu above says, this movie is an exception in the sense that it does not glorify the USA as the saviour of the world and directly accuses the growing consumerism. I do not think you should be offended by the “pillow people” as they were overweight because of their lifestyle which was designed for them by their forefathers and BnL. They were made lazy and ignorant, and they became overweight as a result of that. It really shows us what we are and where we are headed as a people.

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