I really like the movie Wall-E, and I realized the other night that a couple of the songs from the soundtrack are going to evoke some really powerful memories when Alex is grown up. That's because for the last month or so, ever since his cousin's Wall-E-themed birthday party and we bought it on Blu-ray, Alex and I have watched Wall-E almost every single morning. See, when Alex wakes up at some ungodly hour, the most Nick or I can muster is to plop Wall-E into the PS3 and then curl up on the couch and attempt to watch it with him (though often "watching" consists of me dozing and Alex narrating the movie while trying to stick vegetarian sausages, scrambled egg, or other microwaved breakfast foods into my mouth).
The first 45 minutes or so of this movie are positively brilliant. I'm sure this has been written about all over everywhere so I won't get into too much detail, but the physical storytelling is amazing and makes the movie appeal to my two-year-old as much as it does to me. I'd say most mornings we only watch that first part (he usually doesn't wake up quite that early) before it's time to get ready for work. But sometimes we leave it on in the background, and that's why the soundtrack of Wall-E has become such a prominent part of this little era of our lives.
Of course, there's the song from Hello Dolly that opens the movie, during which Alex dances around looking as cute as a two-year-old could ever look. Then there's my favorite part of the movie, where Eve waits until the spaceship is out of range before busting out into her freeform flying and exploration. I love the song that plays during this part, so much that I can already almost feel the future tears in my eyes when I hear it and remember the joy of having little two-year-old Alex all cuddled up warm with me on the couch saying, "Bye-bye spaceship!" and "Eve flying!"
The same theme plays a little later in the movie, when Eve and Wall-E are in space, Wall-E using the fire-extinguisher to propel himself through the stars. That song is definitely going to remind me of the time I came into the kitchen and saw Alex by the breakfast table with his little space shuttle toy and a car, twirling his arms around in imitation of that part of the movie and gleefully exclaiming, "Eve and Wall-E dancing! FAAAATHT!" (That's how Alex says "fast.")
I wonder if the Peter Gabriel song at the end will remind me of the feeling..."Oh my god, did we watch the whole thing?! What time is it? Am I late for work??!" And how around that moment, Alex would come sit on my lap and refuse to move, saying, "No shower" as I'd try to skulk off to begin getting ready. Or how when he'd glimpse me all dressed at the top of the stairs, he'd say, "Mama work" and then either try to climb over the baby-gate to come with me, or run off to Tutu's room, where they'd wave at me from the window as I rode my scooter off.
I'm sure at some point we'll all tire of Wall-E and move on to the next movie -- as I'm writing this, we're watching Pixar Shorts for the first time, and Alex, Nick, and Tutu are positively rapt. But I hope when Alex is older, I can help him remember how much he savored every minute of his first really beloved cinematic experience, from the Walt Disney title at the very start ("Castle!") and the Pixar intro animation ("Lamp jumping!") all the way through the end credits and their accompanying storyboards and simple cartoon animations. It's brought us pure joy, through and through.