The Music of Wall-E

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.


Christopher Jon said...

I have to agree. This year I actually went out and bought soundtracks to Movies and Wall-E was one of them. It's just an incredible movie and sounds the best on blu ray.

Bill said...

I was about Alex's age when I became completely enamored with Star Wars and Mary Poppins, and to this day the "Tuppence a Bag" tune from Poppins continues to tap into the lizard parts of my brain that I can't even begin to describe - It'll probably be the same for Alex someday, which is eerie but cool.

What do the kids think of Nemo? It has music written by the same guy (Thomas Newman) - very pretty stuff, especially the title track.

Anonymous said...

I shared a similar experience a few months ago.

Everyday after school in kindergarten, I would make my mom put in Karate Kid 2. My mom would get sick of the movie because I insisted on watching it.

27 years later, I'm a week away from my wedding, and moving into my new house, and Karate Kid 2 was on tv. I watched it with my mom, and after hearing the Japanese wood flute she began tearing up.

Whenever we would come across a Karate Kid movie, my mom would joke about all the times I would watch it. We both could go through the movie line for line.

Hearing the Japanese themed music just put her back to when my dad was teaching, and my brother was in school and it was just me and her watching Daniel-san.

Isn't it great how music can just put a great memory in your head?

The Great Pumpkin™ said...

Wow. Your story completely mirrors mine with my 2 year old...except we live on the east coast and I don't work for the video game industry :).

I got my wife Wall E for Christmas since she loves the Pixar movies (as does Claire, my 2 year old). We fell in love with the movie the moment we watched it and now every morning when Claire wakes up, the first thing she asks to watch is "Wall E". While I'm prepping for work, I get to listen to the robots breaking out of the repair ward. I couldn't believe when I read your blog that it was nearly identical to what happens in our house. Zach, our almost year old is also an addict when it is on and fixates his gaze on the TV, diaper changing be damned.

I have to say for me, my favorite song is the credits/Peter Gabriel song. It just resonates with me.

Anonymous said...

My favorite musical part of Wall-E is also the part when EVA and Wall-E were flying around the giant spaceship. Their little dance was so beautiful, I knew I was watching not only one of the best films of 2008, but one of the best animated films ever made.

RJC said...

We can all appreciate parents who take the time to create these awesome moments for their kids. PIXAR makes watching a movie over and over again sooooo easy, don't you think?

...if only we had easily accessible media when we were young. Oh well, at least there was TV and Bugs Bunny.

Unknown said...

I also liked everything about this movie, it is especially dear to me, because my 5-year-old son adores it!!! Wall-e has already become the member of our family :) Here's link for downloading, if you need the movie - http://rapidqueen.com/?q=wall-e