Pixar is one of the most critically and commercially successful animation studios — and for good reason.
From its Toy Story in 1995 to the recent Inside Out, Pixar has moved forward with animated movies that are not only family-friendly romps, but also tackle serious issues. I would argue that the Pixar film which most overtly explores the triumphs and downfalls of humanity was achieved with next to no dialogue and without a human protagonist.
Pixar's 2008 sci-fi film WALL-E spreads a message of environmental awareness while also folding in biting satirical critique of consumerism. The film brought in a staggering $533.3 million worldwide, garnering nominations and accolades from every major awards ceremony, and also topping TIME's Top 10 Movies of the Decade list. Clearly Pixar's efforts were well spent.
Unfortunately for WALL-E fans, Pixar has said there is currently no sequel in the works and that everything on their slate beyond Cars 3 (June 2017), Toy Story 4 (June 2018) and The Incredibles 2 (June 2019) which are already in the works, will be original films.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pixar President and WALL-E producer Jim Morris explained the studio's thinking in gearing towards more original stories, as opposed to proceeding with a WALL-E sequel.
“Most studios jump on doing a sequel as soon as they have a successful film, but our business model is a filmmaker model, and we don’t make a sequel unless the director of the original film has an idea that they like and are willing to go forward on.”“A sequel in some regards is even harder [than the original] because you’ve got this defined world which, on the one hand, is a leg up, and on the other hand has expectations that you can’t disappoint on.”
I see where Pixar is coming from. On the one hand, the WALL-E story concluded brilliantly, loose ends were tied up, and it left audiences feeling uplifted and optimistic for the humankind and WALL-E's relationship with Eva. Still, I believe there's a lot more of story worth telling.
Though Morris made it clear that Pixar is currently focusing their efforts elsewhere, that doesn't mean there won't be a WALL-E sequel somewhere down the line. So, if there were to be one, what would we want to see from it? A lot.
Without question, WALL-E 2 could be Pixar's next big hit. Here's why I think a sequel — If they ever actually decide to make a sequel, that is — could be their best movie yet.
WALL-E Is One Of Pixar's Most Heartfelt Characters
With characters like Woody, Buzz, Dory, Nemo, Dug, Russell, Sully and Boo, it's difficult to choose just one Pixar character as the most genuine and sincere. But for all intents and purposes, WALL-E should have absolutely zero emotions.
WALL-E's internal goodness was so strong that he was able to override much of BnL's programming to become a thoughtful, sentient being. Even though he is somehow able to think for himself, he still fulfills his futile duty of cleaning up Earth. Just look at this dedication and work ethic.
Despite being totally alone once his fellow WALL-E compactors all break down — leaving him to live alone on a planet surrounded by the corpses of his fallen robotic brethren — he is still able to maintain some semblance of positivity. He was also willing to sacrifice himself to save Eva and all of mankind. Kind of a big deal. WALL-E is a sweet, caring little trash compactor, and with all the negativity in the world I think we could use another dose of his optimism.
We Would Finally See How The Axiom Passengers Move Forward
WALL-E's blatant criticisms of consumerism and corporatism are bundled up into the lives of Earth's obese and sedentary descendants, the Axiom passengers. While Captain McCrea is able to successfully land the Axiom and re-seed the plant, suggesting that all is well for humankind, I'm still interested in seeing how they move forward from there.
Keep in mind, McCrea didn't even know how to pronounce the word "manual," let alone grasp how to establish an effective agricultural system on a planet-wide scale. This ending also doesn't really take into account how much human waste is left on the planet. Just because the Earth is ready to be restored doesn't mean that humans are ready to restore it.
In a sequel, I'd love to see the world in which the passengers are learning to adapt in a world without their hoverchairs and drinkable foods. Better yet, let's see them find other Earth survivors who landed a decade earlier and attempt to assimilate to a new way of life with new people.
There Would Be Even More Adorable WALL-E and Eva Love
Pixar had Buzz and Jesse, Mike and Celia Mae, of course, Carl and Ellie, but who could forget about WALL-E and Eva?
Their relationship transcends programming, functions and the decades between their respective builds. At the end of WALL-E, their romantic storyline concluded nicely, but I can't get enough of their love.
How about we see a sequel focusing on their little robot babies? Ok, that is definitely not the most feasible or necessary storyline, but just imagine how cute they would be!
Do you love keeping up with all the latest Pixar news? Check out these other Movie Pilot articles:
- Upcoming Pixar Movies: What Should We Look Forward To?
- Everything We Know About 'Coco,' Pixar's Only Upcoming Original Movie
- How 'Inside Out' Expertly Fits Into the Pixar Theory Like It's Not Even Trying
WALL-E Is More Relevant Than Ever
I've already discussed Pixar's criticisms of the current trajectory of mankind. The mirror held up to society in WALL-E is obvious, it's biting and beyond poignant. Although relevant in 2008, this key plot detail is even more relevant today.
And with the current state of the world in mind, just picture what other kind of issues a WALL-E sequel could open up to the masses by putting them into simple, palatable terms.
Imagine if Pixar were to discuss the refugee crisis, with humans from another spaceship standing in for Syrian refugees? It'd be a tough topic and an uncharacteristically political stance for Pixar to take, but I think it might be just what we need.
So, Is There Any Chance It Might Happen?
As much as I wish I could will a WALL-E sequel into existence, that's just not one of my talents. At the moment, despite how deeply beloved WALL-E is, Pixar isn't anywhere near actually making a sequel.
That being said, just because it's not happening right now doesn't mean it won't ever happen. Morris has also stated that nothing is in the works, but he still considers going back to the story that's so close to his heart.
"WALL-E is close to my heart since I produced it. It would be good to go back and visit that world and let everybody know that the humans actually survived again after getting back to their burnt-out planet. But ... we're not really planning any further stories in those worlds at this point."
If WALL-E taught me anything, it's that staying optimistic can sometimes pay off in spades. After all, there were 13 years between Finding Nemo and Finding Dory and 15 between The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2. So I'll keep a watchful eye on the Pixar horizon in the hopes that a WALL-E sequel — or prequel? — might head our way someday.
What would you want to see happen in a second WALL-E movie? Let me know in the comments section.