Taking part in the panel was director Andrew Stanton. He showed a new Pixar logo featuring WALLE coming out and helping Luxo in the logo. Stanton started out by showing an industrial commercial featuring the WALLE robots and describing his functions. It’s by the company “Buy N Large” and showed a web address for the company, BuyNLarge.com, which is now live.
Andrew then discussed the plot while concept art scrolled by. In the future, humans have completely trashed the planet with rampant commercialism. They then leave the planet on space liners while robots are left behind to clean up the planet. Unfortunately, 700 years go by and they never return. Eventually one robot, WALLE, develops a personality. As he roams the planet, he eventually finds a way to get off the planet. He then finds the last remaining space liner containing the ‘lost tribe’ of humans. However, years in space with all their needs covered by robots have made them literal couch potatoes. They are huge, helpless blobs. Along the way WALLE also meets and falls in love with another robot named Eve. WALLE attempts to woo her, but his efforts just might be what ends up restoring the human race to its former glory.
Next up, Stanton introduced “Star Wars” veteran Ben Burtt, who is doing sound design on the film. He played samples of the various robots sound effects then showed animation samples of the robots. We saw WALLE, Eve, a sidekick hygienic droid named M-O, and Auto who is the auto pilot of the space liner. Burtt revealed that Eve is a probe droid that is held together by magnetic fields. She also features a few special functions and weapons. M-O is an obliterator droid that rolls around on a track ball.
The audience then got to be the first to see footage from the film. We see WALLE, back on Earth, preparing for another day at work. He’s followed by his pet cockroach as he leaves his makeshift house. As he sorts through the human’s garbage, he picks out objects that interest him a bra, a jewelry box, a rubber ducky, and other things. However, his day is interrupted when he sees a big red dot from a laser light. He follows it but doesn’t realize what it is. However, he soon discovers that it’s a landing guide for a ship… that lands right on top of him. WALLE escapes by digging underground, then pops up just in time to see what emerges from the ship. Unfortunately, the clip ended before we got to see just what that was.
The panel then turned to Q&A. Stanton confirmed that there is a live action element involved and humans will be shown in some degree. Ben Burtt wasn’t sure if he’d be working on Indiana Jones 4 since the WALLE schedule was going to overlap with its schedule. WALLE is his first priority. Thomas Newman, the composer for Finding Nemo, is doing the score.
That concluded the WALLE panel. It certainly looks like another imaginative, fun film from Disney and Pixar. It also looks like Ben Burtt’s going to win another Academy Award for sound design.