Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mythology in Wall-E

Disney Pixar's Wall-E clearly falls within the realm of science fiction. It is in Earth's future with robots and space ships. There are both humorous and even villainous AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the form of both computers and robots. Yet, mythology is deeply entrenched into the film.

In the beginning there are only two "people" on Earth. They are responsible for populating the Earth. They are the EVE and Adam (Wall-E) of the future Earth. EVE is the mother of the new Earth. She finds and protects Earth's signs of life in her robotic womb. It is her actions that put humans on the planet.

Additionally, the humans are men in the cave. The Captain of the ship can only see the Shadows of Earth life on the wall screen. However, even his Shadows are far more complex than what the rest of humanity sees. They have just the screens on their chairs, that give them Shadows of their cave, which they don't even know about. It is Wall-E who leads them from the cave, who lets them see the 3-D world, not Shadows on the screen.

In another sense, the robots are Gods, powerful beings who watch over humans. Not all are viewed as benevolent (just as not all gods are), but they all work to keep humans alive. They bring Knowledge and farming skills to the nearly Earthbound humans (as seen during the credits). They are the creators of the world.

Wall-E, like most science fiction, uses mythology to tell a futuristic story. And the future and the past are not so different in this film.

Looking for Mythology around every corner,
J.R. West the Raccoon

2 comments:

Dante's Heart said...

J.R., I love the "shadows in the cave" connection you made. I am really going to have to ponder that...and go watch the movie! I missed this one.

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