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WALL-E is rolling his pathway into the Criterion Collection

WALL-E, Pixar’s 2008 masterpiece, is counted in the Criterion Collection, a curated inventory of movies deemed “important classic and contemporary films.”

Its induction means the movie gets a special-edition 4K Blu-ray release with many extras. A perfect excuse to add the film to your collection if you don’t have it.

It’s not the only time the movie’s been available in 4K, but the box art for the Criterion version is much better than the standard 4K Blu-ray’s. It may also have a slightly better HDR master (it comes with Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10 Plus versions, vs. standard HDR10 for the regular release), and its three-disc set includes things like a student film made by director Andrew Stanton, a documentary on Pixar, script notes, and production artwork.

The cover of the Criterion collection WALL-E blu-ray shows a pile of trash arranged to look like the movie’s main character, a robot that picks up trash.

As Polygon’s Tasha Robinson points out, WALL-E is the first Disney / Pixar movie introduced to the collection. In addition, it is one of only a few animated movies that Criterion has selected. Personally, it’s hard to think of a Pixar movie that’s more deserving; despite being extremely short on dialogue, it’s able to capture the attention of kids and adults alike.

WALL-E will become available from Criterion on November 22, alongside a 4K restoration of Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, which is another excellent but very different movie.

WALL-E is a 2008 American computer-animated science fiction film orchestrated by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was staged and co-written by Andrew Stanton, assembled by Jim Morris, and co-written by Jim Reardon. It stars the voices of Jeff Garlin, John Ratzenberger, Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Sigourney Weaver, Kathy Najimy, and Fred Willard.

The overall ninth feature film staged by the studio, WALL-E, tracks a solitary robot on a future, uninhabitable, abandoned Earth in 2805, left to clean up garbage. However, he is called by a probe sent by the starship Axiom, a robot named EVE, with whom he falls in passion and chases across the galaxy.

Stanton handled Pixar had created believable simulations of underwater physics after directing Finding Nemo and was willing to drive a film set mainly in space. As a result, WALL-E has minimal dialogue in its early sequences; many characters do not have voices but instead articulate with body language and robotic sounds conceived by Burtt.

The film integrates various topics, including consumerism, waste management, human environmental impact and concerns, obesity/sedentary lifestyles, corporatocracy, nostalgia, and global catastrophic hazard. In addition, it is  Pixar’s first animated film with components featuring live-action personalities. Finally, WALL-E was paired with a short movie anointed Presto for its theatrical release, following Pixar tradition.

WALL-E was pitched in the United States on June 27, 2008. The film obtained critical acclaim for its animation, story, visuals, score, minimal dialogue, voice acting, characters, and romance scenes. It was also commercially prosperous, grossing $521.3 million globally over a $180 million budget and becoming the ninth-highest grossing movie of 2008. In addition, it won the 2008 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, Saturn Award for Best Animated Film, Nebula Award for Best Script, the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and 2009 Hugo Award for Best Long Form Dramatic Presentation, with five nominations.

It is considered by numerous critics as the best film of 2008 and to be among the best-animated films ever produced. The film outperformed time’s list of the “Best Movies of the Decade,” and in 2016, was voted 29th among 100 movies considered the best of the 21st century by 117 film critics worldwide. The Library of Congress, in 2021, selected the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”