“Wall-E” better than Batman’s “Dark Knight?”

I didn’t think it was appropriate to take my four-year-old son to the new Batman movie “Dark Knight” (it was a close call though)…so instead, we journeyed over to watch Pixar Disney’s animated “Wall-E.”  

Wall-E truly is a movie that needs to be seen by everyone.  If you care – you’ll leave caring even more – and if you don’t care, you’ll start to.  This movie fell right into my wheelhouse of what I’ve been going through this year.  How could a movie, for kids, about Robots, with all of 15 words said through the entire movie (of which not a single word was uttered for the first 25 minutes) keep anyone engaged, much less keep us on the edge of our seats?  It did so by tackling some incredibly hard truths regarding earth, life and purpose.  In about the year 2300, earth has become a desolate land filled entirely with skyscraper heaps of garbage…an abundance of garbage due to the overconsumption of the world.  Basically – it declares the exact place we’re headed if we keep living the way we’re all living.  It painfully depicts and plays right into what makes us tick at the heart of our culture.  All human existence has basically used up all of what the earth has to offer – and now lives in a mammoth quasi-cruise ship in space named the “Axiom.”  It cuts like a knife when you learn that the corporation that hosts this “new life” as “BnL” which stand for “Buy-Now-Large.”  It plays into consumerism really, really well.  I have no idea if anyone could leave the theatre without feeling uncomfortable…especially after holding our traditional 5-gallon buckets of popcorn and 64 oz sodas…it was great.  All of mankind on the ship is referred to as “Auto-Pilots” showing how we’ve all become so numb to real life, destined just to follow status quo living for our next purchase to satisfy our insatiable need to consume and gain for ourselves.  Humans live in moving recliners, served their every need by robots, never having to lift a finger for anything – becoming ever so blind to human touch, love and real life encounters.

All of this is taking place in the background, while Wall-E discovers something that everyone is in search for.  I don’t want to ruin the movie and tell you what it is – but it’s powerful.  It’s amazing what it is and even more amazing in what it symbolizes.  At one point, the captain of the perfect world Axiom ship, is given eyes to see and declares, “I don’t want to just survive anymore, I want to live.”  It was incredible.  I recently heard a quote that has played a part in shaping my recent existence that says, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”  We’re a people plagued by status quo.  We’re daunted by staying safe and self-protection.  We’re drowning in being conservative…rather than taking this world by storm – and turning it upside down.  We’re promised the Kingdom has come and is coming to earth – why don’t we start acting like it?  Why can’t we push each other and ourselves to the limits to bring about change and a fuller existence in life?  When do we realize status quo is directly from the world’s system and has nothing to do with the Kingdom or a higher life?  It’s Tyler Durden in “Fight Club” that says, “I don’t want to die without any scars.”  I’m finally starting to understand what he means.  I don’t either and I refuse to.  I’ve played it safe for too long.  Tyler just wants someone to punch him right in the face so he can actually “feel” something for once.  

We’re not called to drag this body through earth like a corpse until we “get to the other side.”  We’re called to be co-creators and dreamers with God.  Why aren’t you more excited to get up in the morning?  If this is true – why won’t tomorrow be the greatest day of your life?  It won’t be, because we’re going to do the same thing we did yesterday.  We won’t take any risks and we won’t take any chances.

We need to Dream Big.  We need to change and be transformed.  We need to live out the Really Real and turn the world upside down.  That doesn’t mean anything more than it affecting your own little world. That’s not a daunting task that seems impossible – because it truly just means your own little world, tomorrow.  The people around you, your co-workers, your job, your money, your kids, and your community.  

Wall-E brought to back to earth, life…at all costs.  At all costs.

As the credits come at the end of the movie, it ends with an amazing Peter Gabriel song, “Down to Earth” and the first line says, “Did you think that your feet had been bound by what gravity brings to the ground?”

Let’s not be a people defined by what grounds us – but rather by all the things that’s left to be imagined.  There’s a song we sing that says, “The only limit left for us is what we dare believe.”  

So what do we believe?  Status quo just barely making it through our day?  Or Life in abundance?

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5 Comments

Filed under Consumerism

5 responses to ““Wall-E” better than Batman’s “Dark Knight?”

  1. My father always said “if you’re going to dream, dream big or there’s no point in dreaming at all.” this in conjunction with “if you’re going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all.” has been two of the leading mantras of my life and has led me down many paths that were tangled, lightless, seemingly untouched only to deliver me into the greatest clearing i have ever seen.

    as soon as wall-e started, i knew where it was going and it took everything in my being not to stand up and applaud while simultaneously wanting to collapse into my seat as the family in front of me consumed two giant buckets of popcorn, four boxes of candy, and four giant sodas. consumerism has infiltrated the common man and i don’t know how to remedy it except to plod along, talking, teaching, and hoping for a clearing for the american public.

    rock on, steve, rock on.

  2. outofthedesert

    Wow, sounds like a great movie. As I sit here in the hospital waiting for Toree’s surgery and read about a boyfriend who just strangled his girlfriend in her sleep out of blind insanity after watching Natural Born Killers, with a hospital full of the sick, infirmed and dying.

    There is materialism and consumerism all around. The materialism mantra plays it’s sweet harmony of peace and tranquility with the purchase of the newest car, iphone(sorry dude) or diamond bling. The hypnotic trance of the false hope and illusions of joy and happiness of materials must be broken.

    There is so much pain and suffering in this world…
    if only there were hospitals for the spirit and soul. Where people could be given reasons to hope again, where dreams could be given life and the reality of what is could come streaming forth.

    I love what you wrote Kendra and am glad we are journeying together to make this a reality in our world.

    So teach on, speak on, dream on… into the dark alleys of life and may seeds be planted that will grow…

  3. Brittian Bullock

    So…I read it…all of it…no skimming. A) Sounds like a great movie. B). I think you’re right on about the awesome reality that we can participate in step by step with ” The people around you, your co-workers, your job, your money, your kids, and your community.” Tyler’s need to feel something is our cultural need to touch, to smell, and to see. Thankfully, it is a touch of Christ, a vision of Him, that begins to awaken these senses in us and allows us to truly touch and see others also.
    Great post Steve.

  4. Joel

    Thanks, I love good movies and I totally want to see this one now. Talking about consumerism . . . we (my wife and 5 children) live in Japan. Consumerism is big in North America but you might be surprised that it is even a bigger idol in Japan and other parts of Asia. It is one of the biggest barriers to Jesus’ gospel in Japan.
    (I don’t know how to get my blog as a hyperlink on my name in you comments, so (shamelessly) here is where I am:
    http://irreligiouslife.wordpress.com)

  5. RE: Wall-E and your very good post: Rex’s dad used to say, ‘Whatever the cost, whatever the loss, whatever the cross.’ That’s the commitment required to live life to its fullest, as God intends us to do. But when we surrender to Christ with that degree of abandonment, what a great journey. When I think of what God has done in my life, where He has taken me and the opportunities He’s given me, I’m amazed. He’s truly no respector of persons. Wasn’t it D. L. Moody who said that the world has yet to see what God will do with a heart totally surrendered in obedience to Him? God help me, God help us all, to ‘jump in the river’ as it were and ‘fill up’ on the good things of God, being filled and over-flowing with Him. When we ‘step out’ into the ‘impossible’, He’s there and life is a treasure!
    P.S. We saw WALL-E with the grandbebes, it was good. Rex and I went to see ‘Australia’ tonight and it was worth seeing too. Had a bit in it of Japan’s attack, so sad, this thing called war. But the whole of the movie was excellent, with inspiration to ‘overcome’ all odds and value for mankind whatever the skin color or culture. PG-13 makes it not a good one for the little ones tho:-(

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