You know some people are simply itching to criticize when they pick minor faults in an animated movie to write a full-length column. Daniel Engber faults WallÂ·E for equating obesity with environmental collapse. He chides the movie for making fun of fat people and reminds us that genes have more to do with obesity than overeating.
Although largely right about reasons for obesity, he misses the point that WallÂ·E is trying to make. The movie never implies as Daniel suggests that we don’t change the way we live, we’ll all get really fat and destroy the world. I may be mistaken but I’m sure that the movie suggests that you first destroy the world and then get fat with all that lounging around on the cruise spaceship. I’m no expert on obesity but given the sedantary lifestyle of the people shown on the spaceship, you don’t need the help of genes to get obese. I disagree that “obese, infantile consumers who spend their days immobile in hovering lounge chairs, staring at ads on computers screens” are a subtle jab at Americans. I’ve seen more people serious about exercise and staying fit in American than I’ve in India. It is the lifestyle, stupid! People from any other nation or culture if possessed similar luxuries then they too would fall victim to obesity.
As I mentioned before, WallÂ·E may have references to protecting and conserving our environment but it definitely doesn’t make any sort of direct reference against or taunts to obese people. *Spoiler Alert* Mind you, the obese captain does manage to wrest control from his HAL-like controlling robot in spite of his obese frame. That said, it doesn’t mean that WallÂ·E is a perfect movie and doesn’t suffer from anamolies. Sunil writes about several such inconguities and anamolies; some of which had crossed my mind as well. But the charge that Daniel hurls at the movie doesn’t hold much water.