WALL-E, Pixar’s 2008 animated sci-fi robot romance, was one of the 25 titles inducted in December 2021 into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. The film was directed by CalArts alum Andrew Stanton (Film/Video BFA 87), and written by Pete Docter (Film/Video BFA 90), Jim Reardon (Film/Video BFA 87), and Stanton.
Set in the 29th century, Earth has been long-since vacated by humans and portrayed as a devastated, garbage-strewn ruin. Left behind are Waste Allocation Load-Lifter: Earth-Class (WALL-E) robots, all but one of which are nonoperational. The last WALL-E robot, a sentimental trash compactor with a knack for collecting unique objects, meets Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator (EVE), an egg-shaped probe who arrives to scan for any signs of vitality on the planet. The pair team up on a galactic mission to save Earth and humanity at large.
WALL-E won Best Animated Feature Film at the 2009 Academy Awards, where it was also nominated in five other categories: Best Writing, Original Screenplay; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing; and Best Achievement in Sound Editing.
In a Twitter post by the Library of Congress, Stanton described finding the inspiration behind WALL-E’s eyes while watching a baseball game (watch below).
Founded in 1988 by the National Film Preservation Board, the National Film Registry annually selects 25 films that showcase “the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation.” Films become eligible for induction exactly one decade after their release.
See all 2021 National Film Registry inductees on the official Library of Congress website.