The societal issues adressed in WALL-E

Today I want to discuss Disney’s iconic movie WALL-E from 2008 and the societal issues it addresses. I hadn’t seen the movie for a very long time so today was a very good moment to rewatch the movie. I want to talk about the topics and issues that are predicted in the movie. Which of these things are already becoming true? and what events seem too far away? 

The trailer is already too cute <3

The story

For those who haven’t seen the movie (yet) I will explain the main story. The movie tells a story about a little trash cleaning robot called WALL-E falling in love with another robot called EVE (what stands for Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator). The story takes place on a post-apocalyptic earth. Earth is heavily polluted and people can’t live on it anymore because of the toxicity. The movie follows these two characters who try to save each other and the earth. During the movie WALL-E ends up on a spaceship, also called the BNL-fleet. We destroyed the earth and people can only live in space. During the movie the two little robots fall in love with each other. How cute is that!? I don’t want to spoil anything so I keep it like this ;P


In WALL-E they sketch a very interesting view on what robots will be like in the future. In the movie you see many types of robots. Many of those are designed to do one specific task such as cleaning or doing make-up. In the movie you even see a robot teacher teaching the little children. What I also find interesting is that WALL-E seems more human than the people on the BNL-fleet. He can fix himself when he is broken, he feels emotions such as love, fear and compassion and he can do many different tasks. He even takes care of a plants. I find him very cute, but he could be the real deal in the future. Robots such as EVE and WALL-E seem so far away, but it might not be that long before robots will have emotions or do self-learning. Currently we still use robots for small tasks, but in the movie they fully control the people’s lives on the ship. They are soo dependent on them. Is this what the future holds for robots? Then I am very worried, but I do think we can use them for the better good in the long run. We just need to keep talking how we think robotics can be of best use. Currently many people don’t now a thing about that and we should talk with them about these topics or teach them about it. I think we can’t deny the fact that there will be robots in our futures.

Overconsumption & obesity 

Another topic I saw in the movie is our overconsumption. People keep buying products and e-commerce is next level. The people on the ship are also so lazy. They sit on floating beds/seats. They are fat and lazy and their days are regulated by a system. They literally do NOTHING. They are so fat that they have to eat fluid food from a bottle. Luckily we are far away from this situation, but still. Capitalism makes sure that people keep buying stuff and tempts them to buy more. Also if we let robots take over our daily lives we will become fat and lazy like you see in the movie. 

Digital media addiction

Unfortunately digital media addiction is already a fact. In the movie you see that the people on the ship are only communicating online. They literally don’t talk with each other. That must seem boring right? In the current digital age we are so much on our screens. I myself see that I look at my phone or laptop way too much. I noticed lately that I really don’t like it, but it’s something that is hard to control I think. We got so used to phones, tv’s and other electronics that they are hard to keep out of our daily routines. In the movie the people are brainwashed by it and it doesn’t look good. I think our digital media addiction is getting worse if we don’t do something about it. We should keep talking and meeting with others in the real world. But I do think that humans will never stop craving fysical attention so what I saw in the movie will probably not happen in real life. 

Climate change

In the movie, Earth is completely dried out and not livable anymore. The buildings are destroyed and everywhere is trash. Everything looks gray and you don’t see any blue skies. There are no plants, no animals (except a cockroach). Even space is polluted by the many satellites we placed in it! The way Earth is depicted in the movie is probably not happening, but we are already dealing with extreme weather and extreme temperature changes. I myself am not a climate expert, but this is a horrible prediction for the future. WALL-E is a trash cleaning robot. We could use something like him to clean up our oceans or our polluted cities. But the change starts with ourselves.

What have I learned from this movie?

I have learned that the movie addresses many issues that we could face in the very far far future or where we are already dealing with. The movie not only talks about a cute love story between robots, but there is also a meaning behind it. We should take care of the Earth in the way WALL-E takes care of his plant and the way he takes care of EVE. Obesity, digital media, robots, overconsumption & climate change are already facts. Not in the way you see in the movie of course. But it is a very frightening thing to think about the fact that it could be that way. In the movie they drink lunch in a cup. That sounds so disgusting! We should really think about how we want to use robots for the better good. You should really watch the movie. It’s very cute, funny and interesting. It really makes you think about these topics.

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