good night oppyabout a NASA rover that has been alone on Mars for 15 years, won the Critics’ Choice documentary feature award (although it was not an Oscar finalist). Wally2008 Pixar film directed by Andrew Stanton.
The idea for an intergalactic story came from a 1994 Pixar lunch meeting. It was there that the concepts of some of the studio’s biggest hits first took shape. The premise was, “What if humanity leaves Earth and someone forgets to turn off the last robot?” Wally is a garbage collector tasked with cleaning up the chaos after humanity abandoned Earth. His routine is shaken up when he befriends Eve, a sophisticated robot sent to find evidence that life is sustainable again. Following Eve in her spaceship, Wally becomes embroiled in a mission that will determine the fate of mankind.
When the movie was pitched, we all knew, ‘No one would allow us to make a movie like that,'” Stanton said. THR November 2008. “I tried very hard not to follow any conventions. I just tried to represent this film as faithfully as possible,” he said. “If it breaks people’s conventional thinking about what an animated movie or a sci-fi movie is, that’s great. That’s why I go to the cinema: to surprise and entertain in a whole new way.”
Audiences and critics had just that reaction: Wally It opened in June 2008 and has grossed $521.3 million worldwide (currently $720.8 million). THRreview called it “a whimsical sci-fi fantasy about robots 800 years in the future, with all the heart, soul, spirit and romance of the best silent films of 60 years ago.”
That December, the Los Angeles Critics Association Wally Best Picture of the Year — For the first time in the organization’s 34-year history, an animated feature film has won the accolade. In February 2009, it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (nominated in five other categories, including Original Screenplay).
“For me, it’s completely innocent of how excited I was to be moved by movies as a kid, and the opportunity to do it for someone else is such a privilege,” Stanton said. “If only I had the right movie, I’d be 10 again and be a part of it.”
This story first appeared in the January independent issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe to receive the magazine.