During the film

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During the film Wall-E the dominant and most common theme is responsibility, this is shown through multiple points in; the Earth, the Axiom and the Passengers. There are visual, dialogical and musical techniques that all attribute to the main point of irresponsibility during the entire film.

Planet Earth in Wall-E is a prime example of what happens if we don’t show enough care for our environment and our ecosystem. On Earth, the thick, smoggy atmosphere shows decades of ruthless pollution and toxicity, skyscrapers of compressed rubbish tower above the streets, casting an ominous shadow. Ariel shots capture the sheer size of rubbish and clutter. Resembling a barren wasteland away from the city, the Earth is similar to desert, giving off haziness to give a dirty, multi-directional lighting visual technique. One of the dialogue techniques used in Wall-E gives an impact on their irresponsibility with their planet; “Operation Cleanup has…failed…rising toxicity levels have made life unsustainable on Earth.” – Shelby Forthright, BnL CEO. Years and years of pollution, gives off the effect that their world is a damaged, slum-like shell, this in comparison to the Axiom makes Earth look primitive and destroyed. Similar to that of a post apocalyptic disaster, events such as sandstorms and lightning storms give off a feeling of danger. The settings of Earth show what can happen if we don’t care for our environment, the haziness caused by a toxic atmosphere and the towers of rubbish replicate that of our future if we don’t clean our planet up.

On the Axiom, technology fixes everybody’s problems, without them having to do a thing, rendering them inert, lazy and irresponsible for themselves and Earth. People rely on technology for anything aboard the Axiom, be it ‘exercise’ or communication. A good example of this is the hoverchair that carries the passengers; their responsibility for their own exercise is eliminated in the film. The hoverchair emphasizes the irresponsibility for any and all basic activities, such as; walking, socializing and entertaining. An example of their dialogue technique is when the Captain says; Out there is our home…Auto. And it's in trouble. I can't just sit here and-and-do nothing…that's all anyone on this blasted ship has ever done. Nothing!” The examples listed give us a good insight into what can happen if we aren’t responsible with our technology, the Captain’s quote states that they have done nothing but sit by and let their planet die. This gives an impact on how much technology has distracted them, and allows them to sit idle. The setting of the Axiom is focused on technology, almost all of the shots showing a passenger, include them having technology do regular things that they would be doing themselves, this shows just how irresponsible we can be with technology if we take it too far. The film’s techniques to show how irresponsible people can be with technology give us a good insight into what can happen if we are too lazy.

While on the Axiom, the passengers have allowed themselves to decay and become extremely obese; their lack of self control has lead them to being like this in the film, making them irresponsible for themselves. Aboard the Axiom, one of the first things Wall-E see’s is a wide shot of an intersection of obese passengers; these passengers are distracted and ignorant of everything going on around them. The film tells us that the Hoverchair was originally meant for the elderly in this dialogue technique; “Spend your five year cruise in style…with our all-access hoverchairs, even grandma can join the fun! There's no need to walk!” – Buy n Large Commercial. This shows us how much their have become self reliant on their technology rather than themselves. After 650-ish years of not walking, they have become fat and lazy. The passengers are shown to be too lazy to even eat their food, and as such they drink it out of a cup. This gives a bigger effect of reliance of machines rather than one’s self in the film Wall-E. The passengers in the film are one of the best examples in Wall-E that we should look after ourselves, if we are irresponsible about our own care and rely too heavily on machines rather than ourselves we can end up like them.

Throughout the entire film of Wall-E there is lack of responsibility being shown though multiple points; desolate Earth shows irresponsibility for our planet, hoverchairs are a symbol of irresponsibility for ourselves, and technology running the passengers lives shows irresponsibility for technology. The film summarizes that if we aren’t responsible, we could turn out like the Passengers of the Axiom.

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