Similar Movies?

What would you tell someone if they asked for recommendations for a movie that is similar to WALL•E?

I would have to tell them that it’s like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial crossed with Short Circuit, with a bit of old-school Star Wars thrown in. There are also similarities between WALL•E and Finding Nemo, since it is the same director and all.

I was watching E.T. the other day, and there’s just something about E.T. and WALL•E that make them so alike, apart from the acronym first names. I think it’s the big eyes, the naivety, plus the fact Ben Burtt had a hand in the voice design for both characters. If you haven’t seen E.T. in a while, you simply have to. Such a classic.

Like what you already mentioned, rachelcakes, and a bit like Inspector Gadget 2, because of the “robots in love” concept, and also because Inspector Gadget would represent WALL-E in a way, and G2 is like EVE because she is newer and more futuristic than the lead character, but still falls for him.

E.T. is the movie most often likened to our Tonka-like friend. He is the same size, goes on the run from the authorities, gets ‘sick’, gets better. But his face and body really have only superficial resemblances. Probably the most similar characteristic is the lack of speaking, just a few words here and there. E. T. the movie did not involve either animation or romance or heavy comedy, but was sci-fi (just barely), some comedy and was also an adventure. There weren’t any kids interacting with Wall-E, no dog and no M&M’s (but I’m munching on them right now, and if Wall-E had to eat, he would love them too). With E.T. there wasn’t any post-apocalyptic earth either, or even any sort of apocalypse, just a sick extraterrestial. Suburban vs. urban. Both were cute and naive, although I have to admit I didn’t really enjoy the E.T. movie that much. The creature in E.T. just didn’t appeal much to me and the storyline wasn’t very complicated, involved, challenging, fun, etc… Saw it twice. Maybe your right, rachelcakes, another viewing is in order.

Wall-E had a romance and went to outer space. E.T. had a romance of sorts with the local neighborhood kids.

I have heard WALL•E compared to 2001: A Space Odyssey, with AUTO being a kind of HAL 9000 type character. I haven’t seen it though, so I don’t really know.

Although, I do know this… note the music used in the scene [spoil]where AUTO and the Captain are struggling over control of the ship. (When it goes sideways.) RIght before he shuts AUTO off, when the Captain stands up[/spoil] - they play the same music that was used in 2001.

  • C-3PO

Yep, AUTO is a direct reference to HAL 9000, they basically have the same “eye” and the same motivations. One film I will caution isn’t like WALL-E even though people say it is: Silent Running. It has an environmental message and robots, but it is not WALL-E, not at all. Here’s a list of films that I think compare:

2001: A Space Odyssey (only for AUTO’s story and the minimal dialogue).
E.T. (ET and WALL-E sharing somewhat similar traits)

I actually think Short Circuit is the antithesis of WALL-E. Besides the fact that they really do look nothing alike, the films are entirely different as are the attitudes and mannerisms of the robots.

One movie that is only rarely mentioned as a Wall-E look-a-like is the Robots movie from a few years back. Silly robots with smiles and talkie talkie. Stanton spent years developing Wall-E while the creators of the … picture were still carrying their lunchbox to school.

People have also mentioned a movie or show called Johnny 9 or such, not sure exactly what it is, with some sort of robot that looks superficially like Wall-E. Other robot movies had their lead character as an android, not a real robot, such as A.I. and the Robin Williams movie set in San Francisco under the bridge. No one ever mentions these films as reminding them of Wall-E. But it seems that Star Wars,another Ben Burtt creation, is often mentioned. In that movie a few sounds, and I stress just a few, are similar, but that’s it. Anyone who says that Wall-E borrows from those bots is full of it. But it is amusing that R2-D2 looks more like a vacuum canister than anything else, a function not too far from trash compactor.

I’m sure that Stanton sailed a course of making sure his movie didn’t appear to borrow much from any of these…

It’s Johnny 5, he’s the robot from Short Circuit. If anyone needs proof that they look absolutely nothing alike, here’s a side-by-side:

Similarities: treads…

And I can’t see any others. The eyes, arms, torso (especially this) and mannerisms are all completely different.

I actually think E.T. is a more endearing character than WALL•E, in some ways. I just find him really cute, and his expressions are adorable and not as limited as WALL•E’s expressions. Having said that, WALL•E is as teeth-rottingly sweet as can be.

As DarkHand said, both of them are a fish-out-of-water and interact with things they are unsure of, and affect people without even knowing it. It never even struck me that they both get sick then get better. That’s a good observation. It was Reese’s Pieces that was in E.T, not M&Ms (although M&Ms are much yummier.)

Short Circuit was a movie from the '80s. I loved it when I young, but it’s not that great of a movie, really, when you take away its nostalgic value. When I first saw a picture of WALL•E, he did strike me as another Johnny 5 because it’s not too often that you see robots like that who have starring roles. They have the same treads, and they both have lasers. Now I can see the difference, but I think that Andrew would have to have been influenced by Short Circuit somewhat. He said in an interview he wasn’t, but he had seen the movie in the past and admitted that it was possible he was subconsciously influenced. There’s another thread dedicated to the similarities between WALL•E and Johnny 5 somewhere that I really need to get writing in.

The only time in WALL•E that reminds me of Star Wars is when the Axiom Return Vehicle is being pushed in by those two… things. I can’t explain why as, apart from the music, I’m not much of a big fan of Star Wars films, but I understand the appeal. R2-D2 reminds me of WALL•E being that R2 seems to have a lot of character despite the limited vocabulary, and Ben Burtt doing the “voice” for both adds to the resemblance. Andrew Stanton said himself he wanted to make R2-D2 the Movie.

Someone else on this forum mentioned that AUTO reminded them of a character (or object?) from Disney’s 1986 film, Flight of the Navigator. I can see the similarities.

Besides E.T., Short Circuit, Star Wars and 2001 as others have mentioned, I’d also recommend Hello Dolly, City Lights, Treasure Planet, I Robot, and Silent Running.

Hello Dolly is pretty obvious, since its songs and footage have been heavily featured in the film. But Stanton and Co. made a brilliant choice in choosing this film, because (mild spoilers) the movie actually parallels Wall-E in many plot themes. The impetus to go out of your comfort zone and explore the world, the sheer wonder of love at first sight, that money and wealth should not take precedence over friendship and love, and to be sweet and kind to everyone (as personified by Streissand’s adorable Dolly Levi). It is also quite possibly the happiest musical I’ve witnessed (props to the amazing Gene Kelly for the jaw-dropping choreography and the awesome Louis Armstrong for singing the cheerful title song)

City Lights is another good choice, as Stanton and Co. may have been inspired by Chaplin’s silent antics, and this movie is also a good shadow of Wall-E’s plotline. In a nutshell, Chaplin’s signature character, The Tramp meets a pretty but blind flowergirl and instantly falls in love with her. She mistakes him for a rich person and is attracted to him. Through a series of comical misadventures with a businessman he saves from suicide who only remembers him when inebriated, The Tramp endeavours to come up with the money to save his sweetheart from home eviction, and ultimately win her heart. The ending is particularly poignant and touching.

Treasure Planet bears many similarities to Wall-E’s space-opera aesthetics, and as one of the last 2-D/3-D animated hybrids from the studio (at least until Princess and the Frog) it’s worth a look at for its stunning visuals and whimsical steam-punk take on the classic Treasure Island. The dialogue is witty, the scenery captivating, and the action sequences riveting. Of interest to Wall-E fans should be the malfunctioning robot, B.E.N., whose initialized name and quirky nature should prove appealing. Even his eyes bear a slight resemblance to Wall-E’s.

I Robot bears no resemblance whatsoever to Asimov’s landmark sci-fi book (of which I’ve read, and is remarkably excellent in imbuing robots with human personalities and feelings) besides the appearance of Dr Susan Calvin and Sonny the sentient android. Nevertheless, if you can look beyond the requisite mind-numbing gunfights and car chases, there are some pretty interesting themes touched on, like the Robot Singularity and the possibility of robot rebellion (with an AUTO-like villain to boot) and of course, Asimov’s infamous Three Laws of Robotics.

Silent Running is the only one I have yet to see, but apparently it’s also an inspiration for Wall-E. A botanist on board a spaceship harbouring Earth’s last nature reserves goes renegade when he is instructed to jettison his beloved forests and return home. Accompanied only by three robots, he ponders the fate of his last pocket of nature and the murders of his fellow crew members in this far-looking speculative film. It sounds quite similar to the Captain’s fight with AUTO over the saving of Earth, and apparently the wordless robots are just as expressive as the ones in Wall-E. It was also the inspiration for Mystery Science Theatre, which I’m just as interested to see.

Whew! So yeah, that’s a fairly long post there. I’m now on a Wall-E inspired film rally now, I’ve borrowed the first three from my library, and I’ve just loaned 2001 yesterday with plans to watch it in the coming days. I’m really want to watch Silent Running, but unfortunately they only got a VHS copy! If only Wall-E could loan me his player. :smiley:

I’d argue that the robot from Flight was inspired (at least th eye) by HAL 9000, and HAL 9000 is what inspired AUTO, so just a coincidence there. Plus the computer in Flight talks like Pee Wee Herman, so yeah…not AUTO there.

You have a whole list of robot movies at Ranker. My personal favorite one’s are wall-e and Real steel.