WALL-E, the new Pixar movie, is the perfect anthropomorphic attachment story. It’s also a great movie and funny as hell. The first half, and most of the rest is an amost silent movie. Our hero, is a trash compactor robot who lives with an indestructible and graceful cockroach for company. He watches “Hello Dolly” video daily for 700 years while creating pyramids of trash on an empty, toxic Earth. When a probe robot, EVE, shows up, his latent “right brain” capacity for attachment is awakened. He wakes hers up, too. And the robots’ attempts to follow their directives and their robot “hearts” save the human race. And did I say it’s funny? And if I were Walmart, I’d sue Pixar. The world was run and destroyed by an enormous retail conglomerate that turned humans into docile, inert, disconnected babies.
Pixar’s brilliance turns ugly monsters, toys, animals, fish, and trash compactors into seekers of love, connection, and attachment. At the end of every movie, they list the babies of the production crew. Yes they are technically brilliant, Yes, they know how to write compelling narrative. But they know how to create characters who make the movements, vocalizations, and gestures of yearning and connection. My husband and I were delighted to find ourselves weeping during the lost and found moments of this movie. While our left brains delighted in the subversive construction of the corporate run future, our right brains were constantly engaged with the growing intersubjectivity between machines and machines, machines and people, and finally, people and people. (Intersubjectivity: when you know that I know that you know that we’re feeling the same thing at the same time. It’s what makes attachment, and therapeutic repair of attachment deficits, work.)
See it. Take the kids, if any. They won’t get the corporate jokes, if they’re little, but the giggles and cries of alarm around me let me know they got the important stuff. And I think there’s a message about rampant consumerism in there, somewhere.