Consider this my scheduled rant as a Disneyland cast member, but I have been seriously considering the chilling similarities between the humans in WALL-E and the humans I encounter more and more at the happiest place on Earth. As a Christian, I try very hard not to judge the motives and other unknown factors that contribute to people needing automated wheelchair assistance in Disneyland and outside of it. HOWEVER, it is becoming more and more difficult for me not to notice how large, yet seemingly otherwise capable, many of these poor folks seem to be. So, is WALL-E a prophetic piece of societal stereotyping?
The reason why WALL-E strikes so close to home, aside from the amazing storyline of our hero and the beautiful score and art direction, is that the people on the Axiom—the people of Earth—were persuaded primarily through their passivity (and pessimism) to give up on the potentiality of a better life through hard work for the “guarantee” of an easy, accommodated life run and directed by someone else AND, in some ways, we all want this. We’d love to take the passenger position and just chill the heck out. WALL-E explores what happens when this slothful tendency is pushed to a not-so-far-out extreme.
At Disneyland and elsewhere, people in ECV’s (electronic convenience vehicles) are (rightly) not questioned as to why they need their motor transport devices, but I very much hope that the query occurs to them as it does to the Captain in WALL-E. I’m not trying to cast hateful sentiments toward anyone who needs wheelchair assistance, but I am genuinely concerned for anyone who may choose to use an electronic wheelchair for convenience and inevitably sacrifice their humanity in the process. We have drastically dichotomized parts of the spectrum, with gym-aholics starkly contrasted with Homer Simpsons (and I’m talking about King-Size Homer who gains 61 pounds to go on disability and not have to work).
So, are we living on the Axiom? I don’t know, but self-reflection, love and honesty were what helped the Captain of the Axiom realize his situation and the same could work for anyone in the position the humans there found themselves in. If you aren’t using an ECV or even overweight, are you letting life pass you by because it’s easier? Are you taking the well-trodden path because it’s less intimidating or are you going along with the flow of events in your life because to do otherwise would be scary or difficult? I know I have done just that many times.
I am grateful for the technological advances, such as ECV’s, which allow many guests to enjoy Disneyland who otherwise could not. I only hope that the devices would not hinder anyone from living their life to the fullest. If this entire article seems too controversial, I came to it from a very successful Pixar film and so I defer all complaints to their inbox.
Too much garbage in your face? There’s plenty of space out in space! BnL StarLiners leaving each day. We’ll clean up the mess while you’re away.