Self-driving cars. Humans glued to the screens of their devices. Trash everywhere. One company to rule them all. Sound familiar? Either you just watched the 2008 Pixar hit Wall-E, or you simply looked at the ever-changing world around us. Debuting at a time when the economy hit its lowest point since the Great Depression, the dystopian society surrounding everyone’s favorite hardworking robot scared many with its foreboding predictions. But before humans actually admit that Wall-E predicted the future and director Andrew Stanton’s garbage-covered, humanless Earth of the year 2805 becomes a reality, we must take action for the sake of our planet.
Have you recycled today? If not, you could be one of the many people pushing our planet closer to the garbage-infested, greenless prediction in Pixar’s Wall-E. Skyscrapers are replaced with prominent mountains of garbage that stretch higher than the clouds, a feat made simple once mass consumerism took over. Insects are considered a rarity as the natural resources necessary to fuel the world’s bug population have all but vanished. Wall-E, the hardworking yet innocent robot, spends his days condensing the stray piles of garbage as he adds to the growing mountains of waste.
Garbage disposal is already a major issue in our country, as Americans alone account for more than 1,600 pounds of garbage per person per year. Nearly 1,200 pounds of that waste is organic, meaning it can be composted instead. We continue to litter our communities with artificial products and toxic substances. It’s only a matter of time before a lovable, worn-down robot named Wall-E shows up on your doorstep asking you to collect your belongings and board the Axiom. Always remember to reuse, reduce, and recycle!
It’s no secret that the years of handwritten letters and romantic phone calls are nearly over, having been replaced with abbreviated text messages that barely resemble actual language usage. The obese humans that first consumed the trash that put Wall-E the robot into business have taken this trend to the next level. Pod-like cars transport the obese population, equipped with a screen that obstructs the passenger’s line of vision. The dependent riders sit back and travel the predetermined streets of the Axiom while drinking enormous "Buy 'n Large" bottles. The humans of Wall-E are at the will of the mass-producing corporation as they spend their days watching B 'n L ads, consuming B 'n L products, and staying locked to their B 'n L screens.
Take a walk into any local park, restaurant, or public place and you’ll find a sight similar to this prediction. The era of the smart phone is well upon us, pushing users’ eyes deep into the trenches of their devices. Social media, internet browsing, Pokémon Go, and whatever people desire appear at their fingertips within a matter of seconds. It seems like a wonderful thing—until Wall-E actually predicts the future—and the thin line between reality and technology continues its imminent blurring into oblivion.
While the individual pod-like cars that roam the world of Wall-E seem useful in practice, it only takes a glance at the obese figures inside of them to make any person gag. The self-driving transportation devices allow for easy travel plans, but they come at the expense of adding an extra zero to your weight. Captain McCrea, head of a star-liner named the Axiom that floats aimlessly through space, learns this the hard way by observing the literal growth of the captains before him. Chiseled faces and muscular arms turn to quadruple chins and rolls of skin that resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy.
If this prediction doesn’t pressure you to head outside and take a lap around the neighborhood, Google’s advanced smart car just might. The self-driving automobile has driven more than one million miles without a human driver, placing all its confidence in the technology behind the car. While we might be more than a few years away from overwhelming our roads with computers, this smart car, and the imminent ones to follow, are eerily similar to the pods in Wall-E. With Tesla and several other companies setting their sights on self-driving cars in the near future, this prediction just might force you to walk to work tomorrow instead of mindlessly driving as your waistline continues to grow.
One Company to Rule Them All
Small businesses no longer paint the streets in the futuristic world of Wall-E. One company hijacks the world of consumerism: Buy 'n Large. This company rapidly takes over every aspect of the humans’ daily lives. Rather than specializing in one department, B 'n L stretches its roots across all platforms as people become dependent upon their products. Mass consumerism is not always a bad thing, however. Amazon, Apple, and Google are just a couple of the names of major corporations that have stretched their roots across countless different platforms. These revolutionary companies have taken the planet by storm. Their user-friendly devices and customer loyalty are unopposed. But what happens when Amazon starts bottling the sodas we drink? Or Google takes over the oil industry?
There’s a reason our planet is filled with so many different companies: autonomy. If Apple took over every aspect of our lives, small businesses would become part of the distant past. Differentiation among companies is a good thing, as it allows specialization in products and for people to make their own distinct choices regarding their daily lives. The day that Target renames itself “Buy n Large” is the day we’ll all know to start packing our things, as Wall-E will have predicted the future.
Preparing for a Brighter Future
Although the world of Wall-E is set in 2085, our careless, waste-driven society might convince you that Pixar’s Wall-E predicted the future. The garbage-filled, mucky Earth destroyed by mass consumerism and the sheer appetite of its inhabitants looks eerily similar to the destruction of our own environment. Toxic waste continues to pollute the natural world around us, killing trees and hopes of a greener future simultaneously. The largest corporations of the world continue to grow, as more aspects of our lives are shoved under the umbrellas of Amazon, Apple, and so on. Futuristic self-driving cars are starting to look a lot less futuristic as Google, Tesla, and several other companies make strides toward a computer-driven automobile. As our smart phones grow smarter and our attention spans grow weaker, society as a whole continues to immerse itself in the devices in front of us.
The geniuses behind Pixar’s hit animated film created more than just a lovable, rusty robot designed to clean garbage. They formulated a warning about society as we continue to eat more and care less about the natural world. Before we’re sent off to destroy another planet with our massive appetites and harmful practices, we must take note of the charming and telling Wall-E.