- What if mankind had to leave Earth and somebody forgot to turn off the last robot?
- —Andrew Stanton, during a lunchtime brainstorming session at Pixar in 1994
From this simple question evolved WALL-E, an animated feature from Pixar-Disney. In the early 2800s, Earth has been abandoned by humanity for about 700 years, after we managed to pollute the planet badly enough that mass evacuation to space became necessary. Left behind to clean up the mess is our hero, WALL-E, a trash-compacting robot—originally one of quite possibly millions, but in the end the only one to remain functional after he developed the sense to take shelter when the weather takes a turn for the vindictive (meaning landscape-covering gritstorms). His 700-year routine, however, is broken when a sleek white spaceship descends from the sky and leaves behind EVE, another robot sent back to Earth by the humans to see if the place has become capable of habitation again. WALL-E falls in love literally at first sight, and so begins a romance that seems taken right out of a musical.
Which is fitting, since WALL-E learned most of his ideas about love and emotion from a cassette of the musical Hello, Dolly!.
The film was an instant hit, and features an extremely solid story in addition to the stellar "camerawork" Pixar has become known for. For the PPC, this also meant that it began attracting fanwriters—usually attracted (as it were) to the textbook woobie that is the film's hero. WALL-E is unsurprisingly common territory for timewarp!Sues; while there are in fact humans in the movie (though we don't see them until slightly over halfway through), they're all fat and pudgy due to 700 years of sedentary living on board spaceships, and being anything even remotely close to overweight is so anathema to Mary Sues that even the thought is worth an over-drawn-out shudder.