Hollywood’s legendary movie palace, the first home of Spoken Drama, the El Capitan (6838 Hollywood Blvd.) comes back to life as it shows the new Pixar computer generated comedy, Wall-E.
Set in a time (we hope) in the very distant future, when Earth has no longer become inhabitable for humans, one lone robot Wall-E (Waste Allocation Loads Lifter Earth Class) (played by Ben Buritt) has decided that it misses humans and endearingly plays a much loved tape of Hello Dolly, while he is collecting various knick knacks left behind as the earthlings fled. His only friend is a cockroach. But Wall-E has hope that something will happen.
Busy with his daily chores and his friend, the cockroach, Wall-E longs for love just like in the movie he watches, but, of course, there is no one else here on earth whom he can communicate with. Therein lies one of the problems with the movie since there is no dialogue for almost the first half of the movie when attention must be paid to the slightest expressions on the robot’s face. Several of the smaller kids near me who did not seem to understand the meanings and emotions that we were supposed to feel for the robot and his friend Eva. They feel asleep for the first part and woke only when the conversation started.
When a probe named Eva ( Elissa Knight) is sent down to see if there are any life forms on earth, Wall-E immediately falls in love and idolizes Eva to the point that he is willing to protect the probe from all storms and problems of nature. When Wall-e gives his new friend a prize of a little plant that he has found in his travels, Eva is ecstatic. This is her mission - to find life on earth.
The ship returns for Eva and Wall-E, not wanting to lose his friend, hitches a ride.
Wall –E is determined to see Eva safe and in the process meets humans whom he creates a love bond for - Mary (Kathy Najimy) and John ( John Ratzenberger)
Taken to the captain ( Jeff Garlin), who has done nothing on the ship for the last 700 years since they left earth, Eva insists that this is a prize worthwhile. The main computer( Sigourney Weaver), however, having received instruction from BnL's CEO ( Fred Willard) that the ship was to never again return to earth, does its best to be rid of Eva, Wall-e and the plant. Despite it all, the plant survives and at the very last minute, the captain is able to overcome the computer, place the plant into the helm of the ship and guide them all back to Earth to start over a new life.
While it seemed hard for the kids in the audience to understand the message of global warming was clearly heard by the adults as was the message that our basic powers and natures will be atrophied if we continue to allow the robots to do for us rather than thinking ourselves. In all, it seemed more of a movie for the adults than the kids but Wall-e is endearing as is Eva and it most likely be a hit.
The movie, itself, shown on state of the art projection systems, is the latest film by Academy Award winning writer director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo.) The film was produced by Jim Morris and executive produced by John Lasseter.
Before the show we enjoyed “ Disney’s Flights of Fantasy” -- an all new musical dance show featuring characters from Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Lion King, Lilo and Stitch, Alice in Wonderland, Fantasia, Bug’s Life, Monsters, Cars and Toy Story. The costumed dancers thrilled the kids in the audience with the theme songs from these hit shows. Kids also enjoyed the light and color show done by NASA and JPL.
Built in 1926, the grand theatre has been restored to its Spanish colonial elegance by architect G Albert Lansburgh and has kept up its tradition of the mid-show entertainment.
The older ones in the audience are transported to Saturday mornings at the movies with the organ playing. On the impressive new Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ, Rob Richards played delightful tunes from Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, and many other Disney favorites.
This is done before each and every show.
Right next door to the theater is the new Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store where the audience can buy miniatures from the various movies, DVDs and enjoy a Wall-E sundae - vanilla ice cream, resting on brownie treads and a chocolate mold of Wall-E’s eyes to complete this original treat.
This special engagement of Wall –E runs from June 27th through August 27th. While other theaters will run the movie, only those going to the El Capitan will experience the old fashioned charm of the pipe organ and the new dance show, as well. Ticket prices for this unique treat run from $12-26 and all the kids enjoyed the show.
For tickets call 1-800-DISNEY6 or www.elcapitantickets.com or call 818 845 3110 for groups of 20 or more. Daily show times are 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 9:45 pm.