Maybe so! We've already learned to expect overall awesomeness from Pixar, even when a movie's concept seems a little off-putting. (As in: "A sewer rat cooking food in a French restaurant.") So we were prepared to believe that even a dystopian science-fiction movie about the last robot on earth — a robot who looks suspiciously like Johnny Five — would be turned into populist magic by the Pixar wizards. But is it possible that Wall-E's over-the-top advance reviews are correct, and this truly is a masterpiece?
Harry Knowles, naturally, goes a little crazy on this one, but his breathless review ("one of the absolute best hard science fiction films made in my adult life"), combined with excerpts from other early viewers' responses, are impressive even by Harry's standards. You sort of have to pay attention to it, in the way you'd still pay attention to the Boy Who Cried Wolf if he screamed right in your ear.
And even with the movie's somewhat audience-unfriendly concept, there's speculation that Wall-E might reverse Pixar's recent box-office decline. Jim Hill Media reports that internal Disney tracking has the movie doing about 30 percent better domestically than Ratatouille did, which — while still lower than Finding Nemo — would be pretty damn good for a mostly silent movie about a waste-disposal robot alone on the ruins of Planet Earth.