A solitary robot marooned on Earth to clean up after the humans have gone to live in a spaceship, WALL•E finds small joys in doing an impossible job well and salvaging the kitsch treasures — a spork, a Rubik’s Cube, a Beta tape of the movie Hello, Dolly! — that humans have left behind. The boxy little robo-guy (metallic voice supplied by genius sound-sculptor Ben Burtt) has so much love to give, it’s only natural that he should fall for the first female he meets: a sleek machine named EVE. A romance and an adventure, like all Pixar movies, director Andrew Stanton’s masterpiece here represents the decade’s full Pixar oeuvre, including Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille and Up. It also stands in for all the glories of animation, whether CGI, traditional or stop-motion, that provided the greatest measure of joy in the new cinematic millennium.
Top 10 Movies of the 2000s
TIME's Richard Corliss names the best films of the decade, from an epic fantasy trilogy to a controversial documentary.