Pixar’s new movie Wall-E is about (SPOILER ALERT) a crass consumer culture that eventually ruins the planet by completely covering it with pointless garbage. Humanity, unable to consume itself out of an environmental crisis, moves to space, where it endlessly vacations on giant cruise-ship like habitats. The planet is governed by a huge Walmart-esque mega-store called “Buy ‘N Large.” In order to celebrate this anti-consumption message, Disney has apparently been giving out cheap plastic watches, and has launched a “Buy ‘N Large” website where you can buy movie merchandise. [Slog]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. C2D says:

    And? What’s your point?

  2. ByeBye says:

    Disney Consumer Products at it’s finest!
    What better way to advertise a movie with a cheap ass watch that is made in China and has no replaceable batteries…or, and it’s probably not bio-degradable either!

  3. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    So is that irony or just chutzpath?

  4. mike says:

    @Jaysyn: Irony.

  5. donkeyjote says:

    Ohh, social commentary in a neat little robot package…

  6. mike says:

    @Jaysyn: In the same way that Shrek 1 commercialized itself, even though the movie made fun of it.

    Didn’t finish my thought before hitting submit.

  7. sean77 says:

    johnny five is alive.

  8. donkeyjote says:

    @sean77: Johnny 5 is his great-great-great-grandfather clock.

  9. B says:

    Ratatouille had the same disconnect between the movie message and the merchandising arm.

  10. Jeangenie says:

    Actually, I think these watches are ‘recycled’. My daughter got one and it still had faint Hot Wheels flames–from an old Happy Meal promotion.

    Now the plastic wrapping and the cards for Beverly Hills Chihuaha, whole ‘nutha story.

    My fave was seeing all of the trash left behind after the film. Ah America, you kill me.

  11. B says:

    Either robotic technology has really advanced in the last week, or the BuyNLarge website isn’t real.
    [www.buynlarge.com]

  12. nfs says:

    Is this movie supposed to be pointless entertainment or are they supposed to get a message?

  13. That Buy ‘n’ Large website is hysterical, btw. Especially their privacy policy.

  14. Gopher bond says:

    The market segment of people who speak out against consumerism and conformity is a maybe-not-so-surprisingly lucrative one.

    Che T-shirts anyone?

  15. girly says:

    The only ‘consequence’ I see in this film is an apparently temporary separation from earth, and fatness.

    Apparently people will be able to do nothing and the benevolent company governing them will just take care of them.

    Also somehow science has bothered to create robots with gratuitous emotion and will fix the Earth for us but the scientists can’t figure out how to keep people from getting fat.

    Haven’t seen the movie but that’s what it sounds like so far.

  16. BlondeGrlz says:

    HA! I tried to take a picture of these to send in when I was at the movie but they were behind the glass and it didn’t come out. The kid selling the tickets obviously didn’t understand the irony.

  17. Dobernala says:

    This is like how the green movement has been co-opted by corporations. What began as intelligent people becoming critical of the environmental impact of things they purchase turned into a mass marketing campaign to convince people that it was fashionable to buy “green” alternatives to products they already owned, thus perverting the whole notion of green to begin with by encouraging more consumption.

  18. iMe2 says:

    Disney is simply doing a parody of itself, don’t you get it? Wait, what’s that shiny object? ooooooh..

  19. mxjohnson says:

    Hollywood makes movies. Kids are influenced by kids movies. Should Hollywood ever attempt to instill in my child a distaste for a life of self-absorbed lassitude? A distrust of government by corporation? A fear of rampant consumerism?

    Similarly, rich people run for president. Should we accept that a presidential candidate might actually care about poverty in America?

    I don’t care if it’s hypocritical or ironic. It certainly beats the alternative.

  20. donkeyjote says:

    @girly: Robotics and AI is easy compare to bio-chemical engineering to counteract the choice of overeating while not excersizing

  21. girly says:

    @Dobernala: Yeah, I also don’t get the concept of ‘making up’ for your consumption with some of these sites where you can buy a sense of peace about what you are doing–because some of our resources are finite and you can’t ‘make up’ for using them.

  22. redragon104 says:

    Here’s the privacy policy on the BnL website which someone mentioned above.

    From time to time we may add or enhance services available on the site to increase our market share. We will use the information you provide to increase our market share and facilitate any program that is deemed beneficial to the Buy n Large Corporation. For example, if you email us with a question, we will use your email address, name, nature of the question, etc. to assist the Buy n Large Corporation in acquiring new assets.

    There’s a ton more, but check out the site, its hilarious.

  23. girly says:

    @donkeyjote: you could probably cyborg people just enough to counteract hunger sensations, or kind of force your body to exercise, or something like that

  24. dorianh49 says:

    I thought Buy ‘n Large was trademarked by Rosie O’Donnell?

  25. donkeyjote says:

    @girly: Except that that would mean you are intentionally causing pain to get people to do something, and well meaning (good) scientists would not do that.

    Asimov’s 3 rules, for example.

  26. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Buy n Large has a great website.
    [buynlarge.com]

    I have push myself away from the PC for a minute for a bathroom break. Back soon. My new chair rolls so easily. I peaked out the window earlier, not much going on, what did people do before the internet?

  27. donkeyjote says:

    @dorianh49: She trademarked Large N In Charge…

  28. donkeyjote says:

    @IfThenElvis: Maim, murder, rape and pillage, mostly.

  29. girly says:

    @donkeyjote: why would there be pain involved?

  30. donkeyjote says:

    @girly: How else do you force someone to do something? Especially with electronics?

  31. anibundel says:

    @Jaysyn: I believe it’s called “cluelessness.”

  32. ajamison says:

    Wall*E at its core is more about disconnectedness rather than an environmental/consumerism critique. Your description of the movie is pretty simplistic.

  33. sir_pantsalot says:

    Huge corporation destroying the planet by covering it with useless garbage.

    Disney is a bit elitist and saying that their garbage is not doing any harm but everyone elses is.

  34. kmiles says:

    Did kid’s movies always have social/political agendas? Or am I just realizing it now that I’m watching them from the adult perspective??

  35. girly says:

    @donkeyjote: there are already those ridiculous belts that contract muscles.

    now there is an external way using magnetism on the brain to counteract migraines

    if we are thinking ‘future’ i’m sure that other non-painful ways to manipulate the body will be found

    and if anything, people of the future will want to look ‘good’ look at how much is invested on cosmetic surgery

    i could see the future being full of vain people who have skewed their sense of beauty to some artificial looking cosmetic surgery aesthetic.

    of course there are many possibilities

  36. Skankingmike says:

    the movie was quite good, and probably true except the robot saving us from being robots. that part will never happen.

    Wall-E was excellent social commentary.

  37. donkeyjote says:

    @kmiles: That, or moral agendas. Look at the Bugs Bunny movies. The super slow/lazy/hungry mouse is a pot head, greed kills, animal hunters are stupid, etc. I can’t think of any other “kids” movie at the moment though.

  38. Dobernala says:

    @kmiles: Yes. Sometimes its more subtle, sometimes its explicitly stated. I’d love to elaborate, but I would probably get banned from this website for pointing out some of the more taboo examples of it that involve how race relations is used in movies as propaganda against whites.

  39. donkeyjote says:

    @Skankingmike: SPOILER! :(

  40. Skankingmike says:

    @girly: your vision is that of Brazil also a great movie. Superficial robotic corporate culture.

  41. girly says:

    @Skankingmike: I’ve heard of it but never seen it–I’ll have to check it out. I did like 12 monkeys a lot

  42. Skankingmike says:

    @donkeyjote: listen Pixar makes good movies but their plots aren’t very deep.

    It’s like somebody not knowing that Nemo was going to be saved!!! or that Mike and Scully were going to get Boo back to the human world.

    which btw Monsters Inc. is by far my favorite movie by Pixar.

  43. Skankingmike says:

    @girly: If you like Terry Gilliam it is a fantastic movie, I am a huge fan of his.

    12 Monkey’s was excellent. But (and i know a lot of people hate these) love Time Bandits and Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Holy Grail was also good ;)

  44. donkeyjote says:

    @Skankingmike: But nothing in the previews would lead you to believe Wall-e was going to save humans from becoming robots. Hell, 99% of the previews didn’t even have a human or a reference to humans in it. You only see the fat guy in a sailor suit for like 2 seconds out of 3 minutes.

  45. neuracnu says:

    Dear Meg Marco,

    Thanks for the spoiler-post. :(

  46. girly says:

    @Skankingmike: Haven’t seen time bandits but Munchausen was good. Very reminiscent of ‘The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship’ (as for HG nearly died laughing at the rabbit)

  47. kmiles says:

    @donkeyjote: I was thinking that Happy Feet is another that seemed to have an agenda. Not saying I am for or against either of the movies’ agendas, just didn’t notice it until now :)

  48. Tmoney02 says:

    @Dobernala: This is like how the green movement has been co-opted by corporations

    I would revise that to say: This is like how the green movement was killed by corporations. The current green movement is a mere husk of what it was. Do you want to know the day it died and who killed it? Probably the day a company filed a patent for “Green” Styrofoam. What makes it green? Instead of taking 11 million years to decompose, the new material would take only a mere 8 million years.

    @kmiles: Oh you can find political messages in any thing. I guess it depends though on how much you agree/disagree with the message for one to notice it. Thinking back to classic disney movies:
    Bambi – Hunting Bad, Forest fires bad, makes orphoned baby dear.
    Snow white – Beware of old strangers, Embrace those with physical and emotional handicaps, especially those who are vertically handicapped.
    So on and so forth..

  49. donkeyjote says:

    @kmiles: Don’t pick on the weird kid, short people = mexicans, and animals are people too.

  50. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    The Buy n Large website is a bit unnerving.

    “Leave your news to us! Our facts are world leading.”

  51. Darklighter says:

    @ajamison: That’s exactly what I was going to say.

    @neuracnu: Dude, that’s not a spoiler. That’s the basic premise of the movie, shown in any number of trailers and commercials for the film.

  52. notallcompaniesareevil says:

    The best movie to come out of Hollywood in a long time.

    The marbles it takes to skewer your audience by ridiculing the very actions they are taking as they watch your movie (that cost $10), wow, just wow. The humans in their space chairs knocking back jumbo sodas? Everyone in the audience looks alarmingly down at his tub of popcorn and coke. But the magic of the movie is so strong, the story telling so tight and the effort so evident, the viewer finds himself hoping the film never ends, even as it ridicules the very group that is its target.

    I don’t think Disney’s promotional material is part of a grander social commentary — I think they right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. I also think this film is Pixar’s way of basically telling the world it is semi-ashamed to be part of Disney.

  53. Craig says:

    You can always eat the watch when the battery runs out.

  54. sir_pantsalot says:

    @Darklighter: I agree it is not a spoiler but I wouldn’t say it is shown in the previews. All the previews I see for any movie never tell you what the movie is about or give any clue about the plot of the movie. They try and shove a bunch of eye candy in the preview and then the ignorant public is expected to run out and see it.

  55. B says:

    Of course, if you’re bothered by the anti-consumption message, you could always focus on the religious theme instead. Or the Romantic comedy aspect of the movie. Or the technical achievements, or the film-buff allusions to movies such as 2001.

  56. What is the sound of one irony… irony-ing?

  57. So the kids have their Wall-E and we grownups have Idiocracy. I’m content.

  58. donkeyjote says:

    @Ash78: That movie was beyond idiocy. It gave me cancer from how stupid things were. Hell, the smart guy was pretty fucking retard as well.

  59. Cupajo says:

    @linus: Like rai-i-aiiiiiiin on your wedding day?

  60. Cupajo says:

    @donkeyjote: That was sort of the point. Did you actually pay attention to the whole thing?

  61. donkeyjote says:

    @Cupajo: I know that was the point. It worked too well. It just reinforced my belief that the general population = stupid.

    My main point was that the main character was pretty fucking stupid and naive as well.

  62. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    Consumerist should do a segment on Xanadou Shopping Pill:

    “…the much-heralded Xanadou pill, which BnL claims simulates the ‘euphoric shopping experience'”

  63. sean77 says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: meh, Idiocracy did it better.

  64. amed01 says:

    @notallcompaniesareevil: Isn’t this Pixar’s last film w/Disney? I seem to remember back in the Toy Story days that Pixar wanted to break from Disney, but Dis was going to hold them to their contract of X movies with them. I think this is the last one under their contract. Anyone?

  65. Tmoney02 says:

    @amed01: Nope, they signed up a brand new big contract with disney and this is the first movie released under it.

    Pixar wanted to break from Disney because Michael Eisner wanted to get incredibly hands on and forceful in making decisions about Pixar and their films. So Pixar was looking to get out ASAP. Then Michael got the boot from being CEO of Disney. When ROBERT A. IGER came in he recognized that Pixar was a Golden Goose and basically said we will give you more money and essentially complete independence if you stay with Disney. So Pixar signed a new contract.

  66. sean77 says:

    @amed01:

    I seem to remember back in the Toy Story days that Pixar wanted to break from Disney

    You remember incorrectly. In the Toy Story days, Pixar didn’t have anything to do with Disney. Disney didn’t buy Pixar until 2006.

  67. ByeBye says:

    @Tmoney02: Actually, Ratatouille was going to be on another studio, before Bob Iger renegotiated the contract…

  68. Tmoney02 says:

    @Manator Is Sorry: Ahh thanks for the correction! I watched a great documentary on the very beginnings of pixar to the present a month or two ago. I guess things are starting to get a bit hazy already.

  69. ByeBye says:

    @Tmoney02: You should watch Leslie Iwerks’s documentary “The Pixar Story” – she’s also the grand-daughter of legendary Disney Animator Ub Iwerks. :)

  70. HeartBurnKid says:

    @donkeyjote: Of course he was stupid and naive. You’re still not getting it; the whole idea was that he was the typical 21st century lazy asshole (the only smart thing about him was that he was smart enough to stay out of the way of all the other idiots). But by the 26th, everything had been dumbed down so far that he was Einstein compared to everybody else.

  71. no.no.notorious says:

    @iMe2: hahahaha i forgot the issue at hand already! them advertisementers are tricky tricky

  72. MikeGrenade says:
  73. Tmoney02 says:

    @Manator Is Sorry: 99% sure thats the one I watched. Excellent Documentary! And I want to work in a building/campus as beautiful as pixar’s.

  74. donkeyjote says:

    @amed01: Yet Steve Jobs controls both *Evil Laugh*

  75. donkeyjote says:

    @HeartBurnKid: I wouldn’t picture him as a lazy asshole. Just stupid. I mean, he was in the military and volunteered for a special project. Not exactly “lazy”

  76. atypicalxian says:

    @girly: Carbon credits has to be the scam of the century. Talk about playing on guilt. It’s not verifiable and you know somebody is taking all that “green” to the bank.

  77. Skankingmike says:

    @atypicalxian: as long as they don’t’ start selling human credits i think we’re good…..

  78. Kali Mama says:

    @Jaysyn: It’s like Finding Nemo, a movie that pictures the tribulations of fish in tanks that want to be in the ocean, resulting in near-decimation of clownfish in natural habitat because children want them as pets.

    People are functionally retarded.

  79. just saw Wall-E last night. it was amazing. but yeah, the irony of a company recently purchased for 7 billion dollars putting out an anti-consumerist film isn’t lost on this guy.

  80. HeartBurnKid says:

    @donkeyjote: No, he was “volunteered” for the project by his CO. Until then, he was perfectly happy to stay the hell out of the way of everybody else.