“700 years into the future mankind will leave our planet,” announces the husky voiced narrator of the WALL*E preview. Oh, so does that mean womankind and transkind will be sticking around on old mother earth? Apparently not, according to the imagery in the video. The only ‘life’ left appears to be WALL*E HIMSELF – yeah, because didn’t you know robots have to subscribe to the gender binary, too?
Early in the preview, WALL*E purviews the trash-filled landscape of earth and a bra blows into his face, covering his eyes. Ah, what a nice metaphor for the boobified view of the male-gaze. If this image doesn’t scream “poor WALL*E needs him some sexually objectified female-bot to satisfy HIS HETERO NEEDS,” I don’t know what does.
Poor WALL*E is lonely (we learn as he glimpses some heteronormative scene on TV) but “At last my love” EVE arrives. (YES, she is flipping named EVE for goddessake!) Looking like a large white tampon with blue eyes, or perhaps a roboticized white penguin, Eve has a female voice and, as the preview hints, she and WALL*E fall in love. They are seen sitting on a bench holding hands with a heart that reads “WALL*E + EVE” lasered into a nearby trash can. Sigh. Gotta love the originality of heteronormative gender socialization pixar-style.
If this film involves WALL*E somehow ‘saving’ EVE I am going to toss my popcorn. Or, if EVE brings about the ‘fall’ of humankind I may just have to altogether renounce my soft spot for Pixar films. Woody – I love you – but you never treated Bo Peep that well anyhow!
I am far from knowledgeable on sci-fi and robot representation, but I am wondering, any cyber readers out there know of robotic representations that are gender variant and/or queer? Don’t know about you, but I think C3PEO and R2-D2 would make a cute couple. Better yet, how about some robot loving that defies the gendered/hetero/coupledom set up altogether? Doubt we will see it anytime soon at the Cineplex, certainly not when viewing WALL*E by the looks of it.