Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Yesterday I went to see Disney/Pixar’s new animated motion picture WALL-E (or more correctly WALL·E), released on June 27, 2008. I had seen previews for the new film for many months, and had just recently heard that the critics were heralding the movie as one of the best of the year, perhaps even the best that Pixar Animation has ever produced. Indeed, our local Deseret News movie critic Jeff Vice said it’s “the best-looking of all the Pixar animated features to date” . RottenTomatoes.com currently has a 97% approval rating on the film , and IMDB has it ranked the 19th best movie of all time . The eminent Roger Ebert even gave it 3 1/2 stars . But there is more to this story.
First let me say that I love Pixar movies. Since I was young I’ve had a fascination with computer graphics. My career dream was to work for Walt Disney or Pixar producing computer graphic films. I even interned and worked for a couple prominent computer graphics companies in Utah valley. At BYU I decided that I wanted to go into design more than animation, but I know several people who graduated in Animation, and even have a friend who currently works at Pixar. My work in and fascination with computer graphics hasn’t ceased, and I have been enthralled by the high caliber of films that Pixar and other Hollywood studios produce.
My opinion of the computer graphics in WALL-E hasn’t changed. It is perhaps the most exquisite computer-generated film ever made, with some scenes so realistic that you sometimes forget you’re seeing a computer-generated image. And the human emotions that the animators were able to convey in the characters is astonishing. But, as you may have gathered from my title, I have a real concern with a certain element of WALL-E. The message.
The movie is set 700 years in the future, at a time when humans have had to leave the planet in a space shuttle because toxicity and garbage levels have grown so high as to make our planet inhospitable for any life. Earth has been destroyed by humanity. WALL-E is a robot left behind on Earth whose job it is to clean up the garbage left behind by the humans. As a miniature trash compactor he goes around collecting garbage, compressing it within his body into perfect squares, dumping it out, and then arranging it into skyscraper-like piles. His daily routine is interrupted when the space shuttle sends back a probe to see if Earth is a viable living place again. The probe, named EVE, is another robot who becomes friends (and a love interest) with WALL-E. When WALL-E gives EVE a green plant he found, a journey ensues back to the space shuttle to inform the humans that they can finally return to Earth. Back on the space shuttle the humans, we find out, have degenerated into obese, brainless, boneless, fast food slurping, bedridden, entertainment obsessed, insociable, instantly gratified, indolent, endlessly pampered, sterile, computer-controlled drones. Eventually the humans recognize they need to return to Earth, and after some struggles with the omnipotent and mutinous artificial intelligence that runs the ship, they are able to return. When they arrive back to Earth they recolonize it.
What I say here might be blasted by the more liberal-minded, but I feel it needs to be discussed. Contrary to Jeff Vice’s note that “the ecological and environmental messages in [this] story are not nearly as strident and overpowering as they could have been” , I personally could not focus on hardly anything else! While I perfectly understand that it is a fictional story, the moral undertones could not have been stronger. I don’t believe I have seen a more liberally charged or politically correct motion picture than WALL-E. It could have just as easily been written by Al Gore and entitled “An Inconvenient Truth 2: The Space Years.” Our exceedingly environmentally sensitive society has bought into the campaign that our human “species” is destroying the Earth, and that we are in imminent danger of disaster. I believe WALL-E is another card in the deck of fear-mongering tactics employed by our common Enemy to get power, money, control, oppress mankind with false “prophets,” and terrorize prior to the return of the Savior.
Those are pretty strong words, Bryce. Yes, they are. Let me give you another example of a card in this deck which is not as easily masked as a children’s movie. Mail Online in the UK published an article in November of 2007 entitled, “Meet the women who won’t have babies – because they’re not eco friendly.” The intro reads:
Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers – and a voice calling her Mummy.
But the very thought makes her shudder with horror.
Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet. 
Vernelli works for an environmental charity, and was so horrified of having children that she got an abortion and at age 27 was sterilized in order to ensure that she could “protect the planet.” She believes having children is selfish because the “carbon footprint” and “over-population” that they produce on the planet will eventually prove its destruction, and as such children are a “sinister threat to the future.” Children only “add to the problem” of of our environmentally-challenged Earth. She claims that through her work she has met countless other environmentalists who share her view of saving the planet rather than having a family. It is immoral, she says, “to give birth to a child that I felt strongly would only be a burden to the world.” A life without children has proven quite a luxury for Vernelli, who travels regularly with her husband to the most exotic places on Earth.
The news story also talks about another couple, the Hudsons, who also share a similar lifestyle of protecting the planet from pollution by abstaining from having children. Mr. Hudson shares:
It would be morally wrong for me to add to climate change and the destruction of Earth…. Sarah and I don’t need children to feel complete. What makes us happy is knowing that we are doing our bit to save our precious planet. 
This is the kind of lifestyle and philosophy that the movie WALL-E is promoting; if we don’t “go green,” we will destroy our planet to a point where it will become inhospitable and we will become nothing more than a degenerated race of homo sapiens, if it doesn’t make us go extinct first.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe an important part of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the dominion that man has been given over the Earth and the living things upon it (Gen. 1:26, 28). That dominion means that we have a vital stewardship to take care of the animals and all living things upon the face of the earth. It does not mean that we flippantly overrun, overpollute, and care less for an inferior earth. But as with many tools of the adversary, Satan loves to take things that are good and turn them bad. His method for doing this is expertly subtle. He takes the commandments of God and turns them on their head, a perfect mingling of the philosophies of men with the principles of God (notice the Adam & Eve and Noah’s ark elements). Having a stewardship of the earth does not mean that we give up our freedom, our life, liberty, property, and family (Alma 46:12–13). Such an overarching and overzealous concern for the Earth is worldly, most literally, and is the religion of environmentalism rather than the religion of God. It would not surprise me if the oil debacle is being artificially created by those in power positions who are worshiping the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 6:12) and want to force us to drive less, use cleaner forms of fuel, and to minimize air pollution to “save our planet.” I have heard estimates that the world’s oil reserves are enough to serve all energy needs for decades, yet we are seeing today the effects of shortages in supply. Why? Are we really that blind to see this socialist scheme?
We live in a time when living prophets and apostles of Jesus Christ have declared that the “family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” These seers have proclaimed that “the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed.” They “affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.” The Psalmist wrote, “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Ps. 127:3). “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” “We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets” . Have the living prophets and apostles ever taught that we must “go green” or perish? The Adversary’s environmentalism plan is plotted squarely against God’s plan of salvation. Choose you this day whom you will serve (Josh. 24:15; cf. Alma 30:8; Moses 6:33). The prophets have outlined our modern day title of liberty.
It is unfortunate that companies such as Disney and Pixar are beginning to propagate agendas of a maleficent nature, though for their sakes likely without knowing it, when they have promoted so much good in the past. Here is yet another example of something good being pushed to an extreme. The Adversary apparently finds it best to start them believing in such perversion while they’re still young. Roger Ebert noted that WALL-E “involves ideas… not simply mindless scenarios… It involves a little work on the part of the audience, and a little thought, and might be especially stimulating to younger viewers” . It’s precisely the access this message has to children that I’m worried about.
(The author, Bryce Haymond, is the editor of TempleStudy.com, a blog dedicated to sustaining and defending the LDS temple by comparative studies of religious worship found around the world and throughout history.)