In a movie that contains little dialogue well into the first 30 minutes there is a surprising number of cast members that made up the voices and sounds in the 2008 CGI science-fiction romantic comedy, WALL-E. Produced by Disney-Pixar and directed by Andrew Stanton, whose writing and directing credits also include A Bugs Life, Finding Nemo, Toy Story (franchise), and Monsters Inc. (franchise), the moving story follows a robot named WALL-E, who has spent the last 700 years alone on Earth after it became an inhospitable wasteland.
Built to clean up the waste-covered Earth far in the future, WALL-E develops a glitch in his programming. He develops feelings. Bored with his dreary routine he collects little trinkets and knickknacks that keep him company, until he falls hopelessly in love with another robot named EVE, who also has a programmed task, and follows her into outer space on an adventure that changes the destiny of robots and humanity. Both robots discover free will and emotions similar to humans, feelings which develop further as the film’s story unfolds.
Within the first 5 minutes of the film there is a monologue told through holographic billboards but the first dialogue doesn’t begin until 22 minutes into the movie when WALL-E encounters EVE for the first time. Then the first human dialogue doesn’t begin until nearly 40 minutes into the movie.
With exemplary animation, a solid storyline, and the use of ambient sound techniques the film suffers nothing from lack of dialogue. To become inspired by visual storytelling Andrew Stanton and the Pixar animation team watched every single Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton movie every day during lunch for about a year and a half. This inspiration worked well for the team with WALL-E earning 6 Academy Awards nominations, a feat tied by only one other animated film at the time: Beauty and the Best.
Most of the characters in WALL-E do not have actual human voices, but instead communicate with body language and robotic sounds, designed mostly by Ben Burtt, that resemble voices. The lack of dialogue coupled with the extensive list of voice-over artists credited on this film is a testament to the variety of work available for voice actors in the entertainment industry.
WALL-E Voice Over Cast:
- Ben Burtt as WALL•E / M-O
- Elissa Knight as EVE
- Jeff Garlin as Captain
- Fred Willard as Shelby Forthright, BnL CEO
- MacInTalk voice used as AUTO
- Sigourney Weaver as the Ship’s Computer
- John Ratzenberger as John
- Kathy Najimy as Mary
- Donald Fullilove as Don Fullilove
- Teddy Newton as Steward Bots
- Kim Kopf as the Hoverchair Mother
- Lori Alan additional voices
- John Cygan additional voices
- Pete Docter additional voices
- Paul Eiding additional voices
- Teresa Ganzel additional voices
- Jess Harnell additional voices
- Sherry Lynn additional voices
- Mickie McGowan additional voices
- Laraine Newman additional voices
- Jeff Pidgeon additional voices
- Jan Rabson additional voices
- Lori Richardson additional voices
- Andrew Stanton additional voices
- Jim Ward additional voices
- Colette Whitaker additional voices
WALL-E went on to win the 2008 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, the final Nebula Award for Best Script, the Saturn Award for Best Animated Film, and ranks #1 in TIME Magazine’s “Best Movies of the Decade.”