Pixar and the recycling of ’80s / ’90s movies


Those who thought the title character in WALL-E bears a striking resemblance to Johnny Five from the Short Circuit movies (1986-1988) will no doubt have that impression deepened by the French teaser, in which WALL-E seems to crush an insect. “Error — grasshopper disassembled. Re-assemble!” Remember that bit?

So … Pixar basically remade ¡Three Amigos! (1986) as A Bug’s Life (1998), and Doc Hollywood (1991) as Cars (2006) … and those were two of their lesser films. But since Johnny Five never went to space, it stands to reason WALL-E might not be so derivative, and thus might not be as underwhelming as those other films …

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  • And yet, when E.T. was basically remade as The Iron Giant (without the weapons agnle), nobody really batted an eye.

  • Actually, the weapons angle made The Iron Giant something of a parallel to Short Circuit, too. Plus The Iron Giant very openly borrowed elements from the Superman mythos. So there is a mix of things there. In any case, The Iron Giant wasn’t a Pixar film.