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 …

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).

  • http://www.nickalexander.com Nick

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

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07395937367596387523 Peter T Chattaway

    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.


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