Pixar’s WALL-E, what are your plans?

Pixar Place Street Sign with Luxo Jr. at Disney\'s Hollywood Studios

Photo: A new sign for the still under construction “Pixar Place” of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Note the iconic use of Luxo, Jr., The desk lamp that Pixar uses in its logo.

I was at Disney’s Hollywood Studios today and spent quite a bit of time on Pixar Place. Pixar Place used to be Mickey Avenue until they re-themed it to resemble Pixar Studios in Emeryville, CA. It now houses Toy Story Midway Mania and will soon have what looks like a shop as well (it’s still behind construction walls). At one end of Pixar place is a photo-op with Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen from Cars and at the other end a photo-op with Prince Caspian (soon to be a whole walk-through attraction-although why it wasn’t open before or simultaneous to the movie premier is beyond me. (FAIL as the meme goes right now)).

There was one glaring omission. Absolutely nothing promoting WALL-E. This is likely to be Disney’s tent-pole movie for the summer and they’ve been promoting it like crazy in the press, on television, on the web, and even in movie theaters with that cute Wall-E Hearts Eve bench. They’ve even begun a tour of a real live WALL-E robot through various schools and museums (videos of which have made it onto this blog and youtube).

Yes, I realize it’s Star Wars Weekends and DHS is very focused on providing an excellent experience for its guests with the extra traffic and attractions SWW provides. But at the bare minimum they should have a couple of those huge posters up on the plentiful bare walls on Pixar Place. A photo op with a WALL-E Prop or backdrop also seems like a bare minimum. Plus, I certainly hope they get that WALL-E robot out to the park before the movie actually opens at theaters.

These are the sorts of things that not only get seen by many of Disney best customers (park guests and annual passholders), but also get spread beyond the park gates via photos, videos, social networks, twitter and more. Sure, WALL-E has good buzz, but that’s not reason to sit back and rest on it. Instead it’s time to capitalize and stoke the fire. Especially this close to the movie’s opening date.

I haven’t been over every square foot of Walt Disney World, so if you’ve seen other promotions, do let me know in the comments. Still, why nothing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios direct representation of Pixar Studios, Pixar Place?

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Time Magazine has another profile of the Pixar crew with a close look at WALL-E, which they call “Pixar’s Biggest Gamble.” Now that’s what I thought about “Finding Nemo” and look how that turned out. I’m sure Disney and Pixar would be happy with that level of success, but really I expect the little robot to do even more (especially internationally where Pixar always sets records).

for its first 30 min., the new Pixar astonishment WALL•E has virtually no dialogue. Nor does it offer a Star Wars–like print crawl to inform viewers that this is Earth 800 years from now. The mechanical critter who is the film’s hero can speak only in electronic grunts and sighs, or in one-word bursts, like a chattier R2-D2. The movie’s other main creature, a robot named EVE, also can speak only a few words. Yet it’s Pixar’s big, bold belief that the mass audience will be astute enough to follow the visual clues and game enough to play along. So confident is the studio in its ability to charm audiences, it has made a futurist movie that’s a lot like an old silent picture.

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So, what are your thoughts about WALL-E? Planning to see it opening night, first weekend? Multiple times? What do you think it will do in Box Office numbers opening weekend? Post in the comments below and let us know.

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11 Responses to Pixar’s WALL-E, what are your plans?

  1. Amy says:

    I’ve been visiting the blog for a while, but I’m a first-time poster- great site!

    “WALL-E” is being promoted at the animation studio at DHS. They play the trailer in the tour, and in the “drawing room”, there is art on the walls from the movie as well as clips being played on the TVs.

  2. I plan on seeing it sometime opening weekend. I think it’ll be as big as Finding Nemo.
    When Wall-E does make his appearance at Hollywood Studios, hopefully by the time the movie starts, I think he’s going to be in the Feature Animation building. They already have many posters in that area promoting him.

  3. Zeke says:

    Oh, damn right I plan on seeing this on the opening weekend. I love it when an established actor, director, movie studio, etc, takes a chance or go do something risky, rather than just stick to what they have done before. Pixar continues to do just that, and whether it flies or it sinks, one cannot fault it for not trying to do something different.

    Zz.

  4. Regis says:

    I don’t plan to see it at all, and I think it’s going to suck. I don’t understand the hype about a movie with no dialogue.

  5. I’m going to go to downtown disney to see wall-e. I can’t wait for it to come out, hopefully it will be better than other movies I’ve seen lately.

  6. dan says:

    at the movie theaters at Downtown Disney they have a massive blow up… thing… of wall-E. Probably 20 feet tall. So they ARE starting to do some promotion.

    Wall-E is not the huge gamble the critics say it is. That is ignorance talking. The critics are worried abut having a main character that never talks and only communicates in pantomime. Anything “different” like that suddenly becomes a “huge gamble”. Well, for people like that who are afraid of original thinking, any creative thought is a huge gamble. Wall-E is gonna make a bajillion dollars

  7. Tim Lenz says:

    I’m really surprised to see these negative comments here. To Regis: films with no dialogue entertained people for decades in the early 20th century, and entertainment in that form still exists today in the form of pantomime. Personally, I agree with John; this is a bold move that I think is going to pay off. To MickeyMouse; where have you read that this film is about environmentalism? While there may be some plot points related to that theme, it has been marketed more as a futurist robot adventure/romance.

    I’m really looking forward to it, and I think it’s going to break ground. This may be a stretch, but I think Wall-E has the potential to become a cultural touchstone in the way that Nightmare Before Christmas did for many “goths” and “emo kids”. I have a feeling that the raw emotion and innocence of Wall-E, combined with the light-hearted science fiction setting, may play into the hearts and minds of the current “geek chic” subculture, and possibly “indie kids” as well. I don’t know if it will become as iconic as Jack Skellington’s face, but don’t be surprised if Wall-E becomes a cultural phenomenon of sorts.

  8. Amanda says:

    I really have no idea what to think about the movie. If it wasn’t Pixar I wouldn’t see it at all but even then I don’t know if I will see it in the theater. I might wait for people I know to go and hear what they have to say.

  9. Whit says:

    Opening day, baby, opening day!

  10. Kristen says:

    I can’t wait for this film to be released. You bet I will be taking my girls to see the movie. It seems like it’s going to be a cute film. Who wants the opinions of men in SUITS. I will let my children be the judge of the movie.

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