The media is playing two pointless games of "gotcha" with Pixar's wonderful Wall-Eat the moment. Eric Kohn addressed the first -- conservative critics griping about the film's "left-wing" message -- over here. The other, best articulated in this post by CHUD's Devin Faraci and this mind-boggling missive from the New York Post's Kyle Smith, but also showing up in Todd McCarthy's Variety review, is that Wall-E's supposed anti-consumerist bent is "hypocrisy" on account of it's released by Disney. I think that's a stupid and dishonest argument, and here's why.
In its latter half, Wall-E presents a vision of the future in which humanity is fat, lazy, basically immobile but for their hoverchairs, and in thrall to a mega-corporation called Buy 'N Large that tells everyone what to do, what to think, and what to buy. The rest of the film is dedicated to Wall-E, EVE, and the spaceship Axiom's human population defying the corporation and returning back to Earth to recolonize. This is disingenuous, the thinking goes, because the Disney empire bears more than a few similarities to Buy 'N Large and, in fact, cynically counts on unthinking, overweight masses, to see its movies, buy its merchandise, and ride the rides at Disney World.
What you'll notice from the folks making this argument is a coy ambiguity about who exactly is being hypocritical here. If the claim is that Disney is being hypocritical by releasingWall-E, then that may well be right -- but it's also not surprising, newsworthy, or even worth mentioning. Is anyone really shocked that a large, profit-seeking corporation is being opportunistic and ideologically inconsistent? Where is all the outrage about Disney flicks that push the individuality and non-conformism message, when the Walt Disney Company is dependent on a herd mentality among its consumers?