Pixar's 2008 release about a robot janitor left to tidy up a polluted earth was a hit with parents and kids, not to mention the critics. ReelzChannel spoke to Andrew Stanton, who wrote and directed the movie, about Wall-E's six Academy Award nominations -- Best Original Screenplay, Best Animated Feature, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.
ReelzChannel: Congratulations! Are you are over the moon?
Stanton: Yes, very much, very much. I'm still sort of riding high.
RC: Six nominations, was that more than you expected?
Stanton: Definitely. It's the most we've ever had for a Pixar film. So you don't ever venture to think you're going to do something like that.
RC: What have you heard from John Lasseter?
Stanton: Well, he was the first person to call me. For him, it's a sporting event. He's up in the morning in his pajamas watching. He called me the minute the announcements were out. And I've gone through my entire career in moviemaking with him. We were there at the first [Pixar movie] and we've been through it all together. So it was really special to just sort of savor the moment together.
RC: A few years ago you were sort of in the same situation with Finding Nemo, but does it feel different now?
Stanton: It does because Nemo felt like, at least to me personally, like wow, I'm just lucky to be invited to the party. And to make another film that's gotten such great response from so many respected people and so many filmmakers that I revere? You just feel, wow, maybe it's not a fluke; maybe I have something to contribute to film.
RC: Were you able to sleep at all the night before the announcements?
Stanton: I did. I slept. I had to have some assistance to sleep -- I drank a few glasses of stuff to get at least five hours of sleep
RC: As the morning progressed, they kept announcing for sound, for music. What were the range of emotions that you went through as the Wall-E nominations continued to come?
Stanton: We knew we had a good shot at Animated Feature and we were psyched that that happened. I didn't know what else to expect, so it really was a boost to see all the sound categories and the music categories -- because, to me, those are two major factors in why the film worked so well. To have it recognized by the industry was, I think, really apropos. What shocked me was getting Original Screenplay -- not because I didn't think it was worthy, but because I thought people might think because there was less dialogue that somehow the script was easier. But it was actually harder to write 'cause screenplays are all about structure, and dialogue is usually there to support the structure. So here we had just structure. I worked really hard on that screenplay so it was really a huge boost to have that acknowledged.
RC: When the movie was about to come out, one of the things you told us was that you guys went to dumps and sifted through garbage. Compare that feeling, when you did the research, to where you are now.
Stanton: Yeah, this is a little fancier. A little fancier than sitting in a landfill.