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Who is the villain in the animated film Wall-E?

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Wall-E is a dystopian film that depicts the dangers of the overuse of Earth’s resources. Many entities contribute to the Earth’s condition and get in the way of the protagonist, a robot named Wall-E, who tries to restore Earth to a livable state. Therefore, many characters and groups could be considered villains.

AUTO, the Artificial Intelligence that runs the spaceship on which humans live, is probably the most obvious villain. When Wall-E brings a live plant from Earth (evidence that Earth can sustain life again) to McCrea, the human captain of the spaceship, AUTO tries to prevent McCrea from returning the ship back to Earth. AUTO also tries to destroy the plant Wall-E brought onto the ship and severely damages Wall-E in the process. Ultimately, though, Wall-E, with the help of another robot, Eva, succeeds and returns to Earth.

While AUTO might be the typical villain, it’s important to consider who created AUTO and the problems on Earth in the first place: humans. In theory, robots can only do what they have been programmed to do, so essentially, AUTO only stages a mutiny in order to uphold original directives given to it by humans. Therefore, humans are the cause for AUTO’s actions. Additionally, humans are the one whose overconsumption and overuse of resources led to the conditions of Earth. A major message of this film is the fact that if humans continue to consume resources carelessly and continue to create machines to do all of our work for us, we will end up in situations similar to those of the humans in Wall-E.

This film also seems to make a point about large corporations that fuel human greed, so another villain could be Buy ‘n’ Large, the company that seems to own everything, including the spaceship. On the ship, Buy ‘n’ Large advertising is everywhere, encouraging humans to consume more and move and think less. Humans might ultimately be responsible for consumerism and greed, but large corporations, represented by Buy ‘n’ Large in the film, make it more difficult for people to turn away from these vices.

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