With its beloved titular character and neat environmental message, Wall-E has become one of the most beloved kid’s films of this century. But a new fan theory about the film may have longtime fans viewing the movie in a whole new way, as the newest pop culture conspiracy takes a deeper look at this film and reveals that there is a secret villain who set the entire post-apocalyptic story into motion.
For those who need a refresher, Wall-E tells the story of an adorable robot of the same name who spends his days organizing trash on the now-abandoned planet earth. Thanks to rampant consumerism and pollution, earth is essentially uninhabitable for humans, who have been taken to space to live out their lives in front of screens that meet their every desire. On the surface, the story seems simple and straightforward but the brilliant minds at the Film Theorists YouTube channel suggest that something more sinister might be going on behind the scenes.
As the video explains, the idea of the earth being overrun by trash is scary but it also doesn’t really make any sense. Because while there is no question humans are incredibly wasteful and squander precious resources without a second thought, the reality, as shown in the video, is a single landfill approximately the size of Delaware, which covers less than one-millionth of one percent of the total U.S. landmass could contain all of the waste produced by the U.S. for the next 100 years. Combine this with the remarkable efficiency of waste management and it makes it basically impossible for the entire world to become a giant dump by accident.
At this point, the Film Theorists pivot into their real argument based around a simple question: what if this wasn’t an accident at all? What if the entire planet became a garbage wasteland on purpose? It’s an intriguing thought but it’s hard to imagine anyone would intentionally want to cover the world with trash, right? This is where things get interesting. The Film Theorists suggest that there is one group that could clearly benefit from this trash-covered earth: Buy-N-Large, the mysterious mega-corporation responsible for the space program that takes all the humans up into space.
As the video points out, at first, the humans originally weren’t supposed to permanently relocate to space. They were merely supposed to leave the earth for five years while it is cleaned up via Buy-N-Large’s robots. However, the project is eventually abandoned, save for Wall-E and once the humans are on the Buy-N-Large ships, they are basically slaves, which means that this company has essentially put itself in charge of humanity.
Considering that Buy-N-Large is responsible for both the de-trashing of earth and the mass migration to space, it’s possible the company may have simply overestimated their ability to get rid of all the trash and realized space was a more practical long-term solution. But isn’t it more likely that this seemingly omnipotent company intentionally allowed the earth to be overrun with garbage in order to ensure that they would establish themselves as the authoritarian power akin to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World?
Of course, it’s just a fan theory so it probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Still, next time you watch Wall-E with your kid, imagine the entire premise is actually about a company that destroyed the earth to enslave humanity via technology. At the very least, it’ll make the rewatch that much more entertaining.