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Who did Wall-E rip off more, Idiocracy or Short Circuit?

7/1/2008

I really loved Wall-E, but I couldn’t help but notice that more than half of the film’s plot was lifted from the brilliant–and much more adult–film idiocracy. Additionally, the robot seems so cute and familiar that you have to wonder–as many people have–if you’ve met him before (hint, you have).

Your comments are appreciate. Oh yeah… this is on digg–please digg it up!

Short Circuit: Treads, binocular eyes, clamps as hands.
Wall-E: Treads, binocular eyes, clamps as hands.



Short Circuit: sad eyes.
Wall-E: say eyes.

Idiocracy: Fat people, drinking fake food, in front of multi-touch video displays. Oh yeah, they’ve forgotten how to read.
Wall-E: Fat people, drinking fake food, in front of multi-touch video displays. Oh yeah, they’ve forgotten how to read. (anyone have better photo of fat people in chairs from Wall-E?)


Idiocracy: distopian future caused by consumerism; huge piles of trash litter the skyline
Wall-E: distopian future caused by consumerism; huge piles of trash litter the skyline

Idiocracy: Absurdly large Costco
Wal-E: Absurdly large Buy ‘n Large (need photo)

What other similarities have you found? Please post in comments.

  • http://walleforum.co.cc MidgardDragon

    Answer: neither. Much of great Sci-Fi shares much in common with its predecessors, and these aren’t “rip-offs”. You’re simply seeing what you want to see. Similar ideas are not the same as plagiarism. As far as Short Circuit, it shares NOTHING in common with the plot, and the only similarities between robots are the eyes. Since WALL-E’s eyes were inspired by binoculars, no one has a leg to stand on as far as Johnny 5 looking like WALL-E, he doesn’t.

  • John McCain

    I thought Wall E was more like Crimson Tide where the two captains are fighting for control.

  • John McCain

    Also, Wall E is more like ET than Johnny 5. ET is brought to a forgiegn land where he helps bring a plant back to life and his mission is to go back home with the help of his friends he finds on the new planet.

  • John McCain

    Johnny 5 isn’t a trash compactor. Treads are a logical mode of transport for robots. Binocular eyes would be helpful in all robots.

  • John McCain

    There were no robots in Idiocracy.

  • worble

    Pixar animated films have enormous budgets and take a
    long time to make. They didn’t rip off Idiocracy, they
    started first and finished second. Idiocracy was poorly
    done. They have a shared theme, but Wall-e did it well.

    He has some similarities to Johnny 5 from short circuit,
    but also a lot of differences. Wall-e is a solar powered
    cube with no elbows, no mouth, no torso to rotate, and
    his arms extend and retract in a hydraulic fashion.
    He doesn’t look human like Johnny 5 and doesn’t have a
    big vocabulary like him either. There are a whole lot
    of robots and aliens in TV and film up to this point so
    it’s pretty much a certainty that any creation will bear
    a resemblance to some older creation. Binocular eyes and
    treads are not some amazingly unique combination. They
    are both objects unmodified from reality, they are
    commonplace. Also, there are only a few decent options
    for movement: Feet, wheels, treads, flying/hovering.

    So in answer to your question, Wall-e ripped of neither
    Idiocracy nor Short Circuit.

  • http://www.outsidedown.wordpress.com outsidedown

    WALL E most definitely lifted not only several themes but a ton of visuals from Idiocracy. Both are good, but I prefer Idiocracy’s satire a lot more.

  • rei

    you aren’t the first to claim wall-e ripped of idiocracy, but seriously, how little exposure to literature must you have to not realize that there are always more stories in the world than there are themes?

    themes are themes because they concern values that we all share. if we didn’t have common values, there would be no point in telling stories.

    likewise, there are only a handful of character archetypes in the world. i’m an asshole, you’re an idiot, wall-e and johnny 5 are naive. chances are, if 10 artists drew you and i based on what they read in this post, they would all draw me with some strikingly similar features, and they would all draw you with some strikingly similar features.

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