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The Simple Scene In Pixar's Wall-E That Fans Agree Says So Much

"Wall-E" is truly one of Pixar's best films. Few movies in recent memory seem to invoke such pure pathos. Its subject matter would have been a lot more terrifying and depressing were it not shown to us through the eyes of a sweet-natured robot. All Wall-E wants is to enjoy life, which to him means being able to give in to curiosity and wonder and connect with others. Whenever there is a chance for other characters to give in to their more cynical sides — giving in to the convenience and materialism that has already doomed Earth — it's his big eyes and irrepressible goodness pointing them in the other direction.

This tension is often hinted at in the film's early scenes. Of course, there's the discovery that he has found a plant, a single sprout proving that Earth can be made habitable again, and thus a major catalyst for the plot of "Wall-E." In a 2008 interview with Cinema Blend, director and co-writer Andrew Stanton said, "I had him find a plant before I knew where the movie was going. I loved that idea because it's like the dandelions that push through the sidewalk. Reality forces itself through all this manmade material to exist, and that's Wall-E."

Just a few minutes earlier, though, a moment sets the stage for this kind of discovery. Mere seconds long, it is easy to miss but profound.

Fans love the moment when Wall-E throws away a diamond ring

At the r/movies subreddit, u/Sedinery97 argues, "Wall-E is a masterpiece." "This is a perfect film," they write, with no argument on the thread. It's filled with similar praise for "Wall-E," as well as tangents into how various Pixar projects have ranked against each other. The very first comment from u/vrn_new singles out the scene when Wall-E, discovering a diamond ring in a velvet box, tosses the ring and keeps the box.

It's a funny moment, yes. It's also poignant. Us humans of the 21st century are conditioned to see the ring as far more valuable. Not so much for Wall-E. "For a robot, a diamond is just another rock, and gold is a metal his circuits are probably filled with," wrote u/BGFalcon85. "Neither is interesting compared to a box with a hinge and floppy lid."

Fans aren't the only ones to pick up on this moment. Christopher Schmidt — the kind of literary critic likely to find interesting parallels in "Wall-E" to Milton or Baudelaire in his book "The Poetics of Waste" — sees it as evidence of our protagonist's eccentric wisdom (via The Poetics of Waste). If Wall-E is "childlike," perhaps the adults in the room are getting a dose of why the child's view can't be so easily dismissed. After all, the task of rebuilding society — whether done by humans, robots, or both working together, as we see in the closing credits — wouldn't have much use for a diamond. Eat your heart out, commodity fetishism.