What happened
Disney-Pixar’s latest animated feature WALL-E opens on Friday and is expected by most analysts to take the number one spot at the box office over the weekend. But some critics are wondering if the near-silent, post-apocalyptic movie starring a robot named WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) will do as well as Pixar’s past films.

What the commentators said

Disney-Pixar is certainly delving into “uncharted territory” with the release of WALL-E, said Gina Keating in Reuters. The movie’s “dystopian landscapes, social commentary,” and “lack of conventional dialogue” have “prompted concerns” that it might not do as well at the box office as Pixar is hoping. But WALL-E does stick “to Pixar’s basic themes of love, loyalty, and friendship,” so that might help.

WALL-E is just “the latest in a line of unconventional heroes” for Pixar, said Sean P. Means in The Salt Lake Tribune. The mute robot joins “a cuisine-friendly rat, a self-absorbed race car, a furry monster, and a neurotic clownfish.” And WALL-E is likely to be “the most charming character you’ll see all summer—cute, inquisitive, romantic,” and “adventurous.”

The only problem with WALL-E, said Kirk Honeycutt in the Hollywood Reporter, is that it might be “too clever and sophisticated” to “connect with mainstream audiences.” But then again, there were “worries last year that having a rat for a hero in Ratatouille might throw off audiences,” and look how well that movie did.