The other religious theme I found interesting is that of the human expulsion from the Garden of Eden. In this case, humans have to leave the world they have been blessed with due to their own selfishness. As a result, their very nature is corrupted in a way that makes them uncomfortably less than completely human — they are incapable of standing on their own two feet. It is only through the hope of new life, a resurrection of life if you will, that the humans are restored to their previous world, though one that will now require multiple lifetimes of restorative work and a new learning of what it means to be truly human.
That was, more than anything else, what fascinated me about the movie. I’m preoccupied with the idea of apocalypse, not as an end, but as a beginning. I recently dedicated fifteen pages to the idea in a short story called “The Ways of Things,” and WALL-E explored the territory with remarkable depth considering it was really only the setting and not the plot. The credits, a telling through the history of art of mankind’s reclaiming of the earth, struck harder than any other moment in the film. I’m sure that wasn’t Pixar’s intention, but the young boy fishing while the Axiom is covered in moss and vines killed me.