Friday, June 27, 2008

Raising a geek for a daughter

Just returned from taking the girls to see Wall•E at our local theater.

Hopefully you'll dig it as much as they did. I dug it as they did, and then some.

Here's why.

A simple sound. This sound actually...or at least it's one of these sounds in the medley of Macintosh startup sounds...

During the flick, the little Johnny-5 inspired robot emits this particular sound when he recharges via his solar panels, or reboots from his overnight slumber. When my eldest daughter (8) first heard this sound emitting from Wall•E, she turned to me and gave me a knowing smile -- the one that instantly communicated to me that she recognized the sound and was smiling because she knew that I knew what the sound was.

This was my first brush with a "familiarity-of-shared-experience-while-watching-a-movie" type of moment between an offspring of mine and I and I'll treasure it always.

Thanks Wall•E.

Following are a few nerd herd wink-winks contained in the flick as gathered by a Times-Picayune critic.

"The bleeps-and-blips-heavy "voice" of robot WALL*E is provided by Oscar-winning sound designer Ben Burtt, who did the same for R2-D2 in the "Star Wars" films.

The art-history-flavored closing credits are as sit-throughable as they come, including a nod to impressionists, to 8-bit computer graphics, and to everything in between.

Paying tribute to the film's sci-fi inspirations, "Alien" actor Sigourney Weaver -- who dealt with an overzealous onboard computer in that sci-fi classic -- provides the voice for the ship's computer in "WALL*E."

In-house, Pixar animators referred to WALL*E's cockroach friend as "Hal, " a dual tribute to legendary comedy director Hal Roach and the computer in "2001: A Space Odyssey."

As always, Pixar's "good-luck charm, " John Ratzenberger, voices a role in "WALL*E, " that of a newly awakened human named, appropriately, John."

Bonus points for the faithful Mac-heads out there if you can pick out which Macintosh model line that Wall•E's start-up/reboot sound derives from. (Personally, my dineros on either Jake, Mr. B in NYC, or Kmodem on this one).


Emily said...

We finally saw Wall-E at the Admiral Twin the other night. I'd forgotten about your post until I heard that familiar tone. It's the wrong pitch for my 2003 iMac. Sounded more like a ... Quadra, maybe?

OKDad said...

Quadra, Performa -- six of one, half dozen of the other.
RFHC nails it on the noggin.

So, how'd we like Pixar's latest? Nice, but not quite Cars, eh?

The Admiral Twin! That's on our to-do list on our next overnighter to Tulsa.

Always on the lookout for Pony Boy and Two Bit..."Mustang, yeah, that's a tough car."

Emily said...

I loved it, although I'm going to have to watch it again on a clearer screen (Pixar films do not lend themselves well to drive-in screens).

I got all too familiar with the Quadra's startup tone in college, where I spent five nights a week on the copy desk at our campus paper, running Quark 3.2 on Mac OS 8. At least three or four times a night, you'd hear some or all of Carlin's Seven Words, followed by that familiar chime....

OKDad said...

Yep, that old MacOS was a codgey old buggar.

Save and Save often, as the saying goes.