Study Guide

WALL-E Hero's Journey

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Hero's Journey

Ordinary World

WALL-E lives in a world where a major big-box store (BUY-N-LARGE) has ruined the economy and garbage has destroyed the environment. It's supposed to be happening in 2110, but the way we're going, this could be our world much sooner than that.

Call To Adventure

WALL-E leads the most unadventurous life. He picks up trash. He puts it down. He picks up trash. He puts it down. It's like a Planet Fitness commercial, but with more garbage. But a spaceship lands with EVE aboard, and she's a babe by robot standards. 

Refusal Of The Call

WALL-E is a big fan of musicals, and he wants to turn his little robo-life into a real-world musical with Eve. He doesn't really refuse the call to adventure, but he does bungle the pick-up. If WALL-E were a human, he would be the dorky one who says and does the wrong thing and embarrasses himself. (In other words, WALL-E is all of us. All-E.)

Meeting The Mentor

EVE eventually warms up to WALL-E. Being much more high-tech than WALL-E, EVE is both a love interest and a mentor of sorts. She gives him a goal—to return the plant to the Axiom and bring the humans back to Earth. EVE broadens the scope of WALL-E's world. It's not just a relationship with EVE that he is fighting for. The future of humanity is at stake.

Crossing The Threshold

WALL-E clings to the scouting spaceship when it returns to the Axiom with EVE aboard. Not many heroes cross a threshold that would either incinerate or suffocate a lesser hero who attempted it. 

WALL-E has spent his whole robotic life on a dusty planet. From the rocket, he can see how insignificant it is in the grand scheme of things.

Tests, Allies, Enemies

Aboard the Axiom, WALL-E encounters delinquent robots, overweight people, and other obstacles slowing him and EVE down as they try to return the plant to its rightful place. Because WALL-E himself is a bit of an outcast, he aligns with the other malfunctioning robots hoping to outwit, outsmart, and outlast AUTO, the evil Captain's wheel.

Approach To The Inmost Cave

It's actually EVE who enters the inmost cave, which aboard the Axiom is a giant trash compactor. Inside, the trash is managed by Wall-A's, a giant soulless version of WALL-E's. With WALL-E smooshed into a cube of garbage, EVE finally realizes that she really cares for WALL-E, and she desperately tries to bring him back.


With WALL-E short-circuited and almost out of commission, EVE's desperate quest to return the plant is even more difficult which means EVE needs to give him the robo-kiss of life. After he revitalizes, WALL-E assists EVE anywhere she goes, and he never gives up. With the help of the malfunctioning robots, they return the plant to the holo-detector…but WALL-E is crushed in the process.

Reward (Seizing The Sword)

By returning the plant, the Axiom is able to return to Earth. That means humanity can resume life on its original planet. Hooray! But EVE doesn't care about that. Her reward is returning to Earth to find replacement parts for WALL-E. The only place to get those antique parts she needs is back in WALL-E's little home on the planet.

The Road Back

The Axiom returns to Earth. Kind of like the SS Minnow, which was shipwrecked after a three-hour tour, the Axiom has been gone for over 700 years. When they land, some of the huge piles of trash fall over, foreshadowing how humanity will attempt to clean up the planet they ruined.


WALL-E isn't content with the resurrection of planet Earth; a monumental task to be sure. EVE still has to repair our hero, WALL-E. His memory circuits are fried, and he behaves like any other robot—single-mindedly gathering garbage and disposing of it. All his charm is gone. But in a little role reversal, EVE gives WALL-E a spark of a kiss, and wakens her sleeping prince charming.

Return With The Elixir

With WALL-E's memory returned, humans and robots alike work together to heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for us and for the entire robot race. The AUTO wheel is shut down. The mean little robot is blown up. And the humans lose a lot of weight over the years. 

All is right with the world.

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