The text below (not including headings, which highlight the topic being discussed) is comprised entirely of direct quotes from Stanton. As used in the transcript, ellipses (...) signify unclear speech and/or editing for space.
On the differences between WALL-E and previous Pixar films
“In either a minor or a major way we’re always trying to be different every movie. You know, the way we feel that’s going to happen is that we are –and I think you’ve probably heard the phrase before, but we truly are– we’re a director driven studio, and we’re trying to encourage and support the vision of that director. So we’re hoping from the get-go that that’s going to mean that the film will be unique in it’s own...
“… I always knew that this idea was more of a major, sort of, unconventional film. Even when we had just the character [idea] in 1994, and nothing else, right in that first sentence of saying “Oh, wouldn’t it be cool to have the last robot on earth”… As artists we thought that was the coolest thing, but the very next sentence –'cause we hadn’t even finished Toy Story– was, “Nobody is ever going to let us do that.” And we just put it away. And I’m kind of glad that happened, because I think it took 14 years later for the technology to be better, and for us to be better filmmakers, and for, hopefully, the audience to trust us enough that you can still have just a good a time with an animated picture in a different way.”
On “pushing the envelope”
“To me, it’s about time we started pushing the envelope a little more. Hopefully opening the audience’s experience to how many other ways you can tell [a story].
“I don’t go to [a live-action movie and] and say, 'Oh, it’s a live-action movie. Well, that guarantees that it’s going to have a cop chase and it’s going to have, you know, a long melodrama or dramatic scene or whatever.' I don’t think that way, and I don’t know why people do that when suddenly they're dealing with the medium of animation. It’s still just a movie. What’s the story? What’s it about? How is the best way to tell it? That’s the way we’ve always made many of the movies, it’s just that I think we’re getting a little braver now.”
On not thinking about the audience
“I don’t mean this as a negative, but I don’t think of the audience at all. I don’t go to see a movie –a filmmaker’s vision– hoping to second-guess what I want. I go to see what he wants. I want to see what he’s going to do next. And I’m like that with any other artist. So we’re no different, we’re exactly the same. The day we start think about what the audience wants is the day we’re going to start making bad choices. We’ve always just holed ourselves up in a building for four years and just ignored the rest of the world. Nobody are bigger movie geeks than we are. We are the biggest movie geeks and filmgoers there are...”
On the sci-fi elements of the film
“…Okay, it’s the last robot on earth, we had to come up with a reason why someone left earth… All sci-fi tends to have some sort of slant on society or mankind at some point…”
On the inclusion of music and footage from Hello, Dolly in the movie
“Isn’t that the oddest choice ever? I’m going to get asked that for the rest of my life. I remember saying –when I first did it, I said– “I am going to get asked this for the rest of my life”…
“I just knew early on I wanted the old against the new and I loved that juxtaposition. It had a very, kind of, Woody Allan feel about it…
“When I started looking at the footage and I saw the two lovers holding hands it was a big aha! moment of ‘Wow, I’ve got a character that can’t say ‘I love you’, but that’s how he can’, by the visuals of holding hands… I ran with it…”