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When A.O. Scott’s review of “Wall-E” ran in the Times, it read as if he had undergone a religious experience. Much to my chagrin, I never quite made it to the cinema to partake. So I was thrilled when the DVD arrived and was more than ready to experience this gem for myself, having forgotten many of the reasons why others adored it. And in the stillness and (mostly) silence of the first act, it all makes perfect sense. Wall-E is a robot of the future, whose sole purpose is to collect, compile and organise all the rubbish that humankind has left on Planet Earth. The humans, you see, had to head into space, because the air down here had been ruined. So the setting is a sci-fi cautionary tale about the world as we are about to know it, but our leading man is a romantic at heart. A warbled tape of “Hello, Dolly!” provides an opportunity to reminisce and yearn for the world as it once was – to have all the magic of music and dancing and a partner to share all those things with. The human race has become complacent in its lackadaisical state and one little robot (of course) manages to bring a race to their senses. If only by accident. “Wall-E” is funny and charming and haunting. It’s very subject matter, approach and simple yet artful characterization will make any other contender hard-pressed to become the Academy’s pick for best animated feature of the year.