Pixar-Forgotten/Minor Characters #9: The Current CEO of the Buy n Large Corporation

Mystery-Man-1.3

Wow, this is the 3rd Pixar movie in which I’ve had difficulty selecting a forgotten/minor character and ended up having to go with a character that was unseen, or in this case, not even mentioned. Good job at stumping me, Pixar!

"No need to thank us. It's the least we can do as American citizens!"
“No need to thank us. It’s the least we can do as American citizens!”

Anyway, today’s forgotten/minor character is from Pixar’s 9th film and winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, WALL-E. (Warning: this post will have spoilers!)

WALL-E is a film set in the future, supposedly the year 2805, wherein Earth has become overly polluted, so much so that humankind had to leave Earth and live on a spaceship/space station called the Axiom. Before they left, they built robots to clean up all the pollution in the hopes that someday mankind would be able to relocate to Earth. These robots were Waste Allocation Load Lifters-E Class, or WALL-E, for short. As the centuries have passed, all the WALL-E robots have become non-functional except for one: the focus of our film, the robot…umm…WALL-E.

I assume he has a numerical bar code by which to be identified as well, but the brand works fine as a name in this case.
I assume he has a numerical bar code by which to be identified as well, but the brand works fine as a name in this case.

WALL-E continues to do his job while showing interest in the leftovers of human civilization. He also yearns to be in love with someone after coming across left-over footage of Hello, Dolly!. One day, his loneliness ends when a spaceship briefly lands on Earth to drop off another more advanced robot. This robot is an Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator, or EVE, for short. Its purpose is to scan Earth for plant life to determine whether or not Earth can sustain life again.

"You gotta ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, Earth?"
“You gotta ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, Earth?”

WALL-E falls in love with EVE and desperately tries to get her to like him. At first, she doesn’t fall for him, but soon becomes more friendly with him. After he shows her a plant that he’s found on Earth, EVE goes back into her business mode and sends a signal to the spaceship that dropped her that she’s ready to be picked up again.

When the spaceship returns, WALL-E hatches a ride and is taken to the Axiom. Once the captain of the Axiom realizes that they can go back to Earth, he plans a speedy return to Earth. This plan is foiled though by the autopilot, Auto, who has been programmed to make sure that nobody ever returns to Earth.

He's like a HAL 9000, but not as frightening.
He’s like a HAL 9000, but not as frightening.

Where does the forgotten/minor character come in? Well, back on Earth, there was a corporation that was pretty much a monopoly called the Buy n Large Corporation. Its main job was to produce products and get the citizens to buy them. But, when the Earth got too polluted, it was the corporation that facilitated the move to the Axiom and built the original WALL-E vehicles. The CEO at the time was a man named Shelby Forthright, played by Fred Willard.

A live person in a Pixar film? Blasphemy, I hear you say!
A live person in a Pixar film? Blasphemy, I hear you say!

Now on the Axiom, centuries after mankind left Earth, we see that the Buy n Large Corporation is still around and still getting the people aboard the Axiom to buy its products/follow new trends, etc. So, it’s apparent that this corporation still has its monopolistic grasp on the people. So my question is who is the current CEO of the Buy n Large Corporation and where is he/she during the whole control battle between the captain and Auto?

"The return to Earth doesn't affect me at all. If we return, I'll still be influencing the people's purchases and standards of living. If we stay in space, nothing changes with me!"
“I have bigger fish to fry…and you can too with the latest in fish-frying technology, the Fish-Fryer 3000 only $985.99!”

It seems obvious that the CEO would have, or at least claim to have, power over the captain and Auto and that he/she would definitely make his/her intentions about returning/not returning to Earth clear. Yet, no mention is made of this CEO nor is he/she even referred to.

"The return to Earth doesn't affect me at all. If we return, I'll still be influencing the people's purchases and standards of living. If we stay in space, nothing changes with me!"
“The return to Earth doesn’t affect me at all. If we return, I’ll still be influencing the people’s purchases and standards of living. If we stay in space, nothing changes with me!”

A possibility is that Auto is the actual CEO of the corporation and kept up with the monopolistic grasp upon the people, but I really don’t see that. It still feels that the Buy n Large Corporation has a human touch, and I sure as heck don’t think the captain has the marketing skill for the job.

"Auto, I think he's just dissed you." "Captain, I'm afraid he's just dissed you."
“Auto, I think he’s just dissed you.”
“Captain, I’m afraid he’s just dissed you.”

Summing up, I feel there’s no other character that I can give the title of  forgotten/minor character to except for this mysterious CEO. What are your thoughts?

"I think you need to buy the Fish-Fryer 3000 in order to have a better life. Call me!"
“I think you need to buy the Fish-Fryer 3000 in order to have a better life. Call me!”

4 thoughts on “Pixar-Forgotten/Minor Characters #9: The Current CEO of the Buy n Large Corporation”

  1. I thought you didn’t like this film! Anyway, never really thought of the current CEO. I guess he died and nobody took his place. In the time set in the film, the company doesn’t even charge people for products, since it became the everyday lifestyle of all humans.

    1. I still don’t like this film as much as everyone else does. I mean, I probably appreciate it more now than when I made my Top 13 Animated Films I Dislike, But Everyone Else Likes list, but it’s still not a movie I’d rewatch often.

      And that’s an interesting thing you point out that they don’t charge people for the products.

  2. This is a favorite of mine and maybe it says something about the tightness of the storytelling that there aren’t any minor characters?
    I might have picked Mary or John who get some lines when they see Walle and Eva on their space walk.
    I love how bold and beautiful it is. It trusts kids that they dont have to spoonfeed them everything but provide images and let their imagination work.
    “It only takes a moment to be loved a whole life through”. Sigh…

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