WALL-E: Best Animated Feature and Best Spiritual Film of 2008

Disney's "WALL-E" has been recognized as last year's best movie for families, the best spiritual movie, and now the best feature-length animation.

The robot romance blockbuster won the Academy Award for animated feature on Sunday, beating out doggy hero flick "Bolt" and martial arts tale "Kung Fu Panda." It had also been nominated for five other Academy Awards, including original screenplay, original score, original song, sound editing, and sound mixing.

"Creative seeds are sown in the oddest of places," said director Andrew Stanton upon receiving the Oscar.

"WALL-E" tells the story of a garbage collecting robot who has been left on an abandoned earth to clean up the mess in a "distant, but not so unrealistic future" where the planet has become covered with trash from products sold by the powerful multi-national Buy N Large corporation. Though very much alone, WALL-E eventually falls in love with an advanced, feminine probe robot named EVE who lands on the planet, and follows her into outer space on an adventure.

"WALL-E not only does what Andrew Stanton says is the essence of the movie, directly quoting Jesus in John 15:13 of the New Testament, 'No greater love hath a man than that he lay down his life for his friends,'" stated a review by faith-based media ministry Movieguide, which earlier this month selected "WALL-E" as the best movie for families in 2008. "It also clearly manifests Christian acts of compassion, kindness, respect, and all the other cardinal virtues throughout the story."

In addition to Movieguide, multi-faith site Beliefnet.com also declared "WALL-E" at the top of its annual list, recently dubbing it the "Best Spiritual Film of 2008" out of a pool of films that "are bound to touch your soul in some way."

Film judge Sr. Rose Pacatte called the movie "Disney's best film ever in terms of its themes of the consequences of soulless consumerism and the need – the hunger for truth, beauty, and goodness that we all share."

"Spirituality is living our beliefs in relationship with God and others," Pacatte added. "The word God was not present, but the reality was in WALL-E."

Walt Disney Pictures released "WALL-E" in the United States and Canada on June 27, 2008. After a $63 million opening weekend, the movie went on to gross $533 million worldwide. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on Nov. 18, 2008.