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How Wall-E Met Hello Dolly

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Two songs from the movie musical help Pixar's robot express his romantic feelings.

I'm still blown away by the fact that two songs of mine that are close to 50 years old have been used as the underpinning,
-Jerry Herman

In high school, “Wall-E" director Andrew Stanton played the shy Yonkers store clerk Barnaby in the Jerry Herman musical “Hello, Dolly!" Decades later, two of the show's lesser-known songs would play a pivotal part in the critically acclaimed Disney/Pixar animated hit.

Though “Wall-E" does feature a new song, “Down to Earth" by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman over the end credits, the two tunes that factor in both the film's themes and plot -- the bouncy “Put on Your Sunday Clothes" used over the opening titles and the uber-romantic ballad “It Only Takes a Moment" -- were penned by Herman for the classic 1964 Broadway musical.

“At the time that I chose them I was consciously thinking this is the weirdest idea I ever had," said Stanton, who also directed the Oscar-winning “Finding Nemo."

Originally, noted Stanton, he was hoping to use 1930s French swing music for the opening scene in the film about a robot left alone on an abandoned Earth who falls in love with a sleek new research robot named Eve.

“I just loved that Wall-E fell in love with old-fashioned and romantic music," he explained. “So the idea always was to have something that showed the audience that Wall-E had romantic tendencies."

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