4Wall-E (2008) is Idiocracy (2006)
An average worker drone who just wants to quietly do his job gets caught up in an overly complicated government plan that goes on way, way longer than originally intended. Stuff happens, and the drone saves the human race.
The Films That Share It:
Quick, which of these images belongs to Mike Judge's cult sci-fi satire Idiocracy and which one belongs to Pixar's Wall-E?
Which one is present day Detroit?
The answer is we don't even know. That's because both movies take place hundreds of years in the future, at a point when man's neglect has turned the Earth into a big landfill covered by huge mountains of garbage. Also in both movies, a random occurrence interrupts the otherwise uneventful life of the protagonist, which is followed by an enormous avalanche of garbage and the protagonist crashing into an average, random citizen who quickly becomes a main character in the plot.
Eventually the protagonist finds himself transported to an unfamiliar world where he realizes that humanity has evolved into fat, useless morons. All right, so not everyone in Idiocracy is overweight and not everyone in Wall-E is stupid, but they're both making the same point -- both films are warning us about the dangers of complacency.
And being squashed by a giant red butt.
Both futures are shown to be dominated by huge corporations, and one corporation in particular controls the landscape and has taken over parts of the government (Brawndo in Idiocracy and Buy n Large in Wall-E). Said corporation uses a single, constant advertising slogan that is shown everywhere, and even fed to children.
Still not convinced? How about the fact that the second halves of both movies center around the protagonist trying to save the plants of Earth, which, after much chasing and almost being crushed to death by machines, he accomplishes with the help of a recording made by his love interest?
But that happens in all movies.
This is followed by a scene where we think we'll lose the protagonist forever, but then a last minute gesture convinces him to stay with his love interest. Then there's an epilogue montage about how the world will be OK now (even though in both cases it probably won't).
The Major Difference:
"No, no. It's great not having a golden yacht filled with panda-fur rugs."
There's also the fact that one of these movies is rated G and the other is rated R: In the latter, the love interest is a prostitute who sleeps with several men through the course of the film, and the machines that try to squash the protagonist near the end are shaped like giant dildos. We'll let you guess which is which.
3Galaxy Quest (1999) is Three Amigos (1986)
A group of out of work actors are mistaken for the famous characters they used to portray onscreen and find themselves involved in a dangerous armed confrontation. Overcoming their massive egos and cowardice, the actors band together to face the enemy and become true heroes.
Tim Allen's junk may or may not play a role.
The Films That Share It:
Admittedly, this isn't the most original movie plot ever. Since the endlessly quotable Chevy Chase/Steve Martin/Martin Short classic Three Amigos came out in the early '80s, films like Tropic Thunder, My Name is Bruce and A Bug's Life, of all things, have sort of used it as a starting point before veering off in other directions. Galaxy Quest also used it as a starting point ... and a middle point, and an ending point. It's basically Three Amigos ... In Space!
With stupid haircuts instead of awesome hats.
For example, in both movies the unemployed actors are recruited by a somewhat naive alien culture in which everyone appears to be completely unfamiliar with the concept of "acting." Both of these races happen to live in exotic, unrealistic locations: more specifically, outer space and Hollywood's idea of Mexico.
Honestly, both are pretty offensive.
In both cases, the actors remain unaware of the mix-up for way too long, believing the whole thing to be a job opportunity despite being surrounded by overwhelming evidence pointing to the contrary. Somewhat related to the last point, in both movies the actors are pretty dumb. The aliens need the actors' help to oppose a superior enemy, but their performing talents turn out to be remarkably inefficient against large amounts of loaded weapons.
Ridiculous hats are a sign of superiority anywhere in the galaxy.
When the actors finally realize what's going on, their first instinct is to ditch the aliens and run away, since they're not as brave as everyone thinks, nor are they in any way qualified for combat. However, instead of bowing to their (frankly, justified) cowardice, they instead regroup and decide to face the enemy head on. Also, at one point they find themselves in a desert that conveniently resembles the sets of their respective serials.
Mexico and outer space are lousy with Styrofoam and matte paintings.
In the end, they defeat the bad guys thanks to an unlikely last minute move enacted with the help of the peaceful aliens, whom they encourage to stand up for themselves from now on. The day saved, the team is prepared for its next adventure and rides off into the sunset.
Or into the sun (we think).
The Major Difference:
These endings are pretty similar, except for the fact that the "riding into the sunset" scene in Galaxy Quest happens within the recently renewed show that the actors (plus one of the aliens) have gone on to star and presumably find money and success in. The characters in Three Amigos, on the other hand, are really seen galloping into the Mexican desert to fight for justice and most certainly died a few hours later.