Okay, this is an AWESOME story.
A year ago, a woman named Courtney discovered she couldn’t watch the preview trailer for Wall-E without bursting into tears every time Wall-E said his name. Half-embarassed, half-amused, she made a little video of herself watching raptly and crying on-cue, which started to circulate on YouTube. People from Pixar eventually saw it and some sent her little emails thanking her for sharing her connection with the film. They even sent her some Wall-E swag for Xmas. Nice, right?
It gets better.
Out of the blue, Pixar invited her to the Wall-E wrap party, flying her across the country and putting her up in a great hotel. The wrap party was attended by a thousand of the Pixar employees who worked on Wall-E for four long years, and before the screening, writer/director Andrew Stanton gave a little speech thanking them all for their commitment and talent:
“Six months ago, when the first trailer for Wall-E came out, we were only halfway done with the film, and we weren’t exactly sure how we were going to get it done. We were exhausted.
And then, one day, a movie showed up on YouTube, showing a girl watching the trailer for Wall-E. And every time she watched it, she would cry on cue. When we saw that, we knew we were on the right track.”
Everybody in the theater laughed at this knowingly.
“Well,” Andrew Stanton said. “We invited Courtney here tonight.”
A gasp went through the theater… Stanton asked her to stand up, and all one-thousand sets of eyes in the theater turned to find her, and thunderous applause broke out.
Best of all, Pixar never tried to use this story to promote Wall-E at all; they just did it as a treat to their employees and a thank you to Courtney- a way to allow people who had connected only indirectly to finally meet in person.
Here’s the Wall-E trailer, and the video of Courtney watching it and crying. It’s pretty fun to watch- I just checked it out at work and cried all over myself, then some dude from the mailroom wandered by and gave me a weird look as I sat there with a big doofy grin wiping my nose on my arm. And Courtney’s boyfriend wrote about the experience on Metafilter.