Last fall, a young woman named Courtney saw the WALL-E teaser -- the one where Andrew Stanton talks about the meeting in 1994 where the story was first conceived -- and was reduced to a puddle of tears by its adorableness. Seems she has a soft spot for robots, and in particular for lonely, child-like, wide-eyed robots. So she videoed herself watching the trailer on her computer, knowing it would have the same effect on her again, and then she posted the video on her blog and on YouTube. (We've got it here after the jump.)
The video made its way around the Internets, as these things do, and Courtney began to get e-mails from people within the Pixar family who had seen it and appreciated her enthusiasm. Then one of the film's producers sent her a Pixar jacket as a Christmas gift, along with a note thanking her for the video.
And then they invited her to the film's wrap party in San Francisco.
Courtney was elated, as you might imagine. Pixar flew her and her boyfriend into town and put them up in a hotel. You can read their account of the evening here, and there are plenty of great details (including Brad Bird teasing her, "Why don't you cry at any of MY movies?").
At the event, Andrew Stanton said, "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."
I think it's fantastic that the Pixar team was inspired by Courtney's video -- and, what's more, that they had the graciousness to acknowledge it and thank her for it. You'll notice, too, that Pixar didn't turn it into a publicity moment ("Look how much this girl loves the trailer! The movie must be awesome!!"). As always, Pixar's behavior is almost unbelievably classy and down-to-earth.
Here Courtney's original video. Is it just me, or does she look a lot like Kristen Bell? And is it just me and her, or is WALL-E really, really adorable?