Writer-director (Age: 43)

Don't tell Junior, but WALL-E is a serious film—a portrait of a desolate, post-apocalyptic world with humans adrift in space and ruled by computers who thwart their return to Earth. Call it Kubrick for Kiddies. Or a popcorn flick for cineastes. It's the perfect example of Andrew Stanton's Midas touch: the ability to make kid-friendly fare that adults are happy to see. But even by Stanton's standards (he also wrote Toy Storys 1 and 2 and wrote and directed Finding Nemo), WALL-E is a banner achievement in high/low, young/old, male/female, anyone-with-a-pulse appeal. While the something-for-everyone approach is well-worn, more than $470 million at the box office and a possible Best Picture nomination are certainly not. "You are what you direct," says Pixar head John Lasseter. "And WALL-E shows you that Andrew is one of the most innovative storytellers working in film today." Stanton's made it official: We're all slaves to the machine.

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