Travis McClain’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm kind of troubled by things like this, because they're presented as short films but in truth they're more like glorified deleted scenes. A lot of the humor of BURN-E relies on knowing what happens in WALL-E, particularly since we see key events from the feature occur within this story. Seen on its own, I imagine BURN-E is more confusing than amusing.
However, I have seen WALL-E...though it's been more than three years since my last viewing. I think the time away from the feature played to the short's advantage. BURN-E's tedious day at work, and the escalating antics, are the kind of thing that Pixar does especially well. With WALL-E and his adventure not being immediately on my mind, I was more able to focus on BURN-E.
Fact: Having a character ride in an elevator is always funny. The more awkward, the better, but even a straightforward, short ride as we see here is sufficient to elicit laughter. Why? Because film is supposed to be life with all the boring parts cut out, and the ubiquity of having to take an elevator transcends film's ability to cut around it. Elevator rides immediately put the character(s) taking them on our level. Who hasn't had a day like BURN-E? We get it. He's one of us.
How BURN-E Entered My Flickchart
BURN-E < The Man Who Wasn't There --> #1532
BURN-E > The Mummy's Hand --> #1156
BURN-E > Waterworld --> #964
BURN-E < Friday the 13th, Part 2 --> #964
BURN-E > For All Mankind --> #915
BURN-E < No Strings Attached --> #915
BURN-E < The Old Mill --> #915
BURN-E < Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon --> #915
BURN-E > The Pride of Jesse Hallum --> #912
BURN-E > Thor --> #911
BURN-E > Oz, the Great and Powerful --> #910
BURN-E entered my Flickchart at #910/1541