People just found that to be such a novel way of communicating.
Universe: I call it the "WALL-E Effect..."
McGregor: A lot of people mention that. What's funny is that it does all tie together, because the Pixar animators who drew WALL-E actually came to JPL back in 2006 to get their ideas for how to draw WALL-E. In fact, tomorrow, there's a Disney junket for the roll-out of the WALL-E DVD, and they're bringing all the media to JPL to see all these robots that their Pixar team saw way back before they did WALL-E. So it does all tie together."
Full interview here.
Courtesy of @veronica.