Wreck-It Ralph Brings Gaming to the Movies

wreck-it ralph

How have I not heard of this before now? Disney has a new animated movie coming out November 2, called “Wreck It Ralph.” I’d seen that title before in a list of upcoming movies, and I knew it had something to do with an arcade, but I didn’t know that 1) it was coming out so soon and 2) that it sounded so awesome.

I have to say I’ve been a little hesitant about any animated film coming out of Disney lately that isn’t either a fairy tale film or from Pixar. I love “Emperor’s New Groove” and “Lilo & Stitch,” but lately we’ve had more movies like “Home on the Range” and “Bolt.” “Meet the Robinsons” wasn’t bad, but it aside from one slapstick scene with a tyrannosaurus rex it wasn’t that memorable, either.

After reading an overview of the film on Entertainment Weekly’s website, however, I have a lot of cautious optimism for “Wreck It Ralph.” If nothing else, the premise is awesome: our titular hero is actually a villain. He’s the bad guy in an 80s-style smash-up arcade game called “Fix-It Felix, Jr.” who throws bricks at the Mario-type hero all Donkey Kong style.

Thirty years into his gig and Ralph’s tired of it. For him it’s just a job, but he doesn’t like being the bad guy anymore. He wants to branch out, become his own hero. Of course that’s not going to be so easy; his world sees him as a villain and his friends, also bad guys, might not take too kindly to his defection.

“Wreck It Ralph” will feature cameos from a host of classic 80s and 90s video game villains. Counted among their ranks are the orange ghost from “Pac-Man,” Mario’s perpetual enemy Bowser, Dr. Robotnik from “Sonic the Hedgehog,” and M. Bison from “Street Fighter II.”

Don’t know what I’m talking about? I don’t blame you – some of this video game history is getting obscure. I’m sure you won’t have to be familiar with all of the references in order to enjoy the film. For those of us in the know, however, this movie is looking super fun. Disney’s really been stepping up its game lately at, well, trying to get into games. I hope the inevitable video game tie-in for the film is in classic arcade style.

Perhaps I’m a bit more than cautiously optimistic. I just really want to be excited for a non-Pixar, and especially a non-Princess, Disney movie. Let’s hope storytelling-wise, or even just reference-wise, they took a page from Edgar Wright’s manic, made-for-the-Nintendo-generation “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” That movie was made with older audiences in mind, but something about its tone was all about the kids raised on 8-bit graphics and arcade soundtracks.

At this point, unless the eventual trailers (I wonder if there will be one before “Brave”) make it look awful, I’m definitely going to see “Wreck It Ralph.” Here’s to hoping that it breaks Disney’s recent streak of sub-par non-fairy-tale films.

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*(This image by PopCultureGeek.com is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.)

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Angela Shambeda

About Angela Shambeda

Angela lives in southern Maryland with her husband and three rescue pets. She often talks her poor husband's ear off about various topics, including Disney, so she's excited to share her thoughts and passions with you.