As you can see, we went to Wreck-It-Ralph over the weekend. Julie’s ability to get all the way from her house and into the theater in less than 12 minutes of trailers and a short was a rather impressive feat. Though not nearly as impressive as the movie that followed.
We had gone into Wreck-it-Ralph with pensively high hopes. As a product of the early 90’s, video games have been a huge driving force in my life, harkening to the days I used to play Super Mario Bros on the NES. With this in mind, it’s understandable why my opinion of the film would be somewhat… biased. Wreck-it-Ralph’s hugest initial draw is easily the incorporation of many of beloved video game characters.
However, nostalgia and cameos will only carry a story so far. It can ONLY be the icing, not the actual meat of the story. As thrilling as seeing some of the most memorable characters up on the big screen felt, they acted more as a means to introduce us into the world with their familiarity. After a certain point the focus shifted to the main characters and plot shaped itself around the world Disney created. The shift was well done and there was never any point where I felt reliant on the cameos now that I had become invested in the story.
Stepping back to an objective perspective, I feel that Disney successfully created a film that could be enjoyed by both gamer and non-gamer alike. In many ways, Wreck-it-Ralph came startlingly close to a Toy Story film for video games. In the Toy Story series, I always found there to be an extra level of enjoyment in recognizing the wide number of nostalgic or current toy lines incorporated into the story. But like Toy Story, the nostalgia only acted as an extra layer of icing to an entertaining story rich with extremely likable characters.
Another thing that impressed me was the film’s willingness to return to the unabashed methods of animated films past. I will not give anything away, but a rather horrific looking character comes into play later on in the story that I’m sure would be quite terrifying to younger viewers. It was refreshing to see the movie not only accomplish a throw back to past video games, but also to a time when animated movies were not afraid to push out of a child’s comfort zone and create a truly threatening scene or character.
Whether you were a gamer or a not, it was apparent that the people behind Wreck-it-Ralph held a true passion for gaming and the characters involved. That sort of passion and love is important in any sort of story-telling, especially if you wish for it to ring true with your viewers. I highly recommend watching the movie. Between a powerful message, some heart wrenching moments, and amazing visual concepts, it emerged as a welcomed surprise.