Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wreck it Ralph

It has been a while since Disney has released a good animated movie. However, they have bought Pixar, who seems to have a recent monopoly on quality animation. So, it would only be time before Disney would start poaching Pixar to ramp up the "native" animation studio. John Lasseter (of Cars and Toy Story fame) was the executive producer of Wreck it Ralph. This film has much more of the Pixar "magic" than Brave, the most recent Pixar release. The director, Ralph Moore is best known for directing Simpsons and Futurama episodes. This just sounds like a great combination for a fun movie.

The movie doesn't disappoint. Apparently, the film had been seeded back in the 80s when the video game arcades had their initial burst of popularity. Now it is 30 years later and the movie thrives on a lot of the nostalgia for the video games. The video game characters work their games during the day, but after the arcade closes, they can freely travel. (They just need to be careful not to die, because they don't regenerate outside their game.) "Ralph" is the "bad guy" in the Fix it Felix video game. He feels sad beacuse the good buy always gets the credit and the medals. He eventually goes to a "bad guys anonymous" meeting (run by one of the Pac-man ghosts). Unfortunately, he soon discovers he hasn't been invited to the big party for his game's anniversary. He gets upset and runs away to try to find a medal. He finds one in a modern first person shooter game, but ends up being flown out to Sugar Rush, a candy go-kart racing game. There he meets a "glitch" who wants the medal to be able to race, they fight, become friends and eventually have a happy ending after some close calls.

The movie is filled with a lot of the small visual details that are common in the Simpson's episodes. There are plenty of inside jokes and video game allusions. The music works well, with a nice classic video-game influence. The closing credits song, "Sugar Rush" is by AKB48, A Japanese girl group. I seems just perfect in the video game setting.

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