Hello Wanderers, and welcome once again to your bi-weekly instalment of that forever favourite, the GUST article. And once again, we’re looking at those overlords of childhood, the Disney company. Now, regardless of what you think about their choices in certain movies, it is hard to deny that when Disney make a good movie, they make a really good movie. The one that we’re looking at today is one of those movies that is just… really, really good. Like, really. Yes, I needed to repeat the word ‘really’ that often. Being the 52nd entry in their animated canon list, we’re looking at the 2012 computer animated movie, Wreck-It Ralph.
Now, first things first, this is a movie about video games, that happens to contain a few legit video game characters in it because Disney did the smart thing and paid out the money to be allowed to have these characters cameo. The movie itself, rumour has it, was originally meant to be a Mario Bros movie, but I can’t really find any sources to confirm or deny this, so we’ll leave it at rumour unless someone out there can find evidence otherwise. However, the project kept going through delays – traces of the ideas for the movie can be found in the early 1980s – but it took until 2012 for anything to come of it. And … yeah, waiting till then was probably for the best.
The movie centres around the villain of popular 80s arcade game, Fix-It Felix Jr, who happens to be called Ralph. Now, Ralph is tired of having to play the bad guy day in, day out, and getting no respect for it from the other denizens of the video game world – apart from fellow villains and Felix himself. On the 30th anniversary of the game, despite his rather important role in the game, he finds himself excluded from the celebrations taking place. He is then given the challenge to get a medal, and prove himself a hero. Ralph takes this to heart, looking for a better lot in life, and begins game jumping to get himself a medal. Consequences ensue.
That’s a very brief, not getting into too much detail, look at the plot and believe me; it is something of a joy to watch. It’s clear from the first moment of the film that the people working on it clearly love videos, and parts of it play out as love letters to different genre of games that can be found; even including an up-to-date first person shooter called Hero’s Duty. And no, I can’t go in and describe these games without giving too much away.
The voice cast is stellar, delivering high performances and truly memorable characters. A personal favourite would be Sargent Calhoun, from the aforementioned Hero’s Duty. She’s very similar to Female Shepard in Mass Effect in design, and her voice is provided by the fabulous Jane Lynch. The character is just someone you cannot help but like, even as she’s yelling at you to grow up, put your big person pants on, and stop with the crying already.
Speaking of crying, it’s a crying shame that this movie lost to Brave at the 85th Academy Awards, and I’m saying that as someone who really enjoyed Brave. It’s not that the latter isn’t a good movie, it is, but there’s just something about this movie that really makes it shine. It’s accessible to all, gamers and non-gamers, and it doesn’t feel the need to go on about ‘fake gamers’. Which, by the way, is on of the more annoying terms I’ve ever written. It’s a stereotype, and in a movie in which the main character tries to fight against his stereotype, you can understand my annoyance at including the phrase. But it’s a thing in gamer culture, and so I include. Ho hum.
Wreck-It Ralph is a film, really, about coming to terms with who you are and being okay with that, and I think that’s a message that really needs to be heard. It’s out on DVD and blu-ray, so if you get the chance to pick it up, go for it!
Z McAspurren (Pokemon Player)