Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wreck-It Ralph

After several failed attempts (no, really), LC and I made it out to see Disney's latest on Monday.

Basically, if you take the concept of "Toy Story", but with video games instead of toys, and cross it with the "bad guy tries to reform" plotline from "Megamind", you get this film.

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The thing is, originality is wildly overrated. After all, there are only a handful of plots in literature, and the film industry tends to stick with only a subset of those anyway. So, chances are that everything is reminiscent of something else.

But what we have here is a fairly simple story told well. Plus, the characters are likeable, they have actual motivations for what they're doing, and even for the means they use to do it.

And then there are the references, and this was where the fun really came. Because while on the surface the story is enjoyable, if you know your video games it's even more enjoyable. And if you really know your video games, then there's a whole new level of fun to be had. So, yeah, although Ralph and Felix are entirely new characters, the game portrayed feels exactly like games that I played way back when. And when Ralph goes to Bad-anon (the support group shown in the trailers), a great many of the characters present were immediately recognisable.

So, yeah, a good stroy well told, just enough nostalgia to hit me just right, and a lot of good fun. As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

One more thing to note: a few years ago, it wasn't worth bothering with Disney movies unless they were, in fact, Pixar movies. Apparently, Disney recognised this also, because they proceeded to buy Pixar and then, in a stunningly wise move, they basically put the Pixar guys in charge of their animation studios.

We're now starting to see the benefits of this. As we know, Pixar films are usually preceded by a short film, which while entertaining in their own right, are also used by Pixar to develop the technology for their new films, to let staff learn new techniques, and to tell stories just for the joy of it. "Wreck-It Ralph" was preceded by "Paperman", a short film that does exactly the same thing. Likewise, it definitely looks like WiR started with a good story and then built from there, rather than the recent Disney approach of developing toys to sell and then trying to craft a film.

All of which can only bode well for the future. Because Pixar make good films, and if this now means that we're going to get more good films (even if they're supposedly "kid's films"), then I'm all in favour. I wonder what they'll come up with next?

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