Well-timed with the E3 conference, Disney has recently released four stills from their new animated feature: Wreck-it-Ralph. While Disney Animation Studio’s last two movies, The Princess and the Frog and Tangled, fell into the typical “Disney princess” line, Wreck-it-Ralph diverges from the tried-and-true Disney formula and is instead about a video game villain who seeks out to prove that he’s actually one of the good guys. On his quest to prove he’s not just a Donkey Kong ripoff (I’m sorry, but it had to be said, I mean, look at this promo-video), he lands in various video-game “worlds” ranging from a sci-fi FPS to a kart racing game, and (presumably) learns how to redeem his image in the interconnected game community.
Now I’ll be honest when I say that this film seriously slipped underneath my radar (And I’m usually good at keeping up with the big-names of American animation, huh), but the latest concept art has certainly piqued my interest. Observe:
First let me draw you to the little details – specifically these poor little animal mascots (And e-gads, is that Q Bert up front? Aww) and their plea to “NPC in FPS 4 food”. It’s cute, it’s a little clever, and aww these little guys are actually quite adorable. Now direct your gaze to the right of these “unplugged” mascots and le gasp is that Chun Li and Zangief?
No seriously Disney how did you secure the rights to get Chun Li and Zangief to cameo in this?
And of course, they’re not the only ones. Director Rich Moore (Who some of you may recognize from his work on the Simpsons, Futurama, and even Drawn Together) and the rest of the studio are not pulling any stops when it comes to inserting recognizable cameos; apparently Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog will be playing a major role in these shenanigans, as well as appearances from the likes of Bowser and Doctor Wily of MegaMan fame.
Of course, no movie can rely on its special cameos to make it a good film, and I am sad to say that the first impressions of Wreck-it-Ralph do not bode well, in my humble opinion. While I do not blame Disney for choosing to continue with its CGI line of movies, the very style for Wreck-it-Ralph is indistinguishable from recent films coming out of rival companies, such as Dreamworks (Save for films such as How to Train Your Dragon and Rise of the Guardians). Which is a shame, really, for its predecessor Tangled was able to hold true to a distinctly “Disney” feel to it (Or maybe it was because of the whole Disney-princess-thing going for it).
Now while I believe that this says something about the animation industry and its ability to maintain a monotonous style for its CGI films, there is always the possibility that Wreck-it-Ralph has a good, solid story underneath the cameos and the flashy 3-D gimmick (Did I mention this film was in 3-D too? Ugh I know); I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on it, just in case this movie turns out to be one of those diamonds in the rough.