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In Which I Review "Wreck-It Ralph"

05 Nov 2012

I was never part of the arcade scene growing up. I occasionally played pinball with my Dad at the local bowling alley, but I never spent any time honing my Street Fighter skills. The closest I ever got to an actual arcade experience was Tyrian or Stargunner on my 80486. So usually when arcade-related anime, movies, or other things come out, I don't care. I didn't see the Street Fighter movies. I didn't see Mortal Kombat. I didn't see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

So this weekend when my fiancee asked if we could go see Disney's new film, "Wreck-It Ralph", I wasn't too enthusiastic.

To my surprise, Wreck-It Ralph was fantastic.

The characters were well fleshed out, and although there were a few cliche moments, the film more often than not used them as the brunt of jokes later in the film. On the whole it forged its own territory, nestled snugly inbetween the feel-good, kid-friendly moral tale and the "Hey, parents, remember this video game?" fan service.

As merely a passerby in the arcade metaverse, I caught a surprising number of the in-jokes, which leaned more toward the overall 8-bit nostalgia spectrum than the arcade cabinet spectrum. My favorite part? A toss-up between the 8-bit sprites not having smooth animations or a character "being programmed with most tragic backstory in the history of video games".

Anyway, go see it. And if you have kids, take them. You'll both enjoy it.

Edit: And moments after I post this, I see the review on Ars Technica. More details (read: minor spoilers) there.