Disney's upcoming videogame satire sends up the whole medium.
Since it has more money than a good number of developing nations combined, it's easy to see Disney as a corporate badguy, bean-counting behind a pair of plastic mouse ears and a soulless grin. The upside to having so much capital, however, is the ability to take on projects that might bankrupt smaller studios. In Disney's upcoming animated film Wreck-It Ralph, John C. Reilly stars as an 8-bit videogame villain who wishes to be a hero. Fair enough, but in order to accomplish this goal, he finds himself in a support group with Super Mario's Bowser, Sonic's Dr. Robotnik, and Street Fighter's Zangief. At the same time. From Pac-Man to Q-Bert, Wreck-It Ralph must have filled the coffers of a hundred copyright lawyers - and that's only the trailer.
While this is not the first media released about Wreck-It Ralph, it's the first substantial trailer, and it's hard to imagine it not eliciting a smile from anyone who grew up in the late 80s or early 90s. The titular Ralph is the brutish thug to Fix-It Felix's handyman hero, and he's fed up with his villainous lot in life. His odyssey takes him through a support group for 8-bit antagonists (M. Bison and Clyde show up, too, if you were wondering), into a kiddy kart racer Sugar Rush, and even into Hero's Duty, which casts him as a generic space marine under the command of a perfectly cast Jane Lynch barking hyper-masculine orders ("When did videogames become so violent and scary?" laments Ralph).
Stand-up comedienne Sarah Silverman and Jack McBrayer of 30 Rock fame show up as well, and that's only in the two minutes and thirty seconds of trailer footage. Granted, there's plenty that can go wrong in the other 88-118 minutes of this movie, but a good-natured satire that lampoons both classic and modern games is always welcome, especially when it has some blockbuster money behind it. Wreck-It Ralph debuts on November 2, 2012.