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An Early Look at Disney’s “Wreck-it Ralph”

                From the first peek of “Wreck-It Ralph”, Disney’s newest animated feature, it seems that a lot of buttons are being pushed for children of the 1980s and 1990s. Just the trailers feature cameos from Bowser of Super Mario Bros. fame and a Pac Man ghost, both of whom appear in a “Bad Anon” meeting being visited for the first time by our titular villain… or is he really a hero? As Disney sets out to answer this question, audiences come into the theater wondering—can a movie with references to older video games but meant for younger audiences appeal to everyone? The answer seems to be a resounding yes.

                The references aren’t overwhelming enough to make the movie incomprehensible to anybody who isn’t well versed in video game culture. In fact, they act more as “easter eggs”; when you catch them you feel as if you’re in on a little secret along with the filmmakers. The relationship between the older main character and his childish sidekick is in itself enough to draw older and younger members of the audience together.

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But the film does far more than gather people of all ages together for a fun flick. It’s a good look at growing up for adults and children alike. Grown-ups will understand what it means to come to terms with your life and what you’ve chosen to do with yourself, and how to find relevance in a world that seems more and more geared towards younger individuals. Kids will get what it’s like to be the outcast, and just about everybody knows what it’s like to feel like a “glitch”.

                “Wreck-It Ralph” could have been an enjoyable movie even if it was just a look at video games and video game culture. The fact that the filmmakers have done more and delivered a film with a lot of heart, and that can be enjoyed by everyone, speaks volumes for the direction that Disney is moving in. If they continue to produce films of this quality we could be moving into a new golden era in Disney Animation.

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