The video game world was abuzz online when The Walt Disney Studios this week unveiled the first poster for the upcoming animated film “Wreck-It Ralph.” The film is set in a classic Nintendo-era 8-bit world in which video game villains are tired of always being portrayed as the bad guy.
The new poster, in that same 8-bit style, shows off the movie’s title character, Wreck-It Ralph, who is the villain of the fictional Donkey Kong-meets-Rampage video game “Fix It Felix Jr.”:
Additional real-life video game villains will also be featured in the highly-anticipated film, including Bowser from the Super Mario Bros series, Doctor Robotnik / Eggman from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, one of the Pac-Man ghosts, heart-stopping Kano from Mortal Kombat, and Coily the Snake from Q*Bert.
Disney fans got a first look at “Wreck-It Ralph” at the 2011 D23 Expo, during an all-encompassing preview of upcoming projects from The Walt Disney Studios. On hand were actors Sarah Silverman and Jack McBrayer, both of whom provide voices for the film, along with director Rich Moore.
A notoriously raunchy comedian, Silverman kept her appearance at the convention family-friendly, joking that she normally dislikes Disney movies, noting “I hate that they make me feel.”
Though the duo was funny on stage, the biggest laughs came from a sneak peek at the unfinished first few minutes of the film, introducing the title character, voiced by actor John C. Reilly. Though the movie is set in a world of a video game that doesn’t really exist, Ralph is joined by familiar faces as they come to grips with the depressingly repetitive life of being a video game bad guy, attending support group meetings (“Bad-Anon”) to cope with the stress of constantly being hated for going after the heroes.
The hilarious support group scene was extremely well received, even in rough animation, most notably due to the instantly recognizable video game character cameos, each expressing their own issues with being a baddie. Ultimately the film follows Ralph on an adventure to prove himself as more than just a bad guy, hopping between video game genres to find his place in virtual life. Send-up genres include “kart” racing and first-person shooters with one world featuring a distinctly “Halo” feel, including the voice of Jane Lynch as a space-age sergeant.
But ultimately the connection fans have to “Wreck-It Ralph” is in its 8-bit roots, a nostalgic video game style for all gamers. In promotion of the film the 2011 D23 Expo also showed off stand-up arcade machine for “Fix It Felix Jr”, unfortunately unplayable, but with entertaining pixelated visuals running across its screen.
We can likely expect to see a similar display, if not a more elaborate one, at the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con in July, a mecca for the exact crowd that this film will most appeal to.
“Wreck-It Ralph” smashes its way into theaters on November 2, 2012.