Disney has reached out to this year’s San Diego Comic-Con crowd with a closer-than-ever look at their highly-anticipated film “Wreck-It Ralph.” The fans at Comic-Con are the perfect group of people for Disney to reach out to in an effort to continue to build buzz around this most unique movie that’s already best known for pulling together familiar video game characters from decades of gaming history.
The story of “Wreck-It Ralph” centers around the main villain (Ralph) in an old-school Donkey Kong-era arcade game called “Fix-It Felix Jr.” The game’s premise is simple: Ralph breaks buildings, Felix fixes them. But the movie will take audiences on a game-hopping journey across genres as Ralph grows tired of always being known as the “bad guy.”
In promotion of the film at San Diego Comic-Con, Disney not only held two separate panel presentations but also placed a pair of distressed, stand-up “Fix-It Felix Jr.” arcade games in the San Diego video arcade Tilt, located in the Horton Plaza shopping center. The games appear to be decades old and gameplay mirrors that of classic 8-bit games, with repetitive button mashing a requirement to reach a high score.
Video: Fix-It Felix Jr real playable arcade game from “Wreck-It Ralph”
Comic-Con attendees who make the trek to Tilt (about a 10-15 minute walk from the convention center) are rewarded with a free “Wreck-It Ralph” T-shirt and Xbox avatar shirt download code upon reaching a certain score, initially set at 5,000 but lowered to 2,500 to allow more winners to move through the line. Disney should be commended for giving gamers attending the convention an excuse to visit a local video arcade, once a popular hangout, now largely replaced by high-tech home gaming consoles. “Wreck-It Ralph” aims to capture the spirit of and nostalgia within the gaming community and the new-for-old playable “Fix-It Felix Jr” game accomplishes just that.
In 2012’s second presentation in Comic-Con’s biggest room, Hall H, Walt Disney Studios offered attendees first looks at clips from Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” and Sam Raimi’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” before “Wreck-It Ralph” took center stage. The film’s director Rich Moore offered attendees the exclusive opportunity to watch 10 highly-entertaining minutes from the film, most from the beginning, followed by bringing two of the film’s stars out: John C. Reilly (Ralph) and Sarah Silverman (Vanellope von Schweetz). Also revealed was the tidbit that popular musician Skrillex is creating some of the film’s retro-sounding soundtrack.
The full “Wreck-It Ralph” panel discussion can be seen in the video below, minus the 10-minute clip, as recording of on-screen media is strictly prohibited at all times throughout the San Diego Comic-Con. But for those wondering, those 10 minutes closely mirrored but expanded upon the film’s trailer (also included below), offering extended looks at character introductions, the “Bad-Anon” meeting featuring familiar game characters like Zangief, Bowser, and Kano, and Game Central Station.
Video: “Wreck-It Ralph” Hall H panel presentation at San Diego Comic-Con 2012
Video: “Wreck-It Ralph” trailer
With quick-witted comedy and a geektastic story, “Wreck-It Ralph” was warmly welcomed by the Comic-Con crowd, drawing big laughs and even bigger reactions upon seeing video game favorites join the cast. But while avid gamers will get the most out of the film, it’s still designed to appeal to anyone who’s ever wiggled a joystick or mashed buttons in an arcade, bringing a bit of nostalgia to today’s high-definition world.
“Wreck-It Ralph” slams into theaters on November 2, 2012.
More photos of the “Fix-It Felix Jr” arcade machine: