Disney’s newest movie, Wreck-it Ralph, has been bouncing around in Disney brains for almost a decade. After a few name and story changes and, I’m sure, years of ‘pre-development research’ in the form of slaving over table-top Pac-Man, Wreck-it Ralph is now in theaters. And, well, makes some very happy adults and some strong cultural statements in addition to being a beautifully animated kid’s movie. So, it was well worth the wait.

The story...

To be brief and spoiler free, Wreck-it Ralph is about video game characters, their hopes, their dreams, their ids, their egos and life in an old school, but apparently still operating, arcade. We follow the story of Ralph, a “bad guy” who wrecks stuff, has ginormous hands and feels limited by his villain-status. Eventually the survival of the arcade hangs in the balance. There it is, over simplified, but frankly Wreck-it Ralph is about so much more than the story of its characters.

The big deal...

Disney just made a feature-film about arcade games. It is 2012 and a children’s film giant just made a full-length, animated motion picture about 8-bit, coin-operated, stand-up arcade games. And it’s a hit across box offices and demographics.

Now, creating a movie that wins the hearts and minds of children and adults alike isn’t exactly new territory for Disney, but Wreck-it Ralph is different. Wreck-it Ralph isn’t simply a kid’s movie with well thought out characters and subtle adult references. It is a children’ movie for the inner-child of today’s adults.

Disney went all out and acquired the rights and licenses to dozens of characters and video games that haven’t been in production for decades. While the core characters are original, Disney didn’t skimp on the 8-bit cameos that bring their story to life for their adult audience. Arcade games and their cast of characters are nostalgia. While Bowser and Pac-Man are still widely known, the fact is you’d be hard-pressed to find a modern eight-year-old who knows Q*bert. In fact, in most regions you’d have a difficult time finding an arcade.

However, children today are very familiar with video games and gamer culture. SolidLine Media Motion Artist, Adam Marzec isn’t surprised to see a movie about video games. He says, “With gaming series grossing more than some movies these days it is very clear that games have made a giant splash in the entertainment industry.” Wreck-it Ralph, however, is arguably the first successful film based on video games. A few attempts have been made in the last several years, all of them modern, big budget, CGI failures. Films such as Doom and Max Payne approached their source material on a superficial level; fodder for violence, nudity and big explosions. Whereas Disney didn’t approach a specific game, they were inspired by an entire culture and built a real, tangible world that brings the characters and gamers together. Wreck-it Ralph respects and validates the video-game culture as art and a community.

The art...

Yes, art. The incredibly talented motion graphic department at SolidLine Media have been anticipating the film for months and are already gushing over the quality and playfulness of the animation.

Justin Younger, a SolidLine Motion Artist, ran out to see the movie opening weekend.

Art Director, Mike Petrik, hasn’t even seen the movie and doesn’t consider himself a gamer but, from trailers, is incredibly excited to geek-out about the animation. And, has already purchased The Art of Wreck-it Ralph book.

Marzec commends Disney for nailing the world visually, “Especially going from the 8-bit characters to the 3D ones,” he says, “the contrasting animation styles look like a neat fit.”

But beyond the amazing animation, Disney celebrates the art of the games that the story is based on. Disney is celebrating and validating the art of games. Programmers in the 1980’s turned a wall of code into an interactive game. They created pixelated worlds, stories and characters to whom consumers grew emotionally attached. They were innovators and artists and Wreck-it Ralph is a colossal tip of the hat from Disney, a company that embraced animation and brought it into maturity.

If you couldn’t tell, SolidLine Media and this enthusiastic blogger highly recommend you see Wreck-it Ralph. And we challenge you to try and catch all of the references.

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