Wreck-It Ralph

Okay, wow.

I've seen Wreck-It Ralph twice now. It suffered a bit on the second viewing, but it was positively magical, wonderful fun the first time around. The only movie I've had more fun at this year was The Avengers.

The writing, the plotting, the voice-acting, the animation, and the world-building were all top-notch, and the film had some of the most uplifting moments of any I've seen in recent memory. It also had one of the darkest, most potentially horrifying moment I've seen -- not that I'm warning kids away from it, mind you. It's an "oh no, this can't be what happens next" moment, one of those things that the adult viewer will find far more worrisome than "oh no a character might die." 

At any rate, I had a blast. 

I saw the film in 35mm and in 3D, and while the 3D was quite clean I didn't find it adding anything to the story, not like the 3D in Up or Monsters vs Aliens, which helped communicate scale in a way that was important to the audience. So, that's good news, right? Save your money! See it in 2D.

Also made of win? The short at the beginning. "Paperman" was delightful, and is easily worth making sure you're in your seat on time.

My only real concern with the film lies in the use of pop-culture elements -- specifically video game properties. They weren't critical to the story, but they helped orient us to the world in which the story takes place. My concern is that Disney, a company with a stable full of intellectual properties they're ordinarily reluctant to loan out, licensed a bunch of other people's properties in order to tell a story. 

We need stories like this. We need to be able to reference Mickey, Mario, Magneto, and Master Chief as we make our way through the decades of change stacked up before us. Captain Kirk, Captain Mal, Captain Solo, and Doctor Who. Superman, Spider-Man, and perhaps even Sergeant Schlock. Modern mythologies are more than just revenue streams, and I feel like there should be ways for property holders (including small-fry like me) to retain ownership and control, while still allowing for use, re-use, fair-use, and more. The fan-films surrounding the Lucasfilm properties are a great example of this, just as telling as the absolute dearth of non C&D'd fan-films featuring mouse-ears.

These are things I think about, and yes, these thoughts distracted me a bit during the film. I don't have answers here, and I barely know how to articulate the questions. I don't know what arrangements Disney made with Nintendo, Namco, Time-Warner, Gottlieb, and Konami (among others) but I hope there will be quid-pro-quo, or something like that.