Home on the Range is a Western comedy focused on a trio of dairy cows who are trying to save their farm by attempting to collect the bounty on the outlaw cattle hustler, Alameda Slim.
The film appears mainly aimed at children being largely comedy-driven and its plot being quite over-the-top with the actions of its animal characters while poking fun at Western story tropes. The chemistry between the cows drives much of the film’s storytelling with Maggie’s energetic and take-charge attitude as the new cow clashing with the uptight Mrs. Calloway and the happy-go-lucky Grace trying to mediate things between them throughout their trek to find Slim. The film’s premise is quite out there for a Disney film and doesn’t have much that would appeal to older audiences compared to Emperor’s New Groove which is similar in being heavily comedy-driven, yet having enough variety with its humor to appeal to wider audiences.
Home on the Range appeared to take inspiration from classic Disney animated shorts with its colorful, bright visuals and exaggerated character designs, that does add a bit more to the appeal it would have for children. But the effort is nowhere on par with more visually pleasing films Disney released earlier in the decade and in the 1990s.
In short, Home on the Range would be good entertainment for your kids to enjoy for the film’s 70-minute run. But unlike many of Disney’s prior films up to this point, I can’t really see where there would be much appeal to it for older viewers.
Rating: 5 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
Taka: I haven't a clue to be honest. I know Disney also dabbled into colonial-themed and Western live-action films over the decades outside of their animated features and the film library of 20th Century Fox they acquired. But I haven't dabbled into those as heavily as their animated content.
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
Chicken Little is the first Disney animated film to be fully CG-animated, being loosely based on the titular fable. Set in the town of Oakey Oaks populated by anthropomorphic animals, Chicken Little is a young rooster who is an outcast among the town populace because they believe his claims about the sky falling are lies. This infamy has also led to a strain in his relationship with his father, Buck Cluck, whom Chicken Little wishes to get his acknowledgment.
Before I offer my less than positive thoughts on Chicken Little, some quick behind-the-scenes back story as it relates to how this film’s creative choices were made. In the early 2000s, Disney was struggling with trying to release a theatrically successful hit animated film with the films they produced either not making back what was spent on them or barely making a profit. Seeing the success of CG-animated films coming from Pixar and Dreamworks, Disney executives believed that traditional animation was no longer commercially viable for animated films receiving theatrical releases and shifted focus to creating their own CG-animated films. With their first outing for this on Chicken Little, Disney chose to copy the storytelling mold of Dreamworks’ CG-animated comedies like Shrek and Shark Tale that were snarky and cynical in their tone, and loaded with pop culture references.
To say this choice of creative direction for Chicken Little is a rather horrible choice for Disney in terms of originality would be an understatement. The film’s choice to implement its cynical storytelling works to its detriment as it leads the storytelling for it to be rather mean-spirited with how much of the townsfolk treat Chicken Little like garbage and his own father largely seeming to view him as a burden to protect his own public reputation. The heavy reliance on referential humor also doesn’t lend anything to the film beyond it feeling like an obnoxious attempt by Disney to try placating to fans of Dreamworks’ CG-animated comedies. Worst still, a good amount of the CG animation for Chicken Little looks quite dated with the rendering of characters and scenery as Disney was rather inexperienced with employing the technology during the time they developed the film.
It also seemed quite unclear what sort of story direction or moral that Chicken Little was trying to go for thanks to its rather manic pacing. There is a side-plot where Chicken Little tries playing baseball to get his father’s acceptance that he earns largely by a fluke, and also felt like padding to fill the film’s runtime which could have just as easily been left on the cutting room floor. The film also dabbles into sci-fi with the sky falling involving aliens that builds up to some rather underwhelming developments regarding the cause for a later invasion scene toward the film’s climax and how some of the characters turn out due to these developments as they either make some of them look bad or felt sudden without any buildup.
In short, Chicken Little largely felt like a creative mess to me since it seemed Disney was trying too hard to copy off Dreamworks’ comedic formula that made their CG-animated films commercially successful during the 2000s. Like The Black Cauldron, Disney doesn’t seem to look back on it favorably nowadays due to the infamy it received and I don’t really have much praise to personally lavish it with since it largely felt creatively lazy. Rating: 3 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
(I"m multitasking right now. Watching the movie while watching fall 2020 anime to catch up.)
I started up Disney + since I do it on Decembers. Watching this film. I feel old. I never did watched this film. Seeing the CGI used compared to watching the latest anime and western animations, it feels so weird. Chicken LIttle is not too bad. I can see the texture of the feathers, hair, and fur.
Oh yeah, they used popular music of that time. "Everybody Dance Now" I remember that in middle school. Oh the Champion of the World song. Truly a product of its time. Ending credits was singing a lot of other music. I think that was Adam West voicing the Hollywood version of Chicken Little.
Reading your review, I haven't seen Shrek and and others. I agree the story telling loaded with pop culture references is lazy. The wolf crying premise sounds relatable to children who want to be believed and for Chicken Little, to earn acknowledgement from his dad and town folks. How they resolve things during the climax was lazy.
Meet the Robinsons is a loose adaptation of the children’s book, A Day with Wilbur Robinson, written by William Joyce. The film focuses on an aspiring young inventor named Lewis raised at an orphanage, whose inventions drive away potential parents to adopt him. Wanting to recall memories of his birth mother to know who she was, Lewis tries to invent a machine that would allow him to retrace his brain’s past memories of her and plans to show it off at his school’s science fair. At the fair, Lewis encounters a boy named Wilbur Robinson who claims to be from the future and warns him to stay away from a man wearing a bowler hat who is scheming to sabotage Lewis’ future.
Meet the Robinsons is another 2000s Disney film that I personally found to be a mixed bag having its highs and lows. I suppose I’ll go with exploring the positives I had with the film first. The moral that the film pushes with “keep moving forward” involving Lewis’ struggles to become successful with working on his inventions is an admirable one pushed by the film in spite of it repeatedly being hammered out by its characters often throughout the film. Part of the plot with Meet the Robinsons involves Lewis having to get over his confidence problems to get back his motivation for inventing as he is instead focused on wanting to use Wilbur’s time machine to meet his mother, which would potentially change his present life. Without spoiling too much, Lewis comes to see what the future holds for him during his time with Wilbur as he explores the future and encounters other members of the Robinson family.
The film also makes some clever use of subtle foreshadowing that hint to who some of the future characters are. Some hints will become apparent in some of the future character quirks and their interactions with those from Lewis’ timeline, while others may not be picked up on without a second watch of Meet the Robinsons. But the film does eventually get around to revealing who several of its major future characters are by later in the film.
The CG animation is also an improvement over Chicken Little as Disney took after Pixar to render human characters. The film takes on a 1950s aesthetic with the designs of Lewis’ inventions and the future world that the Robinsons live in, which was done as a homage to classic Disney animation. Animated highlights include seeing the future world of the Robinsons and seeing the movements of the time machines in action as they also can move around in flight when not being used to travel through time. While I’m not sure how well the CG animation will hold up over time as the technology for it improves compared to many of Disney’s traditional animated films, it at least has held up better for Meet the Robinsons than Chicken Little over the past decade.
Praises out of the way, Meet the Robinsons also has its fair share of issues. The film does get rather busy with the introduction of the Robinson family during the middle and ending sections of the film. While their eccentric quirks are fun to see, a good chunk of them don’t get much in the way of depth compared to others and felt like they were added on just to add to the film’s runtime. Removing the members without any relevance to Lewis’ developments could have just as easily been done.
The Bowler Hat Man and Doris have their issues being the antagonists for Meet the Robinsons. While Bowler Hat Man’s motivations for trying to sabotage Lewis are explored within the film, he is mostly ineffective as a villain and not too menacing with how incompetent he is without Doris’ direction. Doris is an improvement with her machinations, though I felt there could have been a little more added to the film to better establish her as the main threat. She was apparently a last-minute addition to Meet the Robinsons when John Lassenter, the new chief creative officer of animation following Disney’s acquisition of Pixar, suggested changing a good chunk of the film’s story because of not finding the Bowler Hat Man effective enough as the film’s main antagonist.
Perhaps the major issue I have with the film though is its implementation of time travel. Time travel gets convoluted enough to implement as a storytelling element for any fictional work because a creator’s rules for it can vary depending on what direction they wish to take their work and having varying levels of understanding with showing how attempts to meddle with events in the past can effect the future. Disney appeared to have some understanding of the storytelling tropes involving time travel as time within the world of Meet the Robinsons appears to exist on a singular timeline with changes to the past possibly drastically effecting the future and the Robinson family being uneasy when learning of Wilbur’s actions potentially effecting the timeline. Only problem is that Disney appeared to be quite inconsistent at applying what rules with tampering with time get applied for the sake of plot convenience as some changes to the past are applied as a plot development later in the film, while others are not either for rule of funny or possibly being an oversight during the film’s development.
In short, I suppose I found Meet the Robinsons to be one of Disney’s middle-of-the-road titles made during the 2000s because of having an equal number of highs and lows. The film’s moral, in spite of it being repeatedly hammered out, is a relatable one in regards to Lewis’ developments and I like the subtle foreshadowing and retro aesthetics applied to the film. But it does have its issues with a number of characters in terms of depth or effectiveness in their roles, and being consistent with applying its rules involving time travel. I’d still say the film is worth a watch with what it offers, though your mileage may vary with how well you like it as the film’s had a history of mixed perception among fans.
I never heard of this film before. The humor in the beginning or heck most of it was off for me. My little cousins were curious and watched with me and enjoyed some of the jokes. I forget these were kid movies. I wonder if this film marked the start or so of "plot twist villains" in the newer Disney films with Doris overtaking Goobie. The older classic films spent more time on the villains who often steal the show from the protagonists. Both were static in character development.
I agree the time travel aspect was hard to not think about it since there were inconsistencies.
Post by Old Man Dream on Dec 10, 2020 18:05:55 GMT
Review #48: Bolt
Bolt focuses on the titular dog believing he was given superpowers in a scientific experiment to protect his human owner, Penny, from a villainous organization. In reality, he and Penny are the main stars of an action TV show in which he has been raised to believe his superhero life is real for the show’s producers to get a more realistic performance out of the dog. With declining TV ratings for the show, the producers set up a cliffhanger ending for an episode that results in Penny being kidnapped to boost viewership. Believing Penny was legitimately abducted, Bolt escapes from the studio set only to accidentally knock himself out and be shipped to New York City. Still under the belief that Penny was abducted, Bolt gets aid from a stray cat named Mittens and a hamster named Rhino to journey back to Hollywood and reunite with Penny, while gradually coming to realize his action-packed life’s not as he believes it to be.
Bolt works as a comedy-adventure film based off its titular character believing he is superpowered based off his TV show character while attempting to get back to Hollywood to reunite with Penny. The comedy comes into play with the chemistry Bolt has with Mittens and Rhino as they journey with the dog to get back to Hollywood with Mittens thinking Bolt’s delusional and Rhino being an obsessed fan oblivious to reality. As Bolt’s journey presses on, he comes to realize the truth concerning his life when he realizes the superpowers he had on his show don’t work, yet this doesn’t stop him from trying to perform heroic acts at points in the film despite being more aware of his limitations. The film also shows the animals questioning their trust with humans during the film with Bolt and Mittens coming to confront this during their journey as Bolt realizes he is an ordinary dog, which does add an additional layer of development to their characters.
The film also depicts a rather shady view of film production some may compare to The Truman Show with Bolt being manipulated into believing his superpowered life by the show’s production staff with being sheltered within the studio’s confines and Penny’s jerk of an agent more concerned about his reputation than the well-being of the girl he represents. Parts of this may be exaggerated to add drama, though I am conscious of the fact that there is truth to the problems faced by child stars and animals in real-life with how cutthroat the entertainment industry can be at times. Plus, I get the impression this was probably a dig by Disney against the current direction of animated films during the 2000s that stuck to the Dreamworks model with having cynical, deadpan humor and fans of said films being opposed to the supposedly saccharine films Disney was making. But this also serves as fleshing out for Penny’s character as she feels lost being at the whims of production staff and TV executives who want to keep Bolt sheltered and have her still be involved in the show, while she wants to treat Bolt as a normal dog away from the production set.
Visually, Bolt is the third Disney film to be fully CG-animated and has a more polished look with rendering its characters compared to Chicken Little and Meet the Robinsons. This is the first film from Disney to make use of non-photorealistic rendering, which is a digital art rendering method allowing for a wider variety of visual styles to be depicted compared to traditional computer-generated methods focused on photorealism. This method was used in the rendering of backgrounds to give them a more hand-drawn feel, and the effect is quite convincing with making Bolt’s scenery look like it was made with more traditional animation methods.
In short, Bolt is a solid comedy-adventure film from Disney mixing comedy involving Bolt still thinking he has superpowers and his interactions with his animal companions, and solid character development with Bolt coming to realize his limitations and Mittens learning to trust humans again through her interactions with the dog. The film is overshadowed in popularity by Disney’s more popular CG-animated offerings with Frozen and Moana, though I still think the film is still worth checking out as it has a more solid foundation for its creative direction and storytelling compared to many films the studio had produced throughout the 2000s.
First time watching the film. The kids got curious and watched it with me while I was catching up on news. Gave me a lot of Toy Story vibes except with pets and love. It had that predictable story flow where the two characters argue and then split up. Bolt finds his Penny and then he sees her hugging another dog. I ended up laughing at the scene while my little kid cousins felt sad about it. I did enjoy the film. Didn't know Miley Cyrus voice Penny until the ending credits where I heard her voice singing.
Parts of this may be exaggerated to add drama, though I am conscious of the fact that there is truth to the problems faced by child stars and animals in real-life with how cutthroat the entertainment industry can be at times. Plus, I get the impression this was probably a dig by Disney against the current direction of animated films during the 2000s that stuck to the Dreamworks model with having cynical, deadpan humor and fans of said films being opposed to the supposedly saccharine films Disney was making.
Oh my word, this is ironic and cruel due to Disney child stars having trouble like Lindsay Lohan.
Pigeons are vestiges from the Dreamworks' joke style.
Post by Old Man Dream on Dec 13, 2020 21:54:55 GMT
Review #49: The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog is a loose adaptation of the novel, The Frog Princess, written by E.D. Baker. Set in 1928 New Orleans, the film focuses on a hard-working waitress named Tiana working between two diners to raise enough money to open her own restaurant. She is able to raise enough money for her goal, but the real estate owners she offers a down payment to for property choose to sell it to a higher bidder due to prejudice they have toward Tiana being a black woman. At the same time these developments take place, Prince Naveen of Maldonia is manipulated by the voodoo witch doctor, Dr. Facilier, to be transformed into a frog. During a costume ball Tiana is at, Naveen mistakes her to be a princess and offers to pay for her restaurant if she kisses him to restore his humanity. But because Tiana isn’t a princess, she also gets cursed to transform into a frog, Tiana and Naveen then find themselves needing to work together to find a means to restore their humanity while evading Dr. Facilier’s plotting to get back Naveen.
Princess and the Frog is notable for featuring the first Disney princess character to be African American in the form of Tiana. It also offered some creative challenges for the studio when creating the film with it being set in the Southern United States during the 1920s when racial oppression and segregation were the norm in society, creating some rather delicate things Disney had to be careful with addressing in this film. At least on a general level depicted during the film’s first half-hour, Disney did believably depict how life in the South was for Tiana and her race with segregation afoot as she still sat at the back of a trolley she rode on, her family’s living arrangements being less ideal than white families, and the prejudice she faced from the white estate owners. But the film still opts to try maintaining the light-hearted optimism offered from prior Disney animated films as the wealthy, white sugar mill owner, “Big Daddy” LaBouff, and his daughter Charlotte are close friends with Tiana giving her the money she needed for her restaurant and the film shifting direction toward Tiana and Naveen’s time as frogs in the Louisiana swamps during the middle section of the film. This isn’t the first instance within American media where a production sheepishly tries to prevent alienating white viewers when addressing racism by depicting some white characters to be accepting of other races during a time period where racial prejudice and discrimination is the norm within society. But at the same time, I also know people of different races were looking for representation within a Disney film. I’ll just say dependent on your stance on the matter, your mileage may vary with Princess and the Frog’s handling of racial discrimination involving “Big Daddy” and Charlotte.
As far as the plot and characters go with Princess and the Frog, I did find things to be a bit of a mixed bag. The film mainly serves as development for Tiana and Naveen’s characters having their own internal issues both have to resolve. I did like Tiana’s character being the hard-working type to try achieving her goals and taking the initiative to get anything done, with her coming to learn that there’s more to get out of life besides being absorbed in her work. Naveen is shown to have hidden depths to his character beyond being a slacker and casanova, while coming to learn to be more self-sufficient and the value of working through his time with Tiana. The film does do a solid job of convincingly developing the relationship between the two as both come to realize the flaws both have and coming to love one another.
My thoughts on other major characters are more of a mixed bag. Louis the alligator and Ray the firefly are meant to serve as Tiana and Naveen’s companions in the swamp during their journey, but they largely have little role in the plot as a whole beyond serving as bland comic relief and have little to develop as characters beyond dragging things out with the film’s runtime for the most part. Dr. Facilier felt a bit underutilized as a villain as the film could have devoted more time to fleshing him out, as there were hints to a good deal of things about his motives such as his disdain for the rich and his current dealings with the Loa that were largely only mentioned in passing. In spite of my possible issues with them when it involves Princess and the Frog’s dabbling into 1920s era racial discrimination, “Big Daddy” and Charlotte are still a hoot to see onscreen with their bombastic Southern personalities and the latter basically chewing up the scenery whenever she’s onscreen.
Visually, Princess and the Frog is the first Disney film since Home on the Range to utilize traditional animation in a time where CG-animated films were becoming increasingly popular with fans. The animation is on par with many classic Disney films in terms of quality with the New Orleans and swamp scenery being nicely drawn with vivid color and a good amount of visual detail, while many character designs go for a caricatured look. The film does have a few scenes that go for a more stylized design that stick out, particularly Tiana’s “Almost There” musical number depicted in an Art Deco graphic style and psychedelic lighting effects during Dr. Facilier’s “Friends From the Other Side” musical number.
In short, Princess and the Frog was a bit of a mixed bag for me in its efforts to try depicting a fairy tale story within a more modern historical setting. Tiana and Naveen’s developments were interesting to see unfold, though some major characters felt pointless in their additions or could have had more time fleshed out with them. Plus the film’s setting being in 1920s New Orleans during the era of racial segregation in the South may ruffle some feathers with Disney trying to create a light-hearted musical based around it, in spite of this being the first Disney film to depict an African American female lead. I guess the best I can say is my thoughts on this film are rather complicated and that I perhaps find it to be more among Disney’s middle-of-the-road films in terms of quality.
I watched the film. Musical numbers were unmemorable and some of them felt like filler padding (reminds me of Frozen). I didn't feel invested in their relationship for some reason. I like Ray the fire fly. I agree about the villain being underwhelming.
Post by Old Man Dream on Dec 19, 2020 22:53:19 GMT
Review #50: Tangled
Tangled is a loose adaptation of the German fairy tale, Rapunzel, and notable for being Disney Animation Studios’ 50th animated film. When soldiers seek out a flower with potent healing properties from a nearby kingdom, they use it to heal their ailing, pregnant queen who gives birth to a daughter named Rapunzel. Unknown to the kingdom, the flower had been possessed by a woman named Mother Gothel who used the flower for centuries to retain her youth. Realizing the flower’s essence is still stored in Rapunzel’s hair, Gothel abducts the princess and keeps her isolated from the world for 18 years in a tower and manipulating the girl to believe she is her daughter so she can continue using Rapunzel’s hair to sustain her youth. Rapunzel, however, has an interest in wanting to explore the outside world and has an opportunity to do so when the thief, Flynn Rider, stumbles upon her tower while fleeing from soldiers during his latest theft.
Tangled is the most recent film from Disney to adapt a fairy tale and it seems they largely relied on the same storytelling setup they’ve used since the Disney Renaissance for adapting these for their films. You have a female protagonist wanting something they express in song, have a couple animal sidekicks supporting and/or serving as comic relief, meeting a male character who gradually becomes their love interest over the course of the film, female lead undergoes some sort of development during her story, random comical shenanigans peppered in to pad out the runtime, build up to a conflict with a villain that is resolved, and get your happy ending with the new couple living happily ever after. Rapunzel’s situation follows this storytelling formula to a large degree with her wanting to see the world outside her tower, while coming to gradually fall in love with Flynn and learning of her true past as a princess. The character developments are okay, though Disney not doing much to add anything new to the storytelling does make this feel too familiar in a number of areas if you’ve seen your fair share of Disney films. On the plus side though, Mother Gothel did make for an interesting villain being on a manipulative streak with trying to keep Rapunzel isolated from the world and the scheming she plots against Rapunzel upon learning of her leaving the tower, almost reminding me of Lady Tremaine’s character from Cinderella in a number of facets.
Visually, Tangled returns to using CG animation for rendering the film, being the fourth Disney film to utilize the technology. The quality for it is on par with Bolt with non-photorealistic rendering being used to render the medieval and forest settings seen throughout Tangled, which still do well at creating the illusion of having the scenery look like it was traditionally animated. Advances with CG-animated technology allowed for new techniques to be utilized in the film such as the use of a technique called film-rigging to set up multiple pairs of virtual cameras to be set up close together to create the illusion of depth with camera shots and an improved hair simulation program to more believably depict hair movement, particularly while characters floated in water and the complex movement of Rapunzel’s long hair.
In short, I guess I’m at the point where I am starting to tire of Disney still sticking with familiar territory in its fairy tale storytelling with Tangled as it still largely resorts to using the same storytelling formula it used for similar films since the Disney Renaissance without doing much to freshen it up. Mother Gothel made for an engaging villain and the CG animation for the film still holds up well for it. But I’m at least hoping the remaining films I’ve yet to see can better hold up my interest than this.
Winnie the Pooh is the 2011 animated sequel to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh that adapts three stories from the A.A. Milne book that were previously unadapted from the original film. The plot involves Eeyore trying to find his missing tail, Pooh Bear hungry for honey, and the residents of Hundred Acre Wood misreading a note thinking Christopher Robin was kidnapped by a monstrous Backson.
Winnie the Pooh retains the slice-of-life, light-hearted tone of the original 1970s film in exploring the everyday lives of the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood, with everyone being aware of their status as fictional characters in a storybook. The humor in this film though is a bit more over-the-top in depicting how Pooh and the other animals of the Hundred Acre Wood think and respond to situations, with Rabbit and Kanga noticeably being just as naive as the other characters when they were portrayed as the more level-headed animals among the cast in the original film. I’ll admit the more absurd humor of this film entertained me as it still retains the simple storytelling of the original Pooh movie, though I think this direction for the film may not be everyone’s cup of tea as the 1970s Pooh film was a bit more subdued in comparison.
Visually, Winnie the Pooh is the last animated Disney film to date to be animated with traditional animation, a deliberate choice by the studio to pay homage to the original Pooh film. The character designs have a bit more polish to them and scenery has a washed-out like look to reflect the storybook setting of the film. Both this and the original Pooh film lacked any elaborate animated sequences, but they didn’t necessarily need them considering the slice-of-life premise that the animated franchise ran on.
In short, Winnie the Pooh’s 2011 film goes a more wackier spin on the book series with how over-the-top things fare with the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood within the film’s 63-minute runtime. While I did enjoy the more ridiculous humor, Pooh fans may not enjoy it as much and might lean more for the original film’s more subdued tone. Still, I’d at least check it out at least once if you’ve seen the original Pooh film so you can determine for yourself what one you enjoy better.
I watched Tangled a long time ago. I just realize the patterns you spoke of the usual formulaic fairy tale based movie. I think there was another one that came after Tangled, Frozen. I don't think Moana or Coco follows it. Not sure about the later, newer films: Raava and Soul.
Last Edit: Dec 20, 2020 5:12:55 GMT by Taka: Frozen
Wreck-It Ralph is set in a video game arcade where the characters within the cabinets are sentient and capable of moving to the worlds of the other game cabinets through the power strip they are all plugged into, while performing their in-game roles during the day while the arcade is open. The titular character is the antagonist of a retro game called Fix-It Felix Jr. and is ostracized by the other in-game characters for his status as the game’s villain, while the game’s titular heroic character receives praises. Wanting to earn the respect of the other in-game characters and be called a hero, Ralph sneaks into a first-person shooter game called Hero’s Duty to try scaling the tower that a swarm of giant alien insects have taken over. However, Ralph’s clumsy stumbling within the game leads to potential chaos that could affect the other arcade games if left undone.
The one element that strongly sticks out with Wreck-It Ralph is the great attention to detail the film gives to depicting the various video games seen throughout the film. The obvious sign of this is the many cameos made of actual video game properties that appear at points throughout the films from classic characters like Pac-Man and Dig Dug to those from modern franchises like Street Fighter and Dance Dance Revolution. Others are more subtler details such as the limited movements of characters from retro games and the more visually elaborate settings of more modern games such as the Sugar Rush and Hero’s Duty games that Ralph sneaks into during the film. The film also provides a solid amount of depth on the lives of the characters within the arcade where they all have their roles to fulfill within the games while the arcade’s open and then leisurely interact with one another once the arcade closes down for the night, shown rather famously with the Bad Guys Anonymous group that Ralph attends with some well-known video game villains like Sonic the Hedgehog’s Dr. Robotnik and Super Mario’s Bowser. The film also gets into some rather interesting meta-commentary regarding elements of video gaming such as the struggle of retro games to remain popular and relevant shown with Q-Bert and the characters of his game being homeless within the power strip due to the loss of their game cabinet and mistaken audience receptions of characters prominently shown with Street Fighter’s Zangief at the BadAnon meeting in spite of not actually being a villain within his game, a nod to mistaken assumptions by American gamers that Zangief was a villain due to being from the Soviet Union within his game. Being a rather avid gamer, I’m actually rather impressed with how faithful Disney was with depicting its various video game characters and how a number of the genres and gaming generations would be portrayed with their actions and mechanics.
Moving onto story, Wreck-It Ralph is focused on its titular character trying to show the other characters within his game that there is more to him than the villainous role he serves within Fix-It Felix Jr. While his meddling in other games is understandable considering he is ostracized most by characters within his game, his actions do cause a good deal of harm for the status quo of their arcade when he accidentally unleashes one of the alien insects into the Sugar Rush game. These actions do lead to some other characters to undergo their own developments throughout the film with Ralph coming to aid Sugar Rush glitch character Vannelope into being able to participate in the game’s races being similar to Ralph in wanting acceptance from the other in-game characters and Felix coming to realize how vital Ralph’s role in his game really is. The film’s villain, whom I won’t spoil, also serves as an interesting foil for Ralph in the differences both have in their reasons for going into different games and seeking acceptance from others, though the villain’s evil nature is foreshadowed enough throughout the film when first introduced. In essence underneath all the video game nods, Wreck-It Ralph is still a family film aiming to express a moral to its audience over acceptance of others despite their differences and the film does do a solid job with expressing this without hammering the audience over the head with it.
In short, Wreck-It Ralph entertained me with its premise dabbling into the world of video games which dabble into older and newer generations to give the film a wide appeal and has solid storytelling involving Ralph’s game-hopping causing trouble for the arcade and the film’s moral. It’s definitely among the best of Disney’s CG-animated films I’ve seen thus far alongside Bolt.
Old Man Dream: For the Pixar films from the poll I did up to yesterday, I'll be watching A Bug's Life first.
Jan 10, 2021 3:35:28 GMT
Taka: I'll be back later tonight. Hopefully, my internet will get better and stay stable. It's randomly disconnecting.
Jan 11, 2021 0:32:01 GMT
Old Man Dream: Something I hate doing when I had initially promised, but having second thoughts on the Pixar movie viewing I promised. Four months going through the retrospective has me itching to want to dabble back into older anime titles again.
Jan 12, 2021 1:28:38 GMT
Old Man Dream: Yeah, sorry guys. But I'm reneging on this. Been immersed enough in Disney the past four months and want to get back deep into things with anime. Maybe down the line, I'll do a Pixar retrospective if I have enough a case of anime burnout. But back to anime
Jan 12, 2021 1:43:22 GMT
Taka: Ok, my involvement with the Index Collab has finally concluded. Thank you and hopefully, we get more new members joining the site.
Jan 13, 2021 2:44:44 GMT
Taka: I was going to work on the simulcast guide. Getting internet problems again.
Jan 14, 2021 3:28:10 GMT
Taka: I'm not sure when to do the seasonal derby for Winter 2021 since Netflix or other companies might pop up a new anime.
Jan 16, 2021 1:47:06 GMT
Old Man Dream: Guess even with Weathering with You, Shinkai's still dabbling into his typical storytelling involving long-distance relationships, at least when it comes to Hina and Hodaka's circumstances. Only about an hour into the film thus far.
Jan 16, 2021 15:40:36 GMT
Old Man Dream: Hmmmmm.... And can't believe I'm saying this with my indifference for both: Your Name > Weathering With You.
Jan 16, 2021 18:32:40 GMT
Old Man Dream: Done with the film. Think there's enough with this where I can put a review together. Expect something up sometime later today.
Jan 16, 2021 19:19:02 GMT
Taka: Planning to watch Weathering with You. I don't remember if I watched all of the older Shinkai films. There is a shift from the sad romance to happier romance if I'm not mistaken.
Jan 16, 2021 23:09:22 GMT
Taka: Watching the Maleficent live action movie.
Jan 20, 2021 5:05:31 GMT