Disney Announces Novel Twist On Videogame Films

Disney Announces Novel Twist On Videogame Films

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How do you build a good videogame movie? According to Disney, you ditch the actual games and focus instead on their underlying concept.

Wreck-It Ralph is the next computer-animated film from Disney Animation Studios and it boasts an impressive talent pool. John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch all voice characters. Rich Moore, an Emmy winner who counts both Futurama and The Simpsons, among his credits, is directing.

Too bad it's a videogame movie, huh?

Actually, that's the dramatic twist here. Wreck-It Ralph is a "videogame movie," but it's not based on any videogame. The film is an exploration of the videogame concept, and what might happen if popular characters were to interact with one another.

A plot synopsis courtesy Disney's press release:

Wreck-It Ralph (voice of Reilly) longs to be as beloved as his game's perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix (voice of McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes... so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan -- win a medal -- but soon wrecks everything, and accidently unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph's only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Silverman), a young troublemaking "glitch" from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it's "Game Over" for the entire arcade?

It's a solid story idea, but my main concern here is that viewers will find the characters and settings too generic. By not tying the film to any particular gaming property Disney avoids the burden of having to please an existing hardcore fanbase, but by making a film about videogames in general, it runs the risk of boring gamers of all stripes in the inevitable comparison to real videogames.

The excellent cast will help on that front, but the characters are going to have to be very well written to stand alongside Solid Snake, Master Chief and Bowser.

Then again, there's always the possibility that this amorphous videogame-themed setting might allow Disney to license cameos from well-known gaming personalities. It wouldn't save a terrible film, but a well-timed cameo from a certain Italian plumber would be a huge geek out moment for a wide swath of this film's prospective audience.

Wreck-It Ralph hits theaters on November 2, 2012.

Source: Ain't It Cool News
(Image)

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This is just Disney's attempt to emulate Pixar movies as part of their "no more princess movie" campaign. Take X object (food, toy, monster, video game character, car, office supplies, etc.), personify it, add additional characters which have traits relating to the object, make them all go on adventures skating the line between the world humans see and the world the objects exist in. Print. Make tons of money on movie and toy line of X object. It's sad, really. And I disagree with the author of this post that it will fail because it is inventing fake franchises. Woody wasn't an actual toy, but they made Woody toys. Disney is hoping to make it a video game (which would be weird meta if you think about it) and, of course, toys based on the new characters. If they made this about Pac-Man, per se, they wouldn't be able to exclusively capitalize on the merch - which is where a lot of the money comes from. Just ask George Lucas.

That plot analysis just went straight over me. Gonna have to go back and decode it..

(I'm referring to this BTW : "Actually, that's the dramatic twist here. Wreck-It Ralph is a "videogame movie," but it's not based on any videogame. The film is an exploration of the videogame concept, and what might happen if popular characters were to interact with one another.")

I do love how since Disney made PoP, they suddenly think they are an EXPERT on making video game movies.

KarmicToast:
This is just Disney's attempt to emulate Pixar movies as part of their "no more princess movie" campaign. Take X object (food, toy, monster, video game character, car, office supplies, etc.), personify it, add additional characters which have traits relating to the object, make them all go on adventures skating the line between the world humans see and the world the objects exist in. Print. Make tons of money on movie and toy line of X object. It's sad, really. And I disagree with the author of this post that it will fail because it is inventing fake franchises. Woody wasn't an actual toy, but they made Woody toys. Disney is hoping to make it a video game (which would be weird meta if you think about it) and, of course, toys based on the new characters. If they made this about Pac-Man, per se, they wouldn't be able to exclusively capitalize on the merch - which is where a lot of the money comes from. Just ask George Lucas.

I'm confused. When did this "No more princess campaign" start?

In my opinion...

A core reason that game to movies fail a lot is that the movie makers often ( if not always ) assume the game fans will attend and that its the makers duty to attract the none gamers to see the movie.
The result is often a movie that fails to impress the fans of the game as there is little or no nod to the movies origins, ie the game and fails to impress the none gamer as the real draw of the game to movie is ... the game, so despite the attempt to draw in the none gamer, and subsequently alienating the target audiance the movie isnt much of a success.

... least the game to movie is far more successfull than the extremely dire state of the movie to game, now thats just abysmal.

The way I understood the article is that Disney will basically ignore a games story, and just use the characters in the game ?
Which is what I called a core reason that game to movie translations fail.

You make a Halo movie, but ignore the Halo game to ensure none Halo gamers will be able to follow the movie and the the gamers will not be happy, and the none gamers wont be as intrested in a movie called Halo as much as a gamer recognising the franchise would.

Double post, please ignore.

Twilight.falls:

KarmicToast:
This is just Disney's attempt to emulate Pixar movies as part of their "no more princess movie" campaign. Take X object (food, toy, monster, video game character, car, office supplies, etc.), personify it, add additional characters which have traits relating to the object, make them all go on adventures skating the line between the world humans see and the world the objects exist in. Print. Make tons of money on movie and toy line of X object. It's sad, really. And I disagree with the author of this post that it will fail because it is inventing fake franchises. Woody wasn't an actual toy, but they made Woody toys. Disney is hoping to make it a video game (which would be weird meta if you think about it) and, of course, toys based on the new characters. If they made this about Pac-Man, per se, they wouldn't be able to exclusively capitalize on the merch - which is where a lot of the money comes from. Just ask George Lucas.

I'm confused. When did this "No more princess campaign" start?

Very recently, after Tangled. They said that they would no longer be making princess or musical features anymore. Everything is shifting toward quote Toy Story and Transformers type films. You can find lots of articles and interviews on it. Just check Google :)

Just checked. My, that's unfortunate. I've always had a soft spot for Disney musicals. I quite enjoyed Tangled.

Twilight.falls:

KarmicToast:

Twilight.falls:
[quote="KarmicToast" post="7.291763.11594744"]This is just Disney's attempt to emulate Pixar movies as part of their "no more princess movie" campaign. Take X object (food, toy, monster, video game character, car, office supplies, etc.), personify it, add additional characters which have traits relating to the object, make them all go on adventures skating the line between the world humans see and the world the objects exist in. Print. Make tons of money on movie and toy line of X object. It's sad, really. And I disagree with the author of this post that it will fail because it is inventing fake franchises. Woody wasn't an actual toy, but they made Woody toys. Disney is hoping to make it a video game (which would be weird meta if you think about it) and, of course, toys based on the new characters. If they made this about Pac-Man, per se, they wouldn't be able to exclusively capitalize on the merch - which is where a lot of the money comes from. Just ask George Lucas.

I'm confused. When did this "No more princess campaign" start?

Just checked. My, that's unfortunate. I've always had a soft spot for Disney musicals. I quite enjoyed Tangled.

I totally agree :-/ I thought Tangled was the best Disney film since Lion King but not good enough to be a worthy cap to a long-standing tradition of musical animation. Oh well, "money talks" even in the creative world.

Is it just me, or does this sound a lot like Dreamworks' Megamind movie... but staring "not-Mario" and "not-Bowser".

So it's characters from arcade games entering other arcade games? Well, if it sucks I can always express the desire for everyone to accidentally find their way into a Mortal Kombat II machine. Seriously, I would be very pleased if they accidentally walked in on a match of Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, just as one of those cameos you mentioned.

After reading the synopsis of that movie, all I could say was: "What?"

the premise is just so laughably implausible I couldn't take it seriously. Then again, I stopped being a fan of disney movies around the time I hit high school.

But honestly, it all sounds so generic that the movie feels like it has no personality of its own.

KarmicToast:
Disney is hoping to make it a video game (which would be weird meta if you think about it) and, of course, toys based on the new characters. If they made this about Pac-Man, per se, they wouldn't be able to exclusively capitalize on the merch - which is where a lot of the money comes from. Just ask George Lucas.

Mallefunction:
I do love how since Disney made PoP, they suddenly think they are an EXPERT on making video game movies.

Has everyone on this thread forgotten that Disney gave us Tron back in 1982? Waaaaay before 'Best Animated Feature' became known as the 'Pixar' award. Hell, Tron was denied the Best Special Effects Oscar at the time because using computers was seen as cheating!

Man, if I wanted to read a work that was about videogames as a concept but not about a particular franchise, I'd read Homestuck.

As it happens I do want to read a work like that so I'm off to read Homestuck. Bye.

So.. this... this is "Videogame Story"?

KarmicToast:
This is just Disney's attempt to emulate Pixar movies as part of their "no more princess movie" campaign.

You are aware that Disney owns Pixar? Can you really "emulate" yourself? Also Pixar is working on producing a princess-centered fairy tale movie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_(2012_film) Are they "emulating" Disney now?

I wouldn't really call this a video game movie. It's a movie that uses video games as a setting element, not a movie that is based ON a video game. It's more like Tron than Prince of Persia.

But, yes, I agree that the way to make a good movie that's based on a video game is the same way that you make a good movie that's based on a book or comic book or whatever: you keep the essentials but ruthlessly slash and re-write details for the new medium.

To be honest, this seems more like something Dreamworks SKG should be doing, not Disney. Disney are far too self conscious and squeaky-clean to pull this off effectively, but Dreamworks SKG have really come into their own recently with How To Train Your Dragon, Megamind and Monsters VS Aliens. Y'know, when they stopped trying to rip off Disney or put out movies to make fun of everything Disney stands for.

So all of a sudden the tables have turned and now Disney have are trying to replicate the success of Dreamworks SKG with their recent effort; Tangled.

This was evident in the different take on a classic fairy tale combined with more adult humor and culture references (a la Shrek) alongside the marketing campaign which showed what I call "The Dreamworks Eye", where the characters look directly at you with a mischievous look on their faces as if they're up to no good. So, things are coming full-circle.

So, Disney are pushing it further now? It would be in their best interests if they carried on this path of imitating Dreamworks SKG, since I honestly don't think they can handle this kind of subject matter without that tongue-in-cheek Dreamworks SKG flair.

KarmicToast:
Take X object (food, toy, monster, video game character, car, office supplies, etc.), personify it, add additional characters which have traits relating to the object, make them all go on adventures skating the line between the world humans see and the world the objects exist in. Print.

But that's Toy Story, and Toy Story is awesome.

Twilight.falls:

I'm confused. When did this "No more princess campaign" start?

When Disney realized they'd shifted the little girl role model to Hannah fucking Montana.

"Disney" didn't say anything... he was long gone, his company... however, did... not "Disney" the man, but "Disney" the company... this is the same company that made a hipe on promising something of a "American MC gee" style Mikey game, that came out as less than mediocre wannabe twisty game, and their characters could only shine on a Japanese crafted "ACTION" RPG! so... if anything... they should be all over action game, their revival was all about action games, look, they bought Marvel comics for a reason right?

If I wanted a toystory/video game adventure, I'd watch Arby n the Chief, which is what a video game based adventure movie needs to be based on.

If they announced that Jonathan Coulton is writing a song for the movie I'd buy a ticket even if I knew it wasn't great.

That plot synopsis sounds like shit. Turd incoming!

Also, nobody loves a bad guy? Really? Shall I post a few pictures of evil guys that are liked more than their good guy counterparts?

Why is Disney becoming awesome again?

It was so fun to point and laugh at their inability to do anything right over the last decade. :'(

Pixar & Disney's relationship has not been smooth sailing over the years, especially before their merger, as Pixar had the animation talent and modern sensibilities but not the writing talent of Disney and Disney, well, were Disney and hadn't done anything new in decades. The no-princess thing is just them being scared of Pixar's success and trying to emulate that studio's philosophy.

As someone else pointed out, Tangled was good. Disney make good Disney movies when they take the time to make them and not try to jump on whatever new wave is being made by other studios. Videogames are undoubtedly popular and hit the masses in a way most media outlets would not have guessed five years ago, and this latest band-wagon jumping smacks of that.

I mean, hell, who even plays in an arcade anymore? That alone shows the 80's roots of whoever wrote this trash and you can guarantee it won't have any of the modern sensibilities of modern gaming, ie. anything released since 2000.

Saying that I could see this working. If they picked a modern, gun-toting Duke style action hero with realistic graphics, then something cutesy and cuddly from the platform genre and flesh the characters out with a contrived backstory that the characters REALLY believed in, along the lines of Buzz, then I could see the comedic potential, but the graphic styles of each character would have to be totally different to reflect the genre background and I think it would fail if the characters became too self aware. Heck, even having the arcade as a virtual place, like the XBox and Playstation online arcades/stores would at least keep it relevant. You could even have some hacker interject at some point running off with people's bank statements in a big bag of swag as a tilt to the hat of Sony's recent troubles. :)

It has potential, but I fear Disney will do what they usually do and totally miss the point.

In some senses I think Disney might have something here, I absolutely loved Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and that was a video game film not based on a video game, then again that had some very stylish visuals and a very strong story behind it. If done wrong I could really see this concept being utilised to create a skin-crawling pastiche of the weird assortment of tropes that the general public consider video game related, as opposed to a film which not only truly embraces video games but also uses their varied tropes in a clever way. Please don't mess this one up Disney, it has a lot of potential.

Oh, gawd. That synopsis didn't excite me at all. It DOES sound too cliched: Bad guy wants to be good, goes through some trouble, things go south, he redeems himself, everything is fine. There might be a girl involved.
Guess what? It's been done. And recently. It was called Megamind. Or if you prefer: Despicable Me.

I'm not being completely pessimistic. I'm just saying that it doesn't sound like a good plot. It sounds like the kind of movie that parents will watch with their kids over the weekend and then they'll forget about it forever.

Disney, you're good at making movies. Heck, I'll even go as far as saying you make good video game movies. I actually liked Prince of Persia: Great cast (Come on! Jake kinda looked like the prince!), you followed the plot somewhat, action movie easy to follow even for newcomers, not boring at all. It was great! Tron Evolution? Alright, I'll admit that one was a tad bit convoluted but it was alright. I've seen worse. So why not stick to making movies based off REAL video games? If they really wanted to, they could come up with a great movie.

Tangled is living proof. It was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Loved the music, loved the graphics, the characters, the plot, the ending..

Well, I guess I'm being too harsh. I haven't exactly seen a trailer or anything. So I'll wait till then to continue casting my opinion.

Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy.

What bizarro universe did you get that notion? Everybody loves a good villain! Hell, Disney has produced several popular antagonists over the years, like Gaston and Maleficent. In video game terms, we also have figures like GLADoS, Sephiroth, and HK-47.

"Nobody loves a Bad Guy" = BULLSHIT!

Wreck-It Ralph (voice of Reilly) longs to be as beloved as his game's perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix (voice of McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes... so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan -- win a medal -- but soon wrecks everything, and accidently unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph's only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Silverman), a young troublemaking "glitch" from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it's "Game Over" for the entire arcade?

Damn, that sounds awful... Typical generic crap, anyone?

believer258:
That plot synopsis sounds like shit. Turd incoming!

News Flash! ALL plot synopsis sound like shit. It's what you do with them that counts. Seriously, take your favorite movie, break the entire plot down to 3 or 4 sentences, and I guarantee it will sound like utter crap.

WhiteTigerShiro:

believer258:
That plot synopsis sounds like shit. Turd incoming!

News Flash! ALL plot synopsis sound like shit. It's what you do with them that counts. Seriously, take your favorite movie, break the entire plot down to 3 or 4 sentences, and I guarantee it will sound like utter crap.

A species of aliens fears the human race and decides the best course of action would be to destroy their planet, effectively wiping out most of them and dividing the survivors. Just before they succeed, a ship manages to leave that has the ability to create a center of gravity, eventually making a planet. Fifteen years later, a boy who has a way to locate this ship meets a man who has a way to get there, and that crew goes to find it.

Sounds like a fairly interesting premise to me, and it is indeed a premise to a movie. I could do the same thing for Alien and Aliens, and neither of them sound bad to me. But this one just sounds absolutely horrible.

Soooo...
Characters from some computer or another (an arcade game is still a computer, just not a PC) must fight in games in order to save their own computer, often travelling to different games.
Never heard that one before.

 

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