We’re beginning to suspect that the Disney PR team circulated an internal memo before issuing this latest Wreck-It Ralph trailer that reads, in full, “We need more esoteric gaming references!” Otherwise how do you explain this clip’s increased focus on the surprisingly massive number of iconic gaming characters featured in the film? Disney knows what it’s doing here, and what it’s doing is appealing directly to the nostalgic soft spots that lie in the hearts of all twenty- and thirtysomething gamers. Needless to say, we fully support this scheme.
If you recall Wreck-It Ralph’s debut trailer, you’ll no doubt remember that it included appearances from Q*bert, M. Bison, Bowser and one of Pac-Man’s spectral foes. All of those characters reappear here — Q*bert has a much larger role in this clip — but joining them are big-name characters like Sonic the Hedgehog, Frogger, Kano from Mortal Kombat and Dig Dug (and lesser characters like the purple anthropomorphic rhino from Altered Beast). Most crucially though, Zangief reappears and since we found him so delightful in the first trailer, we’re giddy to see that he’s given even more lines in this one.
Unfortunately, as we reported in July, there is one huge hole in the list of iconic gaming characters Wreck-It Ralph might include: Namely, the Mario Bros. According to director Rich Moore, though Disney approached Nintendo about including Mario and/or Luigi in Wreck-It Ralph, the Japanese gaming giant wanted too much money (which makes us wonder exactly how much money is too much money for a cameo in this movie). It can’t have been cheap to include the huge roster of classic gaming characters seen in the film’s trailers so far, and while we have no doubt that Nintendo’s plumbers would command the highest possible rates for a cameo appearance, could they really be that much more expensive than the other, confirmed characters?
As for the movie itself, we like what we’re seeing here. Though Wreck-It Ralph is apparently not a Pixar production (assuming the title cards are being honest with us, this project appears to be a pure Disney film), the humor present seems to walk that fine line between “entertaining for kids” and “legitimately funny to adults.” That may be the result of the trailer’s creator cherry-picking the best bits from the movie, but at this point we’re willing to stand in line to see this film purely for the warm, fuzzy waves of nostalgia generated by watching all of our favorite gaming figures interacting with one another in something other than creepy fan fiction.
Presumably we’re not alone in that sentiment, and this may be the first movie to date to be crowned a box office success due entirely to a short appearance by a half-naked, surprisingly genial Russian bear wrestler.