There is a movie in development called Wreck-It Ralph. I hope it makes a billion dollars and everyone involved had that moment where they go see it in a theater and sneak in some scotch to celebrate a job well done, because if I worked on movies I’d totally sneak in a little bit of the old Johnny Dapper when a movie I worked on premiered. I know this because I don’t work in movies and still bring a flask.
I want those things for the crew behind Ralph because I am a liker, and I like things. But then there’s stuff like this promotional poster:
Ha ha! Remember those guys from that game??!
Rather than face the outrage of this insult a moment longer, I took my concerns to Twitter, which left me about a million characters short to express anything meaningful on the subject. Not that I didn’t try.
My pal Jason asked me if I would have thought the same about Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It’s different, but I sure wasn’t going to be able to express that on Twitter. And please keep in mind that none of this is really as annoying in the real world as a paper cut or a stubbed toe, but let me be a crazy person anyway.
The fun parts, to me, of Roger Rabbit involve the plot of Bob Hoskins trying to solve a crime in this unique world we’re presented with. I don’t want to call Eddie Valiant a classic noir protagonist, because I haven’t seen it enough times to name his characteristics, prejudices and arc by memory, but he does wear a trench coat and is a private eye, so let’s go with that. I like noir. Photographs of Jessica Rabbit literally playing patty-cake is hilarious. Roger Rabbit has an annoying voice, but isn’t annoying. That’s amazing. It really has a great script. I think reasonable people agree it’s a good movie, maybe even a great one. I’m sure it’s hundreds of spots below Seven Samurai and the bed jumping scene of Return of the King on IMDB, but what good, maybe great movie isn’t.
With that in mind, I couldn’t have cared less about all the other cartoon characters they tried to cram into Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
The part where Donald Duck and Daffy Duck engage in dueling pianos was stupid and dragged. Maybe if Elmer Fudd was actually murdering denizens of ToonTown with a sawed-off shotgun that’d be something and a decent use of all the characters the filmmakers licensed, but all the other appearances were fan fictiony. Seeing Dolan Duck in the background of frames 1,023 through 1,046 isn’t just automatically interesting to me.
(Popeye wasn’t in it, I remember. I always liked that. I felt like he was on my side. If you have a guy who eats spinach all the time not do something that apparently every other character who had ever been in an animation cel agreed to then you know he is standing up for his principles.)
I don’t know anything about the movie of Wreck-It Ralph, other than the fact that the plot (an arcade bad guy trying to make good) is perfectly fine on its own. That’s a legitimate idea for a movie, and I am going to try my best to make some kids tonight so I can bring them to the theater and they can enjoy it when it gets released. OK I was gonna do that anyway, bow chicka bow.
But what would be even better than Q*bert and Slick being destitute in a promotional image (and the image is great, don’t get me wrong) would be a Q*bert movie. Written by Warren Davis and/or Jeff Lee. It’s their stuff!
I know I am crazy when it comes to this, and that’s fine. I think that you get a special relationship with the character of Q*bert when you are soaked in sweat on a summer day trying to figure out why your Q*bert machine is spontaneously resetting in a cool basement. You develop a thing for Mr. Do! when you accidentally push it down the stairs to your game room and spend 20 hours over two days trying to get the thing working again. I mean, there was a stretch of time, before Mr. Do! was famous, where kids went into an arcade and sized the thing up. They knew nothing about it. The game became a thing we (well, er, I) still care about 30 years later because it was awesome and amazing and interesting on its own merits. We’re now living in a world where the interesting stuff to consume increased exponentially and I think it’s cheating to shove the heads of Pengo and the Lode Runner down in the water so you can float a little yourself.
So. Maybe Kazutoshi Ueda will get unfrozen from whatever cybernetic think tank the world stashed him into when he was done creating the masterpiece Mr. Do!. Maybe he wants to make a screenplay! Maybe that was his lifelong dream, I don’t know. The character of Bugs Bunny wasn’t going to have possible future films closed to him based on how Roger Rabbit did, but arcade characters have nowhere near that much pull. This is probably it for them. I just think it’d be cool for the people who developed the games in the first place to have their opportunities (as — last I heard — the games Joust and Asteroids do), rather than prop up this other thing, Wreck-It Ralph, that ought to die or flourish based on its own qualities.
… Oh. And regardless of how dramatic I was being over Twitter, I would still maintain that a Food Fight movie staring a kid whose jaw can dislodge to ten times its normal size would be an amazing disaster movie.