But first, I'm 35 years old today. I refuse to stop loving Disney animation, thank you very much.
Movie # 66: "Wreck-It Ralph"
Well, guys, this is going to be one big old gush session, because "Wreck-It Ralph" is SOOOOO GOOD, YOU GUYS!!! You guys! Guys! It's so good!
This is by far the best-looking CGI Disney feature of all; the entire second half of the movie, set in a "candy-coated heart of darkness", is a veritable feast for your rods and cones and both the characters and the worlds they venture through are top-shelf designs. The script is terrific and (as demonstrated) it's as quotable as classic "Futurama". I'll thank director Rich Moore for this as he is responsible for some of the best loved early episodes of both "The Simpsons" and "Futurama" -- though not, as often reported "Jurassic Bark". It's easy to see where the confusion could come from, seeing as "Ralph" has it's own scene where, if it didn't hit you right in the enteric nervous system ("The Feels" as the kids say), I don't know if I can trust you.
On that note, I'm glad to see Disney make a feature that is overall just so joyous and fun, but isn't afraid to get dark as f*** when it needs to. It's all in service to the story and characters, and the characters themselves are wonderful. A few critics complained that Ralph himself is too reminiscent of the title character in "Shrek", but I have to say I loved him immediately, while I can never say I even really liked Shrek over the course of four movies. Part of this is because Ralph isn't a misunderstood cranky innocent; the whole conflict in the movie is due to him screwing things up for selfish reasons, and his redemption arc is ultimately incredibly moving.
Best of all, this is the first Disney movie in years where I don't feel like I have to go on and on convincing you all to watch it, because this is the first universally-beloved-by-almost-everybody-I've-met Disney movie since the heyday of the Bronze Age. Finally we are at the point, and I am so happy to be able to say this, where I can say that the most recent major animated feature from Walt Disney Animation is the best since the last one. I'm going to tentatively go ahead and say we're finally, finally in the Iron Age of Disney.
It's been a long rough road since the end of the Bronze Age, hasn't it? But I think we've finally hit the end of it since Disney is finally back to knocking it out of the park each time. "Enchanted" was quite good. "The Princess and the Frog" was terrific. "Frankenweenie" was good, "Winnie the Pooh" was very good, and "Tangled" was outstanding! Hell, I even liked "TRON Legacy" a lot, and it was a sequel to "Tron"! As for "Ralph", as I said, it's excellent; made me feel brand-new at the end of a long stressful day. I had a big stupid grin from the sixteen-bit Steamboat Willy studio logo to the "Kill screen" at the very end of the credits.
For more posts in this ongoing series, go here, or click the Chronological Disney Animated Canon tag below.
Art of the Day! Speaking of Disney and video games...
(I'll be the first to admit this really applies better to the later games in this series.)