Why Wreck It Ralph Isn't Completely Original, and Why That's Absolutely OK!

Posted on June 10, 2012 - 1:00pm by Gaijin Goombah

Edit: On request of Dorian Fevrier, I suppose one of the people behind Mauvais Role, I've  put in the HD version of the short film and I also want to forward what they had told me in email,

"Our movie has been Jury Award Winner in the international event: Siggraph 2008. It's the biggest event in CG industry. That's why I really wonder if Disney guys didn't see our movie there..."

OK then.

Before I say anything about this topic, I WILL say that Wreck It Ralph looks amazing, sounds amazing, and I WILL be going to see this movie day one in November.  The characters are likeable, the cameos are amazing, and this movie is going to be a gem.

Now, that being said, I honestly don't think Wreck It Ralph is an original concept.  Here's why:

The basic premise is the same.  Villian is sick of being a bad guy and want's to be something more.  From what I can understand on youtube, Mauvais Role was posted in 2007, so that predates Wreck It Ralph by quite a stretch.  Maybe Disney copied the formula, maybe they didn't but here's the thing.  Regardless of whether or not Wreck It Ralph came from Mauvais Role or not is irrelivent.  Here's why:

1. Disney was rarely 100% original to begin with, but it never stopped them from success.

No originality here... or is there?

Sad but true.  A LOT of the most treasured movies are nothing more than folklore being shoved though the Disney filter.  Was it unoriginal... well perhaps, but that's debatable.  Dinsey certianlly didn't keep 100% true to the original stories that they remixed and remastered for children.  A lot of these stories had some really weird twist or sad ending.  But that's something about Disney that I really liked.  Their stories ended on a happy ending.  Looking back on the old movies I grew up with, it's something I deeply miss.  Movies and video games nowadays seem to be all about the inevitable tragedy, or hard-boiling of a character (See this week's Extra Credits for understanding of that term.)  Personally, I'm getting sick of that.  Life is already dark, cruel, and mean-spirited enough, why do fictional worlds also have to be as such?  Perhaps that's why I couldn't care less about U.S. modern gaming trends, and gravitate towards games like Little Big Planet, Mario, and so on.  I need some joy damnit!

The same goes for Wreck It Ralph.  Yeah Mauvais Role came out first, but the genre was a bit different.  The big demon guy had to look around a LOT to find a place where he fit in, but he never really suffered all that much.  We never got to sympathise with him much mostly due to the time given for the short film.  We just kind of giggled while he pushed though to find the right place.

Wreck It Ralph is going to be very different in this regard.  We are going to whitness first hand Ralph's struggle and transformation.

Kano, Neff (Altered Beast Rhino), Clyde, Bowser, Bison, Zangief, Robitnik, ... Man... Villans hold tight.

We are going to have time and the cinimatic resources to really get into Ralph as a character, sympathise with him more, and be all the more happy when he (hopefully) is triumphant.  THIS is the Disney formula, and it is timeless.  While Mauvais Role did it first, Wreck It Ralph is going to give us a better chance and a bigger story to sympathize and love the main character.

2. Very few movies are original to begin with.

This blog is getting long so I'll make this point fast.  Wreck It Ralph may be an altered copy of Mauvais Role, but really, how many good movies can you recall that were TOTALLY original (sequles to original franchises don't count).  Then again, who cares?  A good movie is a good movie is a good movie.  Don't believe me?

Want to see how many times Dances with Wolves' premise got used?

And The Last Samurai is my favorite movie too!  Still a ripoff.

What, you want more?  Ok.

Yeah, I went there.

This isn't to bash on the above movies (Well maybe Ant Bully a little), but the point here is that something that is good does NOT have to be original.  Look at our favorite games, Mario, Kirby, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo, God of War, a lot of these great games are repeating formulas, but if it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT!  No matter where you look, trends always copy and repeat.  It's not a bad thing at all.  A timeless tale is still going to be just as good in any remastered format so long as care and attention is brought to the movie, game, book, whatever.  That's why I believe Wreck It Ralph isn't quite original, but I think it will be better than it's predicessor.

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