The first trailer for the upcoming Disney animated feature Wreck-It Ralph has been released. The film stars John C. Reilly, Sarah Silvermann, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch and scheduled for release on November 2, 2012. The story revolves around a video game villain who is tired of the drudgery of his job and resolves to quit.
The trailer astutely positions the film in the context of the ever-increasing convergence of films and video games – which dates back to the mid-1970s. Reilly’s Ralph is one of many iconic video game bad guys in a universe that, in typical animation fashion, is made tangible through its connection to our own world. Furthermore, the video game iconography, particularly the beautifully rendered arcade, harkens back to the halcyon days of analogue technology. Modern aesthetics evoke a strong sense of nostalgia.
But judging by the trailer, the film’s style also verges on what is commonly referred to as the uncanny valley effect, particularly with regard to Jane Lynch’s character. The animators seem to have replicated her facial features accurately without the slightest sense of creative distortion, a technique which I personally don’t appreciate because it revels in the overly familiar rather than mystifying and beautifying them.
Nevertheless, the trailer promises a fun adventure film. It will be interesting to see whether future promo materials will reveal more about the aesthetic configuration of the Wreck-It Ralph universe, which, hopefully, will take full advantage of the synergies between films and video games.