Yes, There Are Scenes During AND After the “Ralph Breaks the Internet” End Credits

Ralph Breaks the Internet!

Fun in-joke scene for the eight people over 40 who ever loved AskJeeves.

I’ve always had a soft spot for the original Wreck-It Ralph. Not only did John C. Reilly’s layered performance hit me squarely in the heart with that big act of would-be noble sacrifice in the climax, but it later inspired me to write a jokey Top Ten-style follow-up that remains one of the site’s most enduring “evergreen” entries to this day. 2012 was a fun year for me in a lot of ways, and it tickles me to remember that Ralph was no small part of that.

Alas, with great success comes the threat of sequels. Disney Animation hasn’t released a theatrical sequel since Fantasia 2000 graced IMAX screens 18 years ago. Someone up high decided it was time to break the streak with Ralph Breaks the Internet, which, to be fair, tops very nearly every direct-to-video Disney sequel ever. I would have to see Aladdin and the King of Thieves again to decide between the two. That’s faint praise, though. Even as I dwell on the phrase “direct-to-video Disney”, memories of Dan Castellaneta’s Genie, Princess Ariel’s daughter, and The Fox and the Hound 2 return and make me wince.

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My 2012 Movies in Retrospect: the Top Seven

Previously in our three-part miniseries, Part One was the bottom of the barrel and Part Two was the middle of the road. Part Three, then, is the top of the pops.

The countdown speeds toward its inevitable end:

Andrew Garfield, "Amazing Spider-Man"7. Amazing Spider-Man. I’ve gone on record multiple times with my reservations about unnecessary reboots. On the other hand, after Spider-Man 3 became the series’ answer to Batman and Robin, it’s hard to argue with the corporate decision to enact damage control and give the series its very own Batman Begins. Director Marc Webb avoids Sam Raimi’s fondness for Lee/Ditko/Romita ambiance in favor of transplanting the cast to a less timeless setting. The results reinforce the same moral without chanting it at us, thrill and thrive on their own terms, and recapture the trademark Spider-sarcasm that was my favorite part of the first few hundred Spider-comics I read in my youth, but regrettably in short supply in Tobey Maguire’s earnest, anxious portrayal.

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The “Wreck-It Ralph” Easter Eggs You’ll Never See

Disney, Wreck-It Ralph, Fix-It Felix Jr.In this day and age where moviegoers can wait until the home-video release before watching a movie multiple times, how often are we willing to devote extra time and money to encore presentations of a theatrical release? The case agreeing to my second showing of Wreck-It Ralph tonight consisted of two winning bullet points:

1. My son and I really, really liked it the first time we saw it. This is the first year for new Pixar and Disney Animated releases in which we liked the Disney film better.

2. We had free passes.

I had hoped to catch more details and Easter eggs this time around. Regretfully, I am old and the film’s background characters are spry. We managed to see a few items we missed the first time around: the other three Pac-Man ghosts; a mounted ostrich from Joust; the resemblance of the TurboTime cabinet design to that of Rally-X; and graffiti on a wall reading “Aerith Lives”. That list is too short. I’d also hoped to catch additional Easter eggs and overlooked scenes more to my liking, including but not limited to:

* A sign in Tapper’s bar reading, “Now Hiring Waitresses”.

* An autographed photo of Fix-It Felix Sr. bearing a strong resemblance to Alec Baldwin.

* The monsters from Rampage standing on a street corner outside the Niceland apartments, just staring and drooling.

* A traffic jam outside the terminal whose gridlocked commuters include the Moon Patrol rover, the OutRun Ferrari, an Armor Attack polygonal tank, an ExciteBike, and Nathan Drake in a Jeep. All sport the same license plate: “RIP G4”.

* A Grand Theft Auto thug being arrested by Mappy.

* A terminal convenience shop run by a Moogle and selling movies on DVD with titles such as Citizen Liu Kang, Disney’s Knights of the Old Republic, Wolfenstein 3D in 3D, and Galaga vs. Gyruss.

* A sidekick barbershop quartet with Clank, Daxter, Sparx, and Luigi.

* Pac-Man throwing a fit at Felix’s party because all the snacks are fruits, and for decades he’s been dying to have just one lousy steak.

* An inter-game prison populated with Leisure-Suit Larry, PaRappa the Rapper, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

* A political-activist poster advocating a unilateral ban on all Minesweeper mines.

* Alternate end credits with the big-head Journey avatars singing the same thirty-second snippet of “Separate Ways” over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

…but I guess that’s what cutting room floors are for. Those, and the dreams of over-the-hill gamers who can imagine a film with three times the budget and none of the legal hassles.

The Joy of the “Wreck-It Ralph” End Credits, and the Extra-Special Movie Attached to Them

John C. Reilly IS Disney's Wreck-It Ralph!Important things first: Wreck-It Ralph is the best non-Pixar Disney film in years, proof positive that both divisions are up to the task of delivering solid results when the right talents are lined up and the marketing department is kept in check. The end credits confirm Ralph was wrangled by four different writers, two of which are omitted by IMDB — Jim Reardon and director Rich Moore, both veterans of the glory days of The Simpsons. (Of the other two, one, Phil Johnston, was responsible for last year’s indie Midwest comedy Cedar Rapids.) From where I sat, I couldn’t see the seams.

Academy Award nominee John C. Reilly is an unloved palooka who chafes in his day job as the villain of Fix-It Felix, Jr., one of several old-school cabinet games at Litwak’s Family Fun Center (elderly owner voiced by Ed O’Neill). Ralph’s major beef isn’t necessarily that he hates his job, but that he hates how shabbily he’s treated because he does it so convincingly. Even when Litwak’s is closed and all gaming characters are allowed to go home for the night, Ralph’s coworkers — the titular hero Felix (30 Rock‘s Jack McBrayer) and the townspeople he saves every day — relax and party in their high-rise apartment building while poor Ralph is forced to live and sleep outside on a mound of loose bricks. Perversely, in their neighborhood Ralph is the 1% and the well-to-do are the 99%. The manufacturer clearly didn’t program these civilians to recognize the sight of homelessness.

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Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph” Has First Trailer Ever to be Made Entirely of Easter Eggs

This week saw the release of the first trailer for the next Walt Disney Animated Classic, Wreck-It Ralph, which promises to do for video game characters what Who Framed Roger Rabbit? did for cartoon characters — namely, see how many entertainment companies are willing to stuff theirs into the same clown car as their competitors’.

Casual gamers should obviously recognize King Bowser from the Super Mario Bros empire. Anyone who doesn’t know Clyde from Pac-Man won’t be using the Internet to see this trailer or watching movies made after 1980 anyway. I like to think I made it to level 3 by recognizing a King Malboro from Final Fantasy X-up.

After watching the trailer a second time, I suspect all the pieces and clues of this clever how-many-can-you-name trivia game have also been used to construct a sort of movie to connect the various stages of the game. The difficult part to perceiving this value-added extra is ignoring the game and paying attention to the dialogue instead. That’s harder than it sounds, considering this may be the first recorded instance of a modern game whose cutscene graphics are of equal quality to the in-game graphics. (Sorry, Agni’s Philosophy — you were so close. If only graphics processor technology had progressed at a more supernatural rate for your sake.)

The Wreck-It Ralph Theatrical Trivia Game stars Academy Award Nominee John C. Reilly (Chicago, Step Brothers), Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), Jane Lynch (Glee), Brandon T. Jackson (cruelly underrated in Tropic Thunder), and hopefully hundreds of video game voice actors. If Steve Blum isn’t somewhere in this film, then there’s no point to its existence.

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