Monday, July 30, 2012

Who Framed Zangief?

Seen Disney's Wreck-It Ralph trailer?

After years of frustration over how video games have been depicted in film—from the addition of incessant 8-bit sound effects to modern games, to hyperactive kids mashing every button during a turn-based RPG, to embarrassing scenes of two people holding controllers during a one-player game, and awful adaptation after awful adaptation—it's refreshing to finally see a movie that seems to "get it." Director Rich Moore's affection for and knowledge of video games is obvious from the attention to detail shown in this trailer. It's not just a bunch of gratuitous geeky name-drops. They went and licensed recognizable characters, ranging from as mainstream as Bowser to as cult as Q*bert, made sure they looked authentic to the games, and have even brought in the original voice actors where applicable. If the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality still existed, I feel like this movie would deserve it, at least as much as any of those lousy Mario & Sonic Olympic games by Sega.

That said, I do have to take exception to the movie's lumping in of Zangief with the bad guys. It's a shame that, as otherwise faithful to the games and obviously Capcom-approved as it is, Wreck-It Ralph is still guilty of making such a glaring error (or of taking such wanton liberty). The real Zangief is no more a bad guy than any of the other World Warriors (never mind that, in nearly every Street Fighter since Champion Edition, even the actual bad guys have been playable and therefore able to win the game anyway). The only times Zangief has ever been a bad guy have been the 1994 Street Fighter movie, which is hardly canonical (and, in fact, is notoriously a poster child for the "mishandled video game movie"—precisely the sort of thing Wreck-It Ralph should be distancing itself from), and the 1995 USA Network cartoon, itself loosely based on the movie.

Moreover, if you'll recall, even in the 1994 movie, Zangief was not really a bad guy; he considered himself a good guy but was just too stupid to realize that his boss, M. Bison, was the enemy of freedom and peace! In the end, however, he does come around and take his rightful place as one of the good guys.

*sigh* Oh well. This Wreck-It Ralph situation ironically may be compared to the Disney characters' appearances in the Kingdom Hearts games. The Kingdom Hearts Mickey Mouse may look and even sound like Mickey Mouse should, and Walt Disney's name may be all over the legal text, but I don't think any true Disney enthusiast would ever consider Kingdom Hearts part of Mickey Mouse canon. No siree!

1 comment:

Czardoz said...

If you ask me, the real "bad guy" from the original crew was Blanka. I mean, he's a monster!