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Plugged In

CinemaCon 2012: Classic video game characters to cameo in Disney’s ‘Wreck-It Ralph’

Plugged In

By Anthony Breznican, EW.com

Remember how cool it was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit to see Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Droopy Dog, Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, Bettie Boop, Woody Woodpecker, and countless other cartoon icons together?

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And wasn't it kind of awesome to see real-world Malibu Barbie, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, the green army men, Etch-a-Sketch, Slinky Dog, and the Barrel of Monkeys tossed in among the playthings of Toy Story?

Disney is now uniting characters from an entirely different universe for Wreck-It Ralph, their Nov. 2 animated comedy about a 1980s-era videogame bad guy (voiced by John C. Reilly) who decides he's sick of causing trouble and wants to become a hero.

In the story, game characters travel among their respective worlds via electrical plugs, and EW has details on a few of the classic videogame personalities who turn up on the big screen.

First, a little background: Wreck-It Ralph is the villain of a fictitious vintage arcade game called Fix-It Felix, Jr., which is a cross between the original Mario Bros. and the smash-'em-up game Rampage.

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Ralph, who's a human version of Donkey Kong, pulverizes a building, while Felix (a Mario-esque character voiced by 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer) comes in to repair the damage with his magic hammer, all the while dodging bricks thrown by you-know-who. After more than 30 years of this, Ralph starts to feel depressed about his life.

"Look, a steady arcade gig is nothing to sneeze at," Ralph says in the opening scene previewed this week at CinemaCon, the annual convention for theater owners. "But when you've been doing this as long as I've been doing it, it starts to feel hard to love your job — especially when no one else seems to like you for doing it."

The movie features other spoofs of real-life games: Glee's Jane Lynch is a Sarge-like figure (Halo) in a sci-fi first-person shooter called Hero's Duty, and comedian Sarah Silverman voices cutie-pie Vanellope Von Schweetz in a dessert-themed Mario Kart-style racing game called Sugar Rush.

But before Ralph ventures into those worlds, we find him confessing his woes in a support group for fellow videogame villains, and that's where the first big cameos begin.

This is who showed up for the meeting, featured here in pixelated sprite form …

Zangief, the Russian wrestler from Street Fighter II

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This hulking Soviet brawler in bright red briefs first appeared in Capcom's 1987 Street Fighter II and has a major speaking part in the opening scene of Wreck-It Ralph as a member of Bad Guys Anonymous (a.k.a. Bad-Anon) who relates to Ralph's existential plight.

"When I hit bottom, I was crushing man's skull like sparrow egg between my thighs. I think, why you have to be so bad, Zangief? Why can't you be more like good guy?" the character says. "Then I have moment of clarity.… I say, 'Zangief, you are a bad guy, but this does not mean you are bad…guy."

Ralph says he doesn't really know what that means.

CHECK OUT ALL THE GAME CAMEOS ON EW.COM >>

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