WHEN Ralph hits the big screen, things that might normally (hey, what’s “normal” in the cyber world?) have existed only on a small screen get bigger, noisier, longer to reach a conclusion and more improbable in real world terms.
But why not? This is a film for juveniles who spend time gazing at small screens and, for all I know, believe in characters created by fervid imaginations of adults with expensive lifestyle expectations that cloud their memories of single-digit age years!
The estimated budget for this CG animation is $US175 million. In its first week in its home country it took $US56 million. Four weeks later, by Christmas Day, it had taken $US311.5 million+ worldwide.
Not bad for a movie sending a message telling its target audience (pre-teens and older folk who don’t read between the lines) that it’s okay to spend on stuff that will date as soon as some tech-savvy whizz kid launches a new and improved on-line service that may charge only a small fee to get into on the internet but will bring the whizz kid wealth through world-wide subscription sales financed ultimately by parents.
The upscaling to cinema dimensions of big, lumbering, not-too-smart Ralph and his little chum Vanellope stands as an invitation for other animation houses (Ralph is a Disney creation) to imitate his world. The Disney top brass will, if challenged, no doubt seek to justify its happy-ending-at-all-costs mantra of plot and imagery celebrating road rage, on-screen entrepreneurial greed and other bad behaviours on grounds that it’s a kids’ movie.
It’s too easy to overlook, or forget, memories of childhood pleasure carried out of the cinema by young audiences in more innocent times. Today’s easily-acquired high-tech gizmos give instant access to torrents of social media that for better or worse have power to distort cultural and emotional development against which childhood innocence struggles to survive.
Pernicious, I call it.
At all cinemas