The line between animation and video games has long been blurred. There was the Saturday Supercade on CBS in the mid-80s, where Frogger, Q-Bert and Donkey Kong starred in short segments. A handful of years later, Fox ran the Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and NBC had Captain N: The Game Master. All of these shows were relatively short-lived marketing methods of pushing Nintendo further into homes and the minds of children. But lately, the animation and video game industries have united under the banner of nostalgia, appealing to adults whose childhoods were spent chasing down the aproned token keeper in the local arcade.
This nostalgic trip is partly due to a major shift in demographics. Generation X and Y, the first to experience video game-filled childhoods, have grown up, and many of them now have young children of their own. It explains the broad appeal of Wreck-It Ralph—a father who spent countless hours feeding quarters to a PacMan arcade game was just as likely to be entertained by the film as his child. In fact, Disney succeeded in creating faux arcade games that felt so real, adult audience members were convinced to the point of feeling nostalgic. Fix It Felix Jr., the game in which Ralph was the villain, felt ripped from your childhood arcade.