CodeChangers STEM Blog post

Video Game Movies that Are Worth the Watch

  • Sydney
  • April 13, 2020
  • News

Video games based on movies are notorious for doing poorly. However, it would be amiss to say that some didn’t strike a chord with some of us. Check out this list of recommended movies that you should watch. (Please note that these opinions do not reflect CodeChangers, but are the personal thoughts of the writer. The writer is not an expert in animation, cinematic or video gaming fields, but provides her opinion based on her experience with these movies and as the average viewer.)

1. Tron & Tron:Legacy

Image from: http://moviescreenshots.blogspot.com/2006/09/tron-1982.html

For you computer and programmer lovers,Tron and Tron:Legacy are fantastic flicks to watch. Personifying the insides and working mechanisms of a computer, it is a fascinating and fun spectacle to see. The first film was revolutionary in its influence of 3D animation and is full of easter eggs that specialists in any computer field would spot. (Linux anyone?). Computer scientist or not, these movies are armed with the love of video games, 3D animation, programming and overall fun, sci-fi action that anyone would enjoy.

2. Pokemon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back

Image from: rosalynmuses.blogspot.com

Although not favored by critics at all, Pokemon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back is still a nostalgic ride for many 90’s and early 2K kids alike. In fact, it was such a hit among audiences, the opening day was termed as “the ‘Pokéflu’ because so many kids missed school to see the film” (Pokemon: The first movie, n.d.). Based on the hit TV Show, “Pokemon” (Which is still running by the way) and the video games of the same name, Ash Ketchum, Pikachu and their friends find themselves sucked into a tournament that turns out to be much deeper —and dare we say violent—than the average Pokemon battle. With its dark portrayal of one of the most popular pokemon ever (Mewtwo), this movie is a fantastic treat for many anime and Pokemon lovers alike. Just, uh… Bring some tissues. I, um, still cry when I watch it. So… Yeah.

3. Detective Pikachu

Image from: https://www.polygon.com/2018/11/12/18087246/detective-pikachu-trailer-easter-eggs-pokemon-movie-live-action

Pokemon makes its mark once again on this list as Detective Pikachu has been deemed one of the best video game movies ever produced. In fact, some have dared to say that this movie single handedly broke the video game-movie curse. Ryan Renold’s hilarious take on the beloved Pikachu, countless easter eggs (just look at this poster) and the stunning visuals had Pokemon fans and the average viewer all enjoying the show alike.

4. Sonic the Hedgehog

Image from: https://www.flickeringmyth.com/2020/01/new-posters-for-sonic-the-hedgehog-movie/

This movie is the definition of redemption. With a rocky start with a less than appealing character design of Sonic the Hedgehog, this movie turned around to be one of the most favored and successful video game movies to this date. This film even beat out Detective Pikachu as the “highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time in the US box office” and was the “ second highest-grossing film of 2020” (Sonic the Hedgehog, n.d.). Although less than liked by critics, audiences everywhere praised this film for being faithful to this popular 90’s character while providing a new enough spin to keep unfamiliar patrons entertained. One of my favorite memories of watching this movie was a little kid that I passed by when I came into the theatre to watch this flick. Armed with his Sonic garb, he was brimming with excitement and utter joy as he talked to his parents about this popular video game character during the trailers—perfectly capturing that love all blue blur fans have in common.

5. Wreck it Ralph

Image from: http://www.burrowdesigns.com/story-arc-wreck-ralph/

Loved by many adults and children alike, this movie’s take on video games is stellar. Chalk full of easter eggs, it is one for all video game lovers (young and old) to enjoy. Armed with video game references that go back into the 80’s, and even original video game actors (e.g., Roger Craig Smith, Reuben Langdon) this movie is a nostalgic feast for all video game fans. Those who are into programming can especially appreciate this movie as one can also understand the personification of code and some programming references made (e.g., “It’s in my code”). This is a great way to be introduced to code and get a relative perspective of how it works in the video game world. (And if you want to learn more about programming video games, check out our courses and camps that we offer here!)

Although video game movies are notorious for not being well received, one can’t say that there aren’t exceptions. However, in the wise words of “Reading Rainbow,” “But you don't have to take my word for it.” Definitely give these a watch—and enjoy what these movies have to offer.

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Works Cited

Pokémon: The first movie. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pokémon:_The_First_Movie

Sonic the Hedgehog. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_(film)

Image by Igor Ovsyannykov from Pixabay