Wreck-It Ralph written and directed by Rich Moore (Walt Disney Animation Studios, PG, 108 minutes)
Starring John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch
Video Game Nerds Unite!
Wreck-It Ralph is the newest animated phenomena from Disney, and appeals to the average grown-up video game nerd. The movie occurs within several arcade games, and the collective hub between, which is designed similar to the famous Grand Central Station. The main “hero”, Ralph (John C. Reilly), is actually the villain in the arcade game Fit-It Felix, Jr. Felix, Jr. (Jack McBrayer of 30 Rock fame) is a handyman who can fix it all, and saves the day, winning a medal atop a tower of triumph. However, Ralph isn’t happy with his current job description as the one who wrecks things (which in turn Felix fixes) and hates being ostracized by the heroes and general civilians in the arcade realm. Felix Jr. is invited to parties with the civilians, whereas Ralph is relegated to sleep alone in a junk yard.
Ralph, eager to break through the mold of his villainy, meets with a group of fellow evil-doers (think alcoholics anonymous for villains). The group is comprised of such classic villains as Bowser from the Super Mario franchise, Zangief and M. Bison from the Street Fighter franchise, and the ghost from Pac-Man. The group urges Ralph to stick with it, as being a villain isn’t a bad thing; it’s just what he’s supposed to do.
Ralph journeys to the collective hub of arcade-land, Grand Game Central, and the audience sees a warning: characters who travel outside of their own games cannot die and come back to life like normal; if they die, it’s curtains. Ralph travels into a game called “Hero’s Duty” where troops led by Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) fight a swarm of bugs and in turn can get a medal on the top of a high tower. After a fairly brief visit, he journeys to “Sugar Rush Speedway” where candied themed cars travel along gum-drop roads to win a trophy.
A Sugary Ending
The big deal at “Sugar Rush Speedway” is Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) who really wants to be a race car driver, but isn’t too good at it. Her competitor, and ultimate form of discouragement is King Candy (Alan Tudyk). As she strives to win, Ralph helps her, and there ends up being a big culminating race in the end.
What separates Wreck-It Ralph from other animated films is the amazing attention to detail that is within. The characters are incredibly believable, to the point where you side with Ralph, and hope for his success. What seems to wreck Wreck-It Ralph is the time in “Sugar Rush Speedway” is just that, a sugar rush. It’s a high speed chase after high speed chase, and it gets old pretty quick. At the same time, much like many Disney animated films of late, it’s entertaining for both children and adults. Wreck-It Ralph is quite a bit of fun for the average video game nerd turned adult.
Verdict: 3.5 out of 5