2012 has been a very interesting year for Disney. The release of the box office bomb, John Carter, the box office marvel (Ha!), The Avengers, along with Brave, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, and Frankenweenie. While I thoroughly enjoyed The Avengers and Brave was just a lot of fun, I was eagerly waiting another movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios that showed much promise from the very first teaser trailer. That movie is Wreck-It Ralph.
I remember while watching the trailer for this movie for the first time. The teaser didn’t really interest me. I think the reason is that I just wasn’t sure about the movie itself. That all changed when the next trailer released was the “Bad-Anon Meeting” with an attendance from characters of many different video games. Pac-Man, Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog, among others that are represented in this scene, also seen/referenced too throughout the film. Soon posters featuring Q*bert, Zangief, Dr. Robitnik and, my all-time favorite, Sonic the Hedgehog start popping up in theaters! I think that is what really sets this venture apart more so than any other Disney movie, in my mind, and that made me plant my butt in a seat opening day.
“Wreck-It Ralph” is a film about, well, Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph, played by John C. Reilly (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Step Brothers), is a bad guy in the video game “Fix-It Felix Jr.” Game after game, Ralph climbs the building in his game and damages it only for the player to take control of Felix, played by Jack McBrayer (The Campaign, 30 Rock), to fix the damage caused by Ralph. After Felix has fixed the damage he is given a medal and Ralph is thrown off the building by its residents, the Nicelanders. Ralph explains that he is tired of going through the same motions every day and never being recognized for his part in the game.
We learn that it is the 30th Anniversary of their game and the Nicelanders throw a party for Felix to celebrate, and that Ralph is not invited. Ralph is hurt and angry because he just wants to fit in with the rest instead of being left out in the cold, sleeping on bricks every night. He is “challenged” by one of the Nicelanders that if he was able to receive a medal, which no bad guy is allowed to get, they will give him the penthouse in the building. And that is where the journey begins as Ralph heads to Grand Central Station to go inside the game, “Hero’s Duty” (Do I really need to say what games this parodies?). Jane Lynch (Role Models, Glee), Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program, Take this Waltz), and Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil).
From the beginning it is not hard to see where exactly this story is heading and at times it will feel predictable. That, in no way means, get from point A to point B is a fun ride. With puns and references galore kids and adults can enjoy this film. I know I had a blast. There are parts in this movie that had me in stitches. Jane Lynch’s character, Sergeant Calhoun, is just awesome because I mean really…. It’s Jane Lynch, when is she NOT awesome? The beginning sequence is fun looking at a time lapse shot of games coming and going from the arcade as year’s progress and the ending credits sequence is just so much fun to watch.
For a feature directorial debut, Rich Moore hits his mark. Coming from directing episodes of “The Simpsons” and “Futurama” to the big screen with Wreck-It Ralph seemed not to be a challenge for him. With cameos galore you will find yourself trying to pick out and name characters from video games of many different eras and consoles. This movie doesn’t set out to be the next Up or Finding Nemo, and it doesn’t have to. It has its flaws and you tend to overlook that while watching. It does what it sets out to do and does that well. Provide a fun viewing experience for the entire family. You know what? It delivers.
I give Wreck-It Ralph my recommendation for a fun viewing experience 8.5/10 Pocket Protectors.
Good review Jeffery. Wreck-It Ralph is the kind of blissful creation of family-friendly filmmaking that is too often missing in that market. It’s fun, sweet, nostalgic, and endearing as it shows us what these goofy video-game characters do in their spare-time. Just a fun movie to watch and I would like to know the person that doesn’t enjoy it.