Director: Rich Moore
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Ed O’Neill
Synopsis: An animation not only made for kids, but also for kids of the 80’s. Wreck-it Ralph is the bad guy in popular video game Fix-it Felix Jr. He gets little respect, not even from the other characters in his own game. So he infiltrates other games in the arcade seeking a medal to show that he can be the good guy too.
We live in an interesting time for animation. Some stumble upon just that right mix of childish and adult delights, and can have quite a significant emotional impact. Others feel they are being extremely clever by cramming the entire film with pop culture references. Wreck-it Ralph i many respects is in many ways a combination of both. It is an entertaining film with a number of heart-warming elements, with plenty of nods to some of the great video games of old. It is certainly no Up or Toy Story, but it is still a great piece of cinema that is worth seeing more than once.
The film maintains a sense of magic with one of those great “what if?” scenarios… that characters in arcade consoles can visit other machines and interact. In doing so, it also establishes its own world with its own perils, which by no means should be obvious, and yet within the context of the film make a whole lot of sense. Characters travel between console through their own central station (the powerboard), and if your game gets unplugged, you are a homeless person within this central realm (poor Q-Bit!!).
Yet, quite intelligently, despite all the famous characters on display, the majority of the story centres around games specific to the film itself. This avoids the plot being constricted by rules of games that people know extraordinarily well. Instead, Ralph is a platform game character who ventures into both a war game and a racing game. The characters he meets are indeed stereotypes, and yet more. Jane Lynch’s war commander Calhoun is a real delight, programmed with her tragic background story. Sarah Silverman voices Vanellope, another great character from racing game Sugar Rush. This is where all the heartfelt moments come from. Admittedly, they do get a bit treacle-y (pardon the pun), yet they remain effective. John C. Reilly, voicing the title character, is a convincing lonely character as always.
This will not go down as an all time classic animation, but it is a lot of fun, and one will not leave un-entertained. Those that ever attended an 80s video game arcade will be particularly delighted with it.
3.5 stars out of 5