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The Wonderful World of “Wreck-It Ralph”

Not into arcades? Don’t know anything about gaming? Been living under a rock for the past 30 years? It’s ok … you’re still gonna love “Wreck-It Ralph!”

I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of this animated feature since I saw the first trailer back in May. Typically, that would mean I’d keep building it up in my mind so that when it finally came time to see it, it’d fall short of the awesomeness I wanted it to be. Leave it to Disney to exceed my high expectations.

The movie is about the world inside video games and what happens when the arcade closes at night. Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly), is the villain of “Fix-It Felix;” he wrecks things so Felix (Jack McBrayer) can fix them.  But, just because Ralph is the “bad guy,” it doesn’t mean he is a bad guy. He finds his job unfulfilling and just wants to be the hero for once. Is that really so much to ask?

Ralph does a little game jumping and earns himself a medal, but loses it when he crash lands in “Sugar Rush,” a candy themed Mario-Kart-esque racing game. He reluctantly teams up with an ostracized racer named Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) to try and get his medal back. But, if he doesn’t get back to his own game in time “Fix-It Felix” may be unplugged forever.

How fantastic was this movie! I loved every second of it. It’s a completely original concept, a really good story, funny characters, terrific casting, amazing art, and enough pop culture references to keep you going back to make sure you catch them all. And you gotta catch ‘em all!

From the first trailer I saw with Ralph at a “bad guy” support group surrounded by classic villains like Bowser (“Super Mario Bros.”), Clyde (“Pac-Man”), Zangief (“Street Fighter”), and Zombie (any zombie game), I knew this was going to be an original movie. This idea that once the arcade closes these characters have lives outside their games is a lot of fun to imagine.

All the games connect to a central station (a.k.a. a power strip) where they can visit other games. For instance, several characters like to frequent “Tapper” for a frosty root beer or the support group I mentioned earlier which is in “Pac-Man.” Walking through the central station you’ll see a plethora of characters and references to other games. It’s almost sensory overload at times.

What impressed me most about “Wreck-It Ralph” was the art.  It really impressed me. “Fix-It Felix” is older, so it has 8-bit graphics. You go from watching these pixelated characters on the arcade game screen to crossing into their world where they’re three-dimensional. But still the characters from older games don’t look as real and high-def as more modern games like “Hero’s Duty.”

The animation is beautiful and there’s an attention to detail that makes little things stand-out. For instance, in one scene Ralph accidentally smashes a cake and it splatters everywhere. But the splatter is pixelated.

There are a lot of easter eggs for gamers but it’s really easily to fall in love with this movie even if you’ve never stepped into an arcade. The story is about being happy with who you are and realizing that you are not what you do.

The script is really funny and the voice actors do a lot to bring these characters to life. The four main actors all have great comedic timing and know how to deliver a laugh. Plus they’re surrounded by other strong comedians like: Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, and Adam Carolla.

I can’t say enough good things about this movie. It’s freakishly good. Young or old, gamer or not, “Wreck-It Ralph” appeals to the good guy in all of us.




  1. Pingback: Wreck-It Ralph is a new Disney Classic! « nediunedited - November 4, 2012

  2. Pingback: 2012 in Review: The Good, Bad, and In Between « i'm a movie nerd - December 28, 2012

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