Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to see an advanced screening of Disney’s newest animated film: Wreck-It Ralph. We’ve actually been talking about this movie in our house for months – it’s right up the boys alley – so almost everyone was excited to go.
So, how can I explain this movie? Well, for one Wreck-It Ralph is to video games what Toy Story is to toys. Now, I’m not saying it’s as GOOD as Toy Story – but the concept and the video games worlds are pretty creative. And – like Toy Story – it has a great story at the heart of it.
You see, like toys, video games characters live in their own world. Once the doors to arcades close, the video game characters lead their own lives. They take trains through power cords — and all meet up in Game Central Station. They go to Bad-Anon meetings at Pac-Man’s place. They visit Tappers for some drinks.
Wreck-It Ralph is about Ralph. He’s the bad guy in an 8-bit Donkey Kong-like video game “Fix-It Felix.” Like many people when they turn 30, he starts to question the life he is leading: Who he’s friends with, where he lives, and if he’s achieved his goals. Bottom line: Ralph is not happy merely being the bad guy. He begrudges Fix-It Felix for the charmed life he lives and thinks that if, he too, could earn a medal the other characters in his game (the Nicelanders) will respect him. So he takes action into his own hands, which of course leads to loads of trouble.
I really don’t want to reveal too much of the plot. Part of the fun is discovering the characters and the worlds they live in. The three video games that consume the majority of the movie could not be any different from one another, which makes for very diverse animation styles. This includes the 8-bit world of “Fix-It Felix” (the quirky movement of the Nicelanders and Felix are a nice touch!), a first person shooter, game hilariously called “Hero’s Duty”, and a Mario-Cart like race world (with a touch of anime) called “Sugar Rush.”
I’ve seen a lot of family movies this year and I’m willing to say that was definitely one of the best (if not the best). What makes it so good? For one – the characters and the actors. John C. Reilly (Ralph), Jay McBrayer (Felix) , Sarah Silverman (Vanellope von Schweetz), and Jane Lynch (Sargent Calhoun) ARE these characters (and to Disney’s credit they look like them too). The humor is also really well done. There’s a good amount of adult/over-the-kids head humor (and video game throw back) to entertain all — and enough glitz and glam to keep my never-interested-in-anything-on-the-TV 3-year old completely enthralled for 90 minutes.
Ultimately, what I really enjoyed about this movie is that it has a lot of heart, but it’s not done in a cheesy way. It’s about friendship, standing up for what you believe in, and being yourself even if you’re different. Yes, it’s a Disney movie, BUT it’s the kind of Disney movie we haven’t seen a long time. Welcome back Disney! I knew you still had it.
I’m bad and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me.
Are you planning on seeing Wreck-It Ralph?While I was provided free admission for myself and three guests to this movie, I did not get free popcorn and all opinions and recommendations are my own!