RATING: PG for mild cartoon violence/ action and crude humor.
DIRECTOR: Rich Moore
WRITERS: Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston
WHO’S IN IT: (Voices of) John C. Reily, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk
THE STORY: Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reily) is the main villian of the video game Fix-It Felix Jr. at Litwak’s Arcade. When the arcade closes and the digitized people who live in their respective games interact when they’re not doing their “jobs,” however, it is revealed that Ralph is actually a kind, lonely, relatively unassuming fellow who wants some respect after spending 30 years as a bad guy. Ralph decides to use the “game station” area that connects all of the games in the arcade together to go to another game where he can be a hero.
IN MY OPINION: Despite being set in the world of video games, you do not need to know all about ‘80s-era video games in order to enjoy Wreck-It Ralph. In fact, although the film features quite a few actual licensed game characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Pac-Man, those expecting a Who Framed Roger Rabbit-esque film where characters from various video game systems constantly pop up, may be disappointed. After about the first 45 minutes or so the character cameos and old school references, clever as they are, disappear in favor of spending a large amount of time in the land of Sugar Rush, a candy-themed racing game that Ralph eventually finds himself brought to. Ralph’s interactions with Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman, one of the best parts of the film with her bratty sprite-like voice), a Sugar Rush resident who is treated like an outcast because she is a “glitch,” as she tends to static in-and-out like the image on a broken TV, is one of the best parts of the movie. It’s great because of their interactions and because they are both surprisingly complex characters who feel like disrespected outsiders and aspire towards more. The animation of every video game universe is well done and the humor is smart enough for adults to like but probably won’t go over the heads of children. The voice acting is great across the board, as both Reily and Silverman are fantastic, as are Jack McBrayer as Fix-It Felix Jr. himself who is tracking down Ralph to get him back to their own game, and British actor Alan Tudyk (doing an inexplicable impression of the Mad Hatter from the Disney 1950’s-era Alice in Wonderland cartoon) as King Candy, the suspicious ruler of the Sugar Rush world. The animation and jokes go together very well, and the message of appreciating not your status in the world but how you handle it is both heartfelt and intelligently done. This is a clever, amazingly cute film.
WHAT OTHERS SAID:
- Amazing — I will see it about 20 more times. Samm Hanley, MMCC Alumni
- We loved it! I overheard my son today tell my daughter they had to build a tower & wreck it!! Christy McKinney, Clare
(On the Big Screen is a regular monthly feature of The Laker Current and is compiled by staff writers. It is designed to spotlight movies being shown in local theaters.)