(Originally written November 3, 2012)
I saw Wreck-It Ralph yesterday and I’m going to cut to the chase: If you like Disney movies and/or video games, GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It is one of the best CG animated movies I’ve seen in years and is extremely enjoyable for kids, parents, and gaming nerds. If you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve noticed the large amount of licensed video game characters that make cameos such as Ryu and Zangief from Street Fighter, Kano from Mortal Kombat, Bowser from Mario, Dr. Eggman from Sonic, and many more. In watching the actual movie, there were EVEN more cameos and references than I thought there would be and plenty of game parodies like an FPS game that parodies Halo and Starcraft. This movie is pretty much the Who Framed Rodger Rabbit of video games.
The story (mostly spoiler free) takes place in the hidden world inside arcade machines, where once the arcade closes, and the characters in the gaming consoles go about regular lives and can interact with each other through the network of power connects in the building. This is a lot like Toy Story in this aspect. The story focuses on Wreck-It Ralph, the bad guy in an arcade classic called Fix-It Felix Jr. (a game that kind of parodies the original Donkey Kong game). He is tired of being treated as the bad guy after work hours by the other characters in his game, so he embarks on a quest to sneak into the newest high tech arcade game to win a hero medal to prove that even bad guys can win at video games. Things don’t go as planned and he ends up lost in a racing game that is basically a parody of Mario Kart games and befriends a little girl who is trying to get into the race. Meanwhile, it is work time and Ralph is not in his game when someone puts a quarter in which leads to the arcade owner to declare the game out of order. If the characters in Fix-It Felix can’t get Ralph back, the game will be unplugged and they will all lose their home or die. So Felix heads out into the scary world of other games to find Ralph before it is too late. While the story sags a little bit in the middle, especially, when you realize that the rest of the movie is taking place in this super kiddy racing game. It was a little disappointing to me as I was hoping they would be hopping between various other games throughout the movie but it still remains fun and has a couple good plot twists as it gets near the end.
The voice acting is great. This is the best thing I’ve ever seen/heard John C. Reilly in. Then again, I only know him from the Tim and Eric Show from adult swim. He really brings the character of Ralph to life. Sarah Silverman does a great job as the tough little racer girl, Vanellope. Jack McBrayer, who I’ve never heard of till this movie, does a great job as Fix-It Felix and kinda reminded me of Ned Flanders without the diddilies and iddilies. And of course, Jane Lynch as the badass Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun from the FPS game Hero’s Duty. She does what is good at and that is being a bitch and it works for the character well. There are a lot of tv and anime/video game voice actors that make cameo’s as well such as Rodger Craig Smith, the current voice of Sonic and Kyle Hebert as Ryu, who is most well known as the narrator from DBZ and from other anime. Also Skrillex appears briefly in one scene. What?
The music is fitting but mostly not what I really care for. Some video game remixes would have been cool to hear. It did surprise me a bit that there was a Japanese song in the movie and on the soundtrack by the J-Pop group AKB48. Also before the film, there is this sweet animated short (hand animated) called Paper Man. It’s a short love story about an office worker in the 1940’s or 50’s trying to get the attention of this women he met on the trolley earlier that day. What really stands out is the animation and smooth it looks. Seriously, some old school animation at its finest. As for the CG animation of the actual feature, what can I say? It’s Disney. It’s freaking amazing and a treat for the eyes. I especially like the 8-bit animation here and there. I saw this movie in 2-D, because if you know me, I hate 3-D. I could tell there were a few shots here and there to get that 3-D effect but nothing special to make seeing it in 3-D any better. I’d stick to 2-D and save your money.
Overall, this is an excellent movie that you owe it to yourself to see if you love Disney movies and video games. It’s funny, cute, witty, and beautiful to look at. Gamers will nerdgam at all the cameos and game references. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!