Disney was no doubt inspired by the world of the “Toy Story” franchise when creating “Wreck-It Ralph.” Just like “Toy Story,” inanimate objects – in this case video game characters – come to life after the coast is clear of humans, and they live in their own little world of arcade games that are all connected.
“Wreck-It Ralph” plays on the hero-villain, good-versus-evil theme of video games – which, for anyone who has played the classic Super Mario Brothers for the original Nintendo to the new Halo 4 for Xbox 360, can relate.
“Wreck-It Ralph” also portrays the relationship between old and new arcade game characters down to the pixilation – an interesting twist demonstrating the rapid evolution of technology and the major content difference that arises over a 30-year period.
The movie is all about Wreck-It Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly), the villain of a game called Fix-It Felix Jr., who lives in the shadow of the game’s hero, Felix (Jack McBrayer), after the arcade closes for the night. Like his name suggests, Ralph excels at wrecking things, which is why he is avoided like the plague by all the characters in the video game. But after being rejected from the game’s 30th anniversary party, Ralph decides to take matters into his own hands and earn a gold medal somehow that, in turn, would earn some respect from his fellow video game characters in Fix-It Felix Jr.
His solution? Sneak into a new game, Hero’s Duty – one with a completely different premise than his own – to get his trophy. Ralph quickly discovers he’s in over his head in the violent first-person shooting game, but with a little persistence, reaches his goal and wins the hero’s medal.
Things go downhill from there. His escape with the medal goes awry, landing him in a world of candy: the game of Sugar Rush, which strongly reminded me of Mario Kart. Here Ralph runs into Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), a racing character in a mirror situation of his own. Vanellope is the outcast of Sugar Rush because she is a glitch that supposedly never should have existed. Because of her glitch status, she’s not allowed to race – ever.
Vanellope and Ralph’s paths stay intertwined after she steals his medal. The only way she’ll return it is if he helps her win a race, and from there the two form a close friendship.
Another similarity of “Wreck-It Ralph” to the Toy Story franchise is how spot-on the voice acting was. With each character from separate video games so dynamically different, it’s entertaining – to say the least – to watch them interact and work toward a common goal.
“Wreck-It Ralph” is a movie for both children and adults. For adults, it’s fun to recognize the classic video game characters, like a ghost from Pac-Man, and there’s a good amount of adult humor throughout the film. For kids, the imaginative aspect of “Wreck-It Ralph,” as well as the vibrant setting of Sugar Rush, will keep them guessing as to what will happen next.
“Wreck-It Ralph” is 108 minutes and rated PG due to some mild violence (most of which comes up with the introduction of the game Hero’s Duty) and some rude humor.
“Wreck-It Ralph” is now playing at Lakeland Cinema, Woodruff.
Sarah Hirsch may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org