Wreck-It Ralph has spent the last thirty years being under appreciated. He is the bad guy in his video game but it seems impossible for people to see past his tough exterior after his is done for the day. He tries his best to fit in but his anger finally explodes one day. Ralph sets off into another game, Hero's Duty, in order to prove that he really is in fact a good guy. Along the way he finally makes the friends he's always wanted and single-handedly threatens the lives of every single video game in the arcade.
Wreck-It Ralph is the best time I've had at a movie theater in a long time. I was hesitant walking into the theater--mostly because I am not a terribly huge fan of any of the main voice actors and because I am still trying to recover from my disappointment after seeing Pixar's Brave this summer. Despite my hesitation, I was drawn to the theater because I wanted to see all of my favorite childhood video game characters on the big screen. And let me tell you, this movie is PACKED with references to "retro" video games and oddly enough, food. Although many of the references are aimed at people in their twenties--the first generation who grew up on video games--the film is just as enjoyable without understanding many of them. So adults and younger children don't worry. Some of my favorite cameos included Bowser, Sonic the Hedgehog, PacMan, and milk's favorite cookie, Oreos! Oreos--that's a reference that everyone can get.
The plot of the film was not what I was expecting. From the trailer, Wreck-It Ralph came off as movie geared toward stereotypical boys but after watching it I am convinced that it will appeal to girls just as much--possibly more! This film tackles the material in a very clever way and I will admit that the ending blindsided me. Which...is sort of embarrassing considering that this is, after all, a Disney film. But one of the most impressive features of this film is the amount of time and detail the film makers put into creating three distinct worlds. The settings felt so real that it was almost as if this movie was revealing the secret life of video games--much in the same vein as Toy Story. Each world felt distinct but my only regret is that Ralph didn't do a bit more game-hopping so that I could see the rest of the arcade. Considering that was my only disappointment, I can easily say that this film was a job well done.
While on the surface, Wreck-It Ralph, seems like a vehicle for Disney to prey on our nostalgia in the modern era, it is a film that is equal parts humor and heart. The characters--both old and new--light up the screen and the material is handled in a way that is smart and respectful. I was not expecting much walking into the theater but on my way out I was impressed with what Disney had managed to create. This film proves that they are still the masters of creating new and engaging stories using other people's source material. Main point: if you have time this weekend, GO SEE IT!
FTC: I attended a free early screening of this film. I have no affiliation with Disney.