Worth the price of theatre admission

Wreck-It Ralph is a clever, fun film with a lot of heart

Check yo’ self before you Wreck-It Ralph yo’ self: John C. Reilly voices the titular character (centre) in this clever animated film. Supplied

Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) lives in the game Fix-It Felix Jr. He wrecks the building, Felix (Jack McBrayer) fixes it with his magic hammer and the peasants rejoice.

Tired of spending 30 years as the big baddie, Ralph decides to win over the people of his game by scoring a gold medal, and because bad guys aren’t rewarded he goes undercover to Hero’s Duty and scores himself some hardware.

Of course when he escapes the game he brings along a bug that will infect whatever game Ralph lands his escape pod in, and that game is Sugar Rush, the most sugary go-kart race you’ve ever entered.

Running into an adorable little girl named Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), who happens to be her game’s glitch, Ralph learns how to truly be a “good guy.”

Veteran Simpsons director Rich Moore ensures that every scene in the film has a reason for being there, no plot point presented simply for the sake of humour.

The best moments happen when the characters leave their homes, hit up Game Central Station and visit other games. While they’re occasionally stopped by security (known as Surge Protectors), they are free to go from game to game, though if they die outside their game, they will not regenerate.

Filled with cameos and references to dozens of other games, including Street Fighter and Q*bert, it’s crucial to set Ralph and Venellope in the world of the games we know and love to solidify their realism.

Yes, an entire universe can be created from scratch, but it’s more fun for everyone to see Ralph in a support group with Bowser and M. Bison.

It worked in Toy Story and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, so why not here?

The film has more puns than you can shake a joystick at, and the bulk of the gags go over the heads of younger viewers, with the laughs being few and far between.

Other family hits this year (the Madagascar and Ice Age sequels) had the kids rolling in the aisles at their absurd plots and throwaway fart gags.

More so on par with ParaNorman and Frankenweenie, Ralph is a clever film that is a lot of fun, but doesn’t sell itself short as simply a series of gags.

Preceded by the brilliant black and white animated short Paperman, Ralph has a lot of heart, and you’ll want to check it out in the theatres.

Published in Volume 67, Number 9 of The Uniter (October 31, 2012)

Related Reads