In my review for DreamWorks Animation's Rise Of The Guardians, I talked about how computer animated movies have come on leaps and bounds , with Pixar having largely dominated the industry for many years. But other companies like DreamWorks Animation, Blue Sky and Disney have been giving those Hawaiian shirted geniuses down at Pixar a run for their money.
As a massive fan of the animated movies myself, I was buzzing to see the latest efforts from the animation wing of Disney with their movie Wreck-It Ralph, an 8-bit adventure set entirely within an old fashioned arcade where the heroes and villains that inhabit their games are more than just pre programmed pixels, they’re living, breathing characters.
Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly is the villain of his game whose job it is to destroy an apartment block only for the hero of the game Felix Fix It Jr (Jack McBrayer) to patch it back up again with this magic gold hammer! However Ralph has become disillusioned with his role over the years, sick of constantly being labelled as a bad guy he decides that he wants to be a good guy for a change, and so he game hops from one game to the other in a bid to prove to everyone he's more than just a terrifying, ugly brute with a penchant for wrecking things!
The film is a hugely satisfying journey into the retro world of arcade games and there are simply too many references to mention in one go, but suffice to say fans of gaming both in it's past and present incarnations will find plenty to smirk about during the film. The makers have really done their homework in putting together a film that lovingly celebrates the history of video games, with dozens of familiar virtual faces making cameos, a hilarious scene in which Ralph attends one of his regular bad guy AA type meetings is definitely one of the highlights, but they really have thought of everything, from the way characters travel via the cables that lead to game central station (extension plugs) to the way characters in the more modern 'Heroes Duty' (a humorous pastiche on Call Of Duty) deal with the first person shooter. It's a world that has been carefully thought out by the filmmakers to make everything actually seem logical!
Through his quest to earn his medal and ultimately become a good guy, Ralph winds up in the game 'Sugar Rush' , an overly saturated, sugar coated world of lolly pops and candy canes where brattish powerpuff looking girls race against one another throughout the saccharine filled landscape, jumping over lakes of chocolate milk and dodging giant gumballs! It's here Ralph meets Venelope, an adorably sassy young racer voiced by Sarah Silverman (a role very much at odds with her stand up for anyone whose familiar with it!) It soon transpires though that Venelope has a slight problem... she glitches, and due to her "pixlexia" she's banned from entering any of the races. From here the film becomes something of a cute buddy movie forging an unlikely partnership between Ralph and Venelope.
As an adult watching the movie, it might be hard to see beyond the anti bullying PSA wrapped up in a sweet toothed, eye popping 3D extravaganza but it's hard not to get caught up in it, the film is a lot of fun and no matter what age you, and even if you aren't a fan of video games there's something for everyone to enjoy in Wreck-It Ralph. Stay for the end credits as well to witness a lovely little homage to gaming!