on November 4, 2012
The Short: Wreck-It Ralph is a classic. From the slick animation, the great sense of humor, nostalgia inducing references and cameos, and the surprisingly adept and emotional story, Disney's Wreck-it Ralph is the best animated comedy since Tangled, and one of Disney's best animated films ever crafted.
Street Fighter, Pac-Man, Q-bert; widely known and considered classic games. But a "new challenger has entered the ring" in the form of old school, Donkey Kong inspired retro arcade game, Wreck-it Ralph. Follow the misadventures of Wreck-it Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly, as he attempts to become a hero by jumping though various video games. I don't want to spoil any of the plot, but it is incredibly well told and is quite surprising in the end. It has that classic Disney emotion, but with a most unique "video game-y" twist. In the end, Wreck-it Ralph teaches some great lessons, but it is also neither mundane nor juvenile, and that's why it's a winner.
The cast here couldn't fit the characters better. John C. Reilly as the big guy Wreck-it Ralph, Sarah Silverman as the spirited and surprisingly funny Vanellope von Schweetz, Jane Lynch as the stoic and hilarious Sergeant Calhoun, and Jack McBrayer as the lovable and yet again laugh- out-loud Fix-it Felix Junior. The movie is absolutely hilarious; the performances from all of the actors fit their roles perfectly and couldn't be funnier. They couldn't have picked a better voice cast, honestly to goodness.
The animation continues the high pedigree that Disney has become famous for. Its bright and lively action is wonderful to watch, and combined with great facial animations make for a great and emotional experience. But the winner here is the way that they have adapted the old- school style of video game animation into the film itself. You'll know what I mean when you see the movie. It makes for a truly unique, one of a kind experience! Sony's 4K presentation is crisp and vibrant.
The thing to understand though is that with its focus on video game cameos and references, don't worry! You don't have to have any knowledge of video games to understand or enjoy Wreck-it Ralph. The story and main characters are all part of the film's story and world. Rather than using the references as a crutch, they're used more as a springboard into new and unexplored fictional worlds.
Granted, gamers of all ages are going to love the care and attention taken when putting in the huge amount of references, cameos, and little bits of easter eggs spritzed and scattered throughout Wreck-it Ralph, making for a truly nostalgic inducing experience.
And those classic Disney trademarks, from great characters to a well told story, are all here and are much more than side attractions. The twist is great, the concepts are fresh, and the level of imagination at work revives my faith in the animated genre. There's still plenty left in this old dog after all.
And so I have to end this review by asking, "Are you tired of the same old washed up animated feature film? Feel like you're just too old for childish animated movies?" Wreck-it Ralph is the perfect cure. And it's meant for that group of movie goers looking for something more than just another animated money pit. It's laugh out loud funny, exciting and fresh, incredibly inventive and gleefully unique at every turn.
It's a classic no doubt, and Wreck-it Ralph will be one of those movies on my "favorites" shelf for decades to come. The true triumph? Wreck-it Ralph feels like that classic game that has been a part of my childhood ever since I can remember; the type of classic where you throw hundreds of quarters away and you honestly just don't care, because it is just that good.
5/5 - Perfection; Stop reading and watch right now
on December 25, 2012
Wreck-It Ralph is living proof that there is still original ideas in Hollywood and, for me, it was the best animated movie of the year and one of the most original and clever films I've seen in a while.
The story follows Wreck-It Ralph, a "bad guy" who is tired of being the character who's only purpose is to wreck things in an arcade game called "Fix-It Felix Jr." Ralph dreams of being the hero, so he sets out to explore other games within the arcade to earn a highly-coveted medal, along with the respect he feels he deserves. The voice acting is top-notch here; John C. Reilly is great as the title character and Jack McBrayer is perfect as Felix Fix-It Jr. In fact, there isn't one member of the voice cast that is out of place. Even Sarah Silverman, whom I'm not much of a fan of, does a great job with her character, Vanellope von Schweetz. The story does have elements that are familiar, but sets itself apart by with the insertion of original jokes and clever references.
One of the things I loved most about the movie is the appeal it has for everyone, whether it be little kids, adults, video game enthusiasts, or grandparents; there's something here for everyone. Those who grew up playing classic games like Pac-Man and Tapper will be overjoyed with some of the references this movie contains. It's fantastic to see companies collaborate and allow their properties to come together, and I sincerely hope they make a sequel. I also thought it was great how the creative team incorporated various gaming elements into the movie. For example, in the same scene they will have highly modernized characters with fluid movement interacting with jittery characters in the old 8-bit style, something I'd never seen in a film.
As I said, this was the best animated film of the year for me and one of the most enjoyable I've seen in a long time. If you have nostalgia for old video games, you'll be sure to love this movie. I would highly recommend this to anyone.
There are many great joys in life and Disney, the creators of "Wreck it Ralph", have always been experts at tapping into those emotions. It has been key to their success. Just like the characters in "Toy Story", we all long to be needed and not necessarily loved, but liked. We want to be included. We want to know that there's somebody out there who thinks of us from time to time and quite simply, that is all that Ralph wants.
Locked away inside his game between the hours of open and close of the arcade, Ralph is alone. He's a bad guy. The hero of his game, Fix-it Felix is the star. Felix is the one with the friends and who receives all the accolades. When the arcade closes up for the night, the characters can travel from game to game, they can socialize with each other, but Ralph is alone, with no friends to speak of. Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly, wants people to like him. He wants people to be proud of him, but being locked away inside his game only allows him to destroy and then get thrown off a building. This triggers a nostalgic and incredibly creative adventure.
"Wreck it Ralph" never really struck me as outwardly hilarious, but the movie is endlessly entertaining and loaded with imagery and blast from the past references. Also like "Toy Story", another world occurs when people aren't looking and when that world takes off, the video game references from the past will go right over your child's head. The adults though, will recognize characters from Super Mario Bros, Sonic, Q*bert, Street Fighter, Joust, Frogger, Pac-Man, Burger Time, the bartender from the game Tapper and even paddle one and two from the ultra nostalgic game, Pong.
Ralph means well, but like most animated movies, that doesn't always lead you in the correct direction. So, when he meets a sweet little 9-year old racer named Vanellope Von Schweetz, voiced by Sarah Silverman, he finds that he's not alone in his plight to be included. Vanellope is a glitch, a flawed character program, hidden away in the system, not allowed to play. The two of them may have formed one of the most memorable character bonds in recent history.
While the movie may not be hilariously funny, "Wreck it Ralph" is sheer joy and fun and it taps into an emotion that many adults have forgotten and many kids know all too well. It reminds you what it is like that first time you realized that you had a friend. Your child will also see a nice example of friendship and loyalty. This, in my opinion, makes "Wreck it Ralph" not just a movie for kids, but for adults as well. With all the references of nostalgic games and its flawless reminder of how euphoric friendship is, "Ralph" is for everybody.
on December 27, 2012
Since my wife and I both love seeing animated movies together, and since we both enjoy video games (especially me), it was decided that we absolutely had to see this movie! We had received a Regal Gift card a while before this came out and we actually hoarded what was on it to see this and The Hobbit once it came out as well.
Going into this movie we figured we'd enjoy it because we already had some people we knew say it was awesome, and we certainly did love it, from start to finish! It was very well done and very well voiced! Plus, of course, like most animated movies, it had a good moral at the end.
My favorite part, as was many people's favorite part I'm sure, was the meeting with all the various video game villains...that part was cool. It was neat seeing all of those actual video game villains in that part, as well as all the others at different points throughout the movie. All around, the movie was great fun and suitable for most any age. I highly recommend this one! I for one will be picking this up upon it's release...definitely collection worthy!
on October 29, 2015
Wreck-It-Ralph does right with so many montage of the video gaming universe that the recent movie Pixel tried to do. Like with Disney movies you'll have the main hero who is undeservedly misunderstood and disliked and wishes fora better place in his video game life. What happens along the way shows those who lived with him how needed and necessary he truly is as well as his true character showing as well as some of theirs too. The movie does a great service of showing cameo shots of the many characters of the video game universe very well and you can tell many of the writers and creation team are hardcore video game fans which is appreciated. The CGI animation is done very well and the voice cast selected did their character performances top notch from John Reilly as the voice of Ralph to Jane Lynch as the tough video game female soldier Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun.
This is a definite must have for both fans of Disney's CGI movies and video game fans everywhere.
on October 5, 2014
Great Disney Movie! I love to story of Wreck It Ralph. I am so glad Disney decided to start offering Blu-ray/DVD combo packs. It makes it easy to watch at home or in the car. I can't wait for more Disney movies to be released. This is one of my 4 year old daughters favorite movie and I love the story too. I love all the gamer references through out the movie and can see this becoming a classic in our house.
on April 24, 2014
I took my family to see this when it was first in the theaters, and had no expectations for it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is about a character in a video arcade game who plays the "bad guy" in the game, but after work hours (when the video game is not in use), he just wants to be a regular guy and be friends with the other characters. He joins a "bad guy" self-help group for some support (think AA), which is very funny, but then decides he needs to become a hero to gain some respect. All the arcade games are connected electrically through the same power strip, and in this movie, characters can move between games through this connection (although they aren't supposed to). Ralph decides to sneak into a military game temporarily so he can become a "hero", but things inevitably go wrong there and he ends up in a candy-land auto race game aimed at young girl arcade players. Most of the adventure takes place within this game, and it is quite funny, with a redeeming ending. As with many of the most recent Disney animations, there are unexpected (but not stupid) character twists and turns, with a plot that holds your interest (I am an adult, after all), and with smart humor and no talking down to the audience (us). It was a pleasant way to spend an hour-and-a-half.
I purchased the Blu-ray version of this movie which has three discs: 3-D, regular Blu-ray, and DVD. I have a 50" 3-D TV and a 3-D Blu-ray player; I don't use the 3-D capability much, but I did try this movie out in 3-D. I saw it in the theater in regular 2-D, so I can't compare the experience, but the 3-D seemed good and not distracting. Did it add anything to the overall movie experience? Not really. If the story is good, it's good in 2-D and 3-D, and this is a good story. Note that the colors are actually more vibrant when watching it in 2-D. The sound on the Blu-ray discs (either one) is in DTS surround sound, and it is great. I personally feel that a decent surround sound experience enhances a movie at home way more than 3-D does (I have to admit, though, I saw Disney's "Frozen" in the theater in 3-D and it was awesome, but you definitely need the giant theater screen for that).
Oh, I also recently purchased the "Frozen" Blu-ray (not in 3-D), and I enjoyed watching it at home as much as in the theater. As I said, a good story is a good story.
Remember the old video games in the arcades of the 80's? They are incredibly represented here and in a very fun way. The film does have a middle section that was slow and a little off track, but with that said, `Wreck It Ralph' does have a fantastic opening and definitely a surprising and eventfully fun ending! The animation is very sharp and extremely real. (Not phot-real, but artistically real.)
`Wreck It Ralph' is director Richard Moore's (Futurama, Drawn Together) first feature film coming from a broad television animation background. Taking a script from Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids, Ghost/Aliens) and first time writer Jennifer Lee, Richard mixed a great deal of personality types and funny creative situations inside of a video game and the world they live in.
The games you see in this film are all familiar to those who remember the stand-up, giant boxed TV sets you used to look down at and play your games with. The graphics were simple and the music very distinct with each game environment along with all the sound effects that only came from the 80`s. I had lots of memories of all the games!
John C Reilly (Chicago, Magnolia) leads the cast as `Wreck It Ralph' himself who has the odd job of being the villain in his game. Alone, mistreated and often misunderstood he decides to get some recognition by getting an award. With the help of the hysterical Jane Lynch (Glee, 40 Year-Old Virgin) as demanding and pushy militaristic leader of grunts, Calhoun, Ralph gets a little miss directed and off course ending up in many strange games, but none are his own.
Now `Wreck It Ralph' has a star in its game called Felix, voiced so sympathetically and humorously dry by Jack McBrayer (30 Rock, Forgetting Sarah Marshall). Jack's innocence and sincerity make the movie so much more fun to watch. I loved observing his take on growing a `fancy' for Jane Lynch's Calhoun character and how slowly they realize they might just work together, as a couple.
Ralph enters a game, wrongly of course, that is based a Candyland-type environment, and accidently bumps into and later, begrudgingly, befriends a small `glitch' in the program who is named Venellope, voiced amazingly perfect by Sarah Silverman (Something About Mary, School Of Rock) . She is independent, stubborn, obnoxious, not responsible and wildly out of hand, but seems to be sweet and sincere enough for Ralph to help.
A special note to Alan Tudyk (Firefly, I, Robot), who plays King Candy and does an amazingly unique impression of what might be consider `The Mad Hatter' with his own twist. Alan gives such fun and flair and craziness to his candy obsessed royalty.
Without giving too much away, the movie has a fun concept of group therapy for bad guys, an inventive concept on how game characters travel from one game to another and a clever plot concept on how games need to understand, they all need each other. I also loved the great detail and 3-D stylization they used to represent the accuracy of how all these old games really moved and operated. `Wreck It Ralph' has a great family message in the really funny and creative world of 80's video games. This is great light family fun!
on November 17, 2012
I was skeptical about seeing a video game movie, honestly, and the advertisements for it were goofy, and not well done, but when you get into this movie you will see why I love it so much. This is the only movie I could actually watch 4 times in one week, and still be driven to feel for these characters in a deeper level every time. I plan to watch it again. It is just that good.
The whole game is from the perspective of "the bad guy" which he tells you up front, but in such a tone, and with such a back story that you can feel the story will move away as its point of departure. Ralph is "a wrecker;" Every experience from there is nothing more than "the bad guy" doing everything in his power to do good things, all while struggling with the self-image he desperately wants to shrug off. Every consequence he brings in effort to change who he is affects all the members of the other games he is brought into, upsetting everyone in the process, until the climax of the game faces the destruction of the entire arcade, and reveals a hidden secret about another assumingly long-lost character acting as the antithesis of what Ralph represents. Ralph ends up having to call upon his own destructive abilities of his past that also reveals his true inner strength that gives him enough self-confidence to ultimately embrace the advice he earlier rejected to be--a "bad guy" who doesn't have to be a "bad" guy.
By the end of the journey, Ralph never shrugs off the "wrecker" mentality, but he does discover that he can "wreck" a lot more than buildings: the stereotypes, and labels that are the walls to self-acceptance and self-confidence that open the doors to loving friendship. Ralph walks down a winding road to end up in the same place he started completely changed, and changing everyone else for the better alongside him.
Hope that's been helpful, but now I've got to reserve my next ticket to see it again.
on January 26, 2013
I must say, this movie sort of blind-sided me. I expected it to be much more of a "hey look, famous character!" type of film. But I was pleasantly surprised.
In honest truth I saw the movie solely based on the huge poster with Sonic the Hedgehog at the front of the pack. The advertising campaign did not do the film justice. But after watching the film (over 7 times I might add, gotta love the $1 theatre), I realized that it is about an original character on his own journey, not just a cameo-fest. Albeit there were many cameos, but they were subtle and didn't take away from the plot of the movie. For example, in some scenes you can see graffiti on the wall with stuff like "no campers" or "Sheng Long was here," and in one scene there is a wall in the background with hand-drawn pictures of many famous characters like Tails Prowler and Galaga, which give a little thumbs-up to the people who recognize them. Some things, like Hero's Duty, can look very similar to another game like Halo in appearance, but not story. If anything that helps to familiarize the audience, otherwise it just comes off as a generic space marine. The most surprising part to me was how well the actors and actresses filled their role. Typically I don't like Sarah Silverman because she is a rather crude comic, but she makes a completely believable and endearing character in the film, ironically becoming my favorite. Another important note, the 8-bit animation and the score for the film are outstanding. I felt like I was really in an arcade.
Overall, the animation of the film was smooth, the visuals were pleasing and not too flashy, the story had a solid ground built on true plot mechanics with some unique arcade-themed features (such as the surge-protector gateway), good soundtrack, and the cast of appealing characters. I guarantee you will find at least one character you like that IS NOT a cameo. Adults might not find the movie nearly as enjoyable (I'm 21) because a lot of it revolves around the hero of the film making his place; perhaps unrelatable to older generations. Although I personally believe it is a universal theme. From a film-student's point of view, there are subtle things throughout the movie that only adults will understand; a classic Disney trademark.
It was a light-hearted adventure populated by some comedy, cameos, a little romance, some tragedy, good action, and a "finding yourself" theme.
P.S. Perhaps not as important, but I actually stayed to watch the credits, every time, because the music and 8-bit animation are just as entertaining as the movie.