Disney’s new 3D animation film, Wreck-It Ralph, is set in a world where arcade video games come to life after-hours. Think Toy Story, but with video game characters instead of toys.
John C Reilly voices title character Wreck-It Ralph, the villain in an old-school low-resolution video game, who’s tired of being a bad guy. The other characters in the game never invite him to their parties or hang out with him, while the hero of the game Fix-It Felix Jr (voiced by 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer) gets all the appreciation. Desperate to earn respect, Ralph breaks out of his gaming universe in search of the medal that will make him a good guy. But this creates all sorts of havoc in the behind-the-scenes gaming world. Invading other game environments in the hope of proving himself a hero there, Ralph is first plunged into the high-def universe of Heroes Duty where he encounters the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch), then into the bubblegum pink world of Sugar Rush, where he meets a sharp-witted girl named Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), who’s been outcast because she’s a ‘glitch’.
Banking heavily on nostalgia, yet refreshingly original and visually inventive, this film works on many levels and is likely to appeal to both young children, and video game geeks who will recognize old favorites from the 8-bit gaming universe like Donkey Kong and PacMan among others.
Clever and touching in equal measure, this is a gorgeous film that unabashedly celebrates retro pop-culture. I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five for Wreck-It Ralph. Anyone who’s ever been to a video game arcade, or owned one of those pixel-based video games in the 80s, will instantly connect with this film. Worth a watch!