Whether you think so or not, it has been a pretty good year for animated films. Although I have yet to see Brave or Ice Age: Continental Drift, we have had some spectacular ones from the very underrated Hotel Transylvania to the impressive stop motion animated Paranorman and Frankenweenie. Now we have the most unpredictable animated film, Wreck-it Ralph. This is a movie for video game lovers, and it’s a smashing success.
Inside the world of an 80’s and 90’s arcade game titled Fix-it Felix, there is building, which is occupied by random townspeople. The objective of the game is for the player to control Felix, the fixer, who fixes the building after it has been wrecked by Ralph, the wrecker. Our story begins when Ralph, who is obviously the antagonist of the game, is sick of being the bad guy, and decides to “go turbo,” a phrase that means game jumping, but has a more important addition to the story that just may surprise you. As will this film, which is so funny, charming, and clever that it will shock the little child within you. Whether it be the wondrous world built around the games or the clever references to old video games and foods, which I will not spoil, this film gets it all right.
The vocal talents, lead by John C. Reilly as Ralph, is magnificent, with a great amount of solid performances. Jack McBrayer is Felix, and does a great job for the film, being the perfect choice for the odd “hero.” Jane Lynch is in the film for a mesmerizing sequence inside a high quality game called Hero’s Duty and does a fantastic job, being both heard headed and strong willed. She also tags along for a majority of the film and is never dull in her vocal performance. Alan Tudyk voices King Candy, king of the sweetly ferocious Sugar Rush, and his character has a well written twist toward the end that is really stunning and thoughtful. Sarah Silverman is in the film as a little girl named Vanellope von Schweetz, a glitch inside the game that is looked down upon because of that fact, and her character felt like one of the low points of the film at first, as she is increasingly annoying. However, once you’re used to her character, you realize that is who she is and you adjust to her, making her a really loveable character in the film. Her character also well has a nice twist at the end that is originally sweet; which leads us to the writing of the film.
For an animated movie, the writing is very, very good, with pop ups of old movies, candy, and games that will slap a goofy smile on your face. The characters are surprisingly well written with enough twists and turns to garnish joyous effects. The visuals, especially those within Sugar Rush, are gorgeous and wondrous, creating a fantasy world unlike any other. The animation is crisp throughout, with no disappointments to note. A song choice in the second act of the film didn’t feel appropriate and occasionally the film feels a little jumbled, but it’s still a master classing animation and storytelling. Overall, this is certainly the best animated film I’ve seen all year, beating out even Frankenweenie, the one I loved the most. This is a magnificent family movie that will entertain 90’s kids more than present day children, which made it so much more enjoyable for me. See Wreck-it Ralph. It’s a must.
Run Time: 92 mins
Rated: PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence
Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, and Alan Tudyk
Writer(s): Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee
Director(s): Rich Moore