Imagine turning on your favourite video game, ready for a few hours of pixelated, recreational goodness when suddenly, the game starts to act strangely. You begin frantically moving the analog stick but it’s no use, a primary character has mysteriously vanished. Wreck it Ralph brings to life that image.
Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the ‘bad guy’ of arcade game Fix It Felix, a role that has led him to exclusion from the other characters in his game, and an overwhelming need to prove himself as a ‘nice guy’. On a rogue mission to receive a medal from the fearsome Hero’s Duty game, Ralph is accidentally transported to Candyland where he meets Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) a glitch with a mischievous side that has more to her than meets the eye.
The animation is excellent in Wreck it Ralph, from the 8-bit classics of Pacman and Super Mario to the high definition of Hero’s Duty and Calhoun, each cell is as perfectly animated as the next. Fans of contemporary and retro games will love the references to their favourite games and gaming systems while lovers of animation will appreciate the care and consideration that has gone in to creating Wreck It Ralph.
The storyline is strong throughout, with some subtle (and some not so subtle) references to real life crazes such as Mentos in Diet Coke, the inclusion of cultural references makes Wreck It Ralph relatable and great fun for adults and children alike. John C. Reilly’s portrayal of the downtrodden, gentle giant Ralph is highly convincing of a man stuck in a rut and bored of his unrewarding job whilst remaining loveable enough that his attitude strays from the path of becoming boring. Whilst Sarah Silverman’s Vanellope comes close to irritating at some points, she manages to keep her glitchy character amusing and adorable. Jane Lynch’s Calhoun holds a fiery aggression that will remind players of war based games of their virtual commanders whilst her appearance is somewhat reminiscent of The Laughing Octopus of The Beauty and the Beast Unit in Metal Gear Solid 4 minus the tentacles.
Wreck It Ralph is everything that would be expected from a Pixar film, (despite being a strictly Disney production) excellent graphics that have enough realism to make an impact but enough exaggeration to keep its audience aware that they’re watching an animation. With a heartwarming core surrounded by a well supported shell of comedy, action and well rounded characters, Wreck it Ralph is a great family film, perfect for an afternoon or weekend outing and enjoyable for all ages.
The animated short Paperman is also an excellent show despite lasting only a few minutes and is definitely worth a watch.