Walt Disney Studios
Director: Rich Moore/Executive Producer: John Lasseter/Producer: Clark Spencer/Screenplay: Phil Johnston & Jennifer Lee/Story: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston, & Jim Reardon/Music: Henry Jackman
After 30 years of wrecking the same building all day, every day–only to have Fix-It Felix, Jr., repair it with his magic hammer and be the hero, Wreck-It Ralph is tired of being the bad guy. In an effort to prove his worth, he sneaks from his own game into the new arcade game, Hero’s Duty, where he manages to grab a hero’s medal–leaving no end of chaos in his wake as he manages to do what he does best: wreck things. Part of that chaos involves rocketing himself in an escape pod right out of Hero’s Duty and into a saccharine sweet racing game, Sugar Rush . . . along with a nasty little hitch-hiking virus insect. While in Sugar Rush, Ralph encounters a rather bratty little girl by the name of Vanellope. Surprisingly, Vanellope can relate to Ralph’s outcast feelings, and the two become friends of an odd sort. But when the candy hits the road, will Ralph be able to put his own interests aside, or will he be willing to sacrifice her dreams in order to be recognized.
I enjoyed Wreck-It Ralph, probably more than most Disney movies I’ve seen recently (Disney usually isn’t my favorite; sorry). It has an almost Pixar flavor, but the feel is just slightly different. In particular, I think the characters have a slightly more . . . maybe gritty. . . feel? I definitely enjoyed the characterizations, and not only of the main characters–there was a lot of personality and individuality in this movie. Another plus for me was that–since this is a video-game movie of sorts–there are a ton of references to games. I probably missed a lot of them, but those I did recognize certainly added to the movie. On the flip side, if you don’t game at all and aren’t familiar with video games, you’re going to miss a lot if you watch this–it’s still a fun movie, but definitely not as fully appreciable. On the complicated side, the plot challenges the traditional oversimplifications of “good” and “bad” as character absolutes, while still providing a clear-cut “bad guy” in the end. I don’t think the story brings in inappropriate moral uncertainties, but it might be a good jumping-off point for a discussion if you’re watching this with younger children. Overall, I’d say that Wreck-It Ralph was a good movie; I definitely enjoyed it, and I think others (particularly gamers) will likely enjoy it as well.
Note: On a musical note, it was fun to hear some of my favorite bands–Owl City and AKB48–playing for the credits!