‘Wreck-It Ralph’ Review: A Heartfelt Film Rooted in Video Game Nostalgia

johnvalle November 5, 2012 3
  • Animation
  • Comedy
  • Cast
  • Storyline
Director: Rich Moore
Writer:
Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee, John C. Reilly (additional story material)
Voice Cast :
John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Sarah Silverman
Producers:
Monica Lago-Kaytis, John Lasseter, Clark Spencer
Editor: William J. Caparella
Original Music by:
Henry Jackman

 

 

 

As technology has experienced an exponential growth in the cinematic industry, computer generated graphics are being pioneered like never before. At one time the 2-Dimensional screen was ruled by Steam Boat Willie, but as time has developed so has the technology.

Today’s big endeavor in this department of Hollywood is the 3-Dimensional computer graphics as seen in films like Brave (2012), Rango (2011), and How to Train your Dragon (2010). Personally, I find these films and the artists’ ability to create these graphic features to be brilliant. The industry has nearly perfected the animations arresting today’s societies.

Although the digital effects are always superb with the major companies such as Pixar, DreamWorks, Sony Pictures Animation, and Walt Disney Animation Studios,  as of late, the storyline has taken the back seat. A good number of animated films are good, but very few can stand along side the great of the genre. What defines a great animation from that of a good one? A story with heart.

Over the last few weeks, in particular, I’ve asked myself this question: Why are filmmakers putting the plot on the back burner just so they can awe the audience with a visual effect that lasts all of 30 seconds? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a cohesive film, one that struck me with awe. Fortunately, for all fans of the animated world, there has been a recent breakthrough in this redundant scheme of the uncreative storyline. The film I speak of is Wreck-It Ralph.

The Storyline

Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is a bad guy in the arcade game Fix-It Felix Jr. who desperately wishes to change his appearance after thirty years of villainy. Unfortunately for Ralph, nobody likes a bad guy. Longing to be as beloved as the game’s main character, Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer), Wreck-It Ralph tries to prove that he can be a good guy even though he has to play the opposite everyday.

As everyone loves a hero, Ralph begins game jumping in hopes of bringing back a medallion to prove his heroic accomplishments. Entering the first game, Heroes Duty, which is a modern day first person shooter game only a week young, he encounters a slight problem after cleverly stealing the game’s winning medal.

Instead of everything going smoothly, Ralph unleashes a virus like character that could destroy every game in the arcade. Ralph’s only hope in saving the arcade and its characters lies in a young troublesome “glitch” in the candy dominated racing game Sugar Rush; she goes by the name of Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). As everything falls apart, the two unlikely friends must battle internal and physical trials in order to save themselves and the games.

The Good

The Animation

By today’s standards, it’s expected that the quality of animated films be excellent. Whether it’s DreamWorks or Disney, they all strive for originality. From the style alone, it’s easy to decipher a Pixar film from that of Sony Pictures, and the creators of Wreck-It Ralph are no different.

I loved the animation in everyway, from the characters’ appearance to their personality. Although Wreck-It Ralph was not as aesthetically beautiful as Brave, the visuals were perfect because of the film’s nature;  Brave was a bit more realistic, so the animation needed to reflect that, while Wreck-It Ralph was superb in its cartoonish and arcade like appearance. The way the animators gave life to the older characters was a nostalgic treat.

Although the prime of arcades outdates myself by a few years, there were game references from all kinds of generations in the last thirty years. I loved it. Walt Disney Animation Studios out did themselves yet again with this feature.

Ralph and Vanellope

The great cast was one of many reasons this film was so enjoyable.

As a fan of John C. Reilly, I’ve come to realize that some of his films are a hit or miss. When I discovered that he would lead the film as Ralph, I was a little doubtful with how his comedic tendencies would juxtapose with Disney’s roots. However, with high anticipations I was not let down by Mr. Reilly. There was not a moment when his character became annoying or overplayed; it was incredibly well done.

Vanellope von Schweetz was also one of the great additions to the cast. Played by the wonderful Sarah Silverman, Vanellope’s character had me from the very beginning; she was hilarious, sassy, ungodly adorable, and witty. As one of my favorite additions to the film, I thought Silverman was brilliant in every way possible. Without her the film definitely would have toned down in personality.

Felix and Calhoun

Although these two were not the main characters, I thought their roles were just as important in making the film so memorable. Fix-It Felix, played by Jack McBrayer, is the main character for the game Fix-It Felix Jr. He does what his title suggests: he fixes things, and he does it better than anyone or anything could with just the swing from his golden hammer. Being the typical good guy, he is respected, clean cut, intelligent, the ultimate gentleman, and disregards foul language.

At the end of the spectrum is Sergeant Calhoun, played by Jane Lynch. Calhoun is the leading officer in the game Heroes Duty. She’s a complete bad ass and more manlier in emotions and personality than most men; however, she has the physical attributes of a goddess.

As Felix teams up with her to find Ralph, the two share an unlikely connection for one another, making for an incredibly refreshing and humorous subplot. They were both excellent from beginning to end and absolutely aided in the success of Wreck-It Ralph.

The Story

When watching a film, there’ll be times when my mind will wonder, especially if the storyline just isn’t up to par. For Wreck-It Ralph this was not the case at all. Even upon hearing what the film was about, I was impressed with the creativity, but when I saw it for myself I was thoroughly captivated. There was no fat to trim. Everything was as it should have been and the flow was electrifying; there was nothing unneeded thrown into the mix. It was incredibly refreshing to sit through a feature and be engulfed by creativity and imagination as it’s what makes a movie a movie.

The Okay

PG

Although I did not have a problem, nor believe it to be a problem, I will make it aware that some of the humor is a bit on the crude side of things. Depending on if you have any young children and how strict or lenient you are, there may be moments when you would rather not have your children hearing such things.

In all respects, I do not believe these to be inappropriate instances, they are made for the adults watching. However, some do not wish for their children to hear or see such gestures and statements quite yet in life. Other than that, Wreck-It Ralph is with out a doubt a film for children and everyone of all ages to enjoy.

Overall Score: 4.5/5

There really was not one thing that I did not enjoy during Wreck-It Ralph. The characters were awesome in every way, showing how refreshing it is to put time into all aspects of a film. Along with the creativity behind the storyline and characters, the animation was fascinating. The filmmakers had a wonderful imagination when bringing this film to life. I am sure it was just as enjoyable making the film as it was watching.

Overall, I would recommend this feature to anyone and everyone unless you are simply a movie Grinch and hate watching films or enjoying happiness. I loved every minute of it and I promise that you will too. Walt Disney Animation Studios definitely out did themselves with Wreck-It Ralph. Make sure to catch it in theatres as I will probably see it again before I’ll eventually retire it to my Blu Ray collection.

‘Wreck-it Ralph’ Trailer

 

    • Sarah Jakubowski

      Best movie EVER! I was worried that Vanellope Von Shweetz would come off as annoying, but she was soooo adorable! I already saw it once and think I’m going to see it again next week. :D

      • johnvalle

        I agree completely! I was very skeptical on her after seeing the trailers and the first introduction of her character but she turned out to be phenomenal. Ill definitely be seeing it again in the next week or two.

        • jess

          i wanna goooo