Film Review : Wreck It Ralph
● By Justin Buettner
Ralph is the villain in a retro video game called Wreck It Ralph in an arcade. After 30 years of being the bad guy he starts dreaming of playing the role of good guy, having friends, and living somewhere other than the dump. Ralph decides to set out and earn a medal in another game in hopes that it will earn him respect and friends in his own game. Ralph lands himself in a game called Sugar Rush, a version of Mario Kart, where he partners with a glitch called Vanellope Von Schweetz, an outcast in her game too. Together they work to win Vanellope the kart race and in turn win a medal for Ralph to take home. But will they be able to evade the threat of King Candy who will stop at nothing to prevent Vanellope from racing?
Like Toy Story did with toys, Wreck it Ralph tries to do with video games and by in large it works great. The world in which these video game characters exist makes sense and gamers of all ages will have loads of fun trying to spot their favorite video game characters. Even though the movie sets up an intricate world, it doesn’t just use plot to push its story as I found all of the character’s interesting, likable and relatable.
Rich Moore, who was a notable director on the Simpsons and Futurama TV series, does a great job of pacing the movie. He has a good feel of staging the action, comic timing, but slowing the film down for just the right amount of time to let some heartfelt moments through. The relationship between Ralph and Vanellope feels a lot like the one between Scully and Boo from Monster’s Inc., and that a good thing. I also like the relationship that develops between the goodie two shoes Fix It Felix and the militaristic Calhoun perfectly voiced by Jane Lynch. These strong relationships are what really propel the movie.
If there is a complaint I have about Wreck it Ralph it would be that the ending wraps up way too neatly. It is sure to make families walk away feeling good but I think they set the movie up for a more emotional ending like the one in Monster’s Inc., where doing the right thing included a bittersweet moment. It is a small complaint though because on the whole Wreck It Ralph is a lot of fun for all ages. The movie is also accompanied with Paperman, a new Disney short that is a joy to watch. This is certainly one of the best shorts to come out since Pixar’s Partly Cloudy that was attached to Up all the way back in 2009.
Starting with Meet the Robinsons in 2007, Disney’s computer animation division has been consistently strong. In fact I would say their overall production of hits that include movies like Bolt, Tangled, and now Wreck It Ralph is a better track record than Pixar who during the same time period has strung together average films like Brave, Cars 2, and Toy Story 3. Kids will love Wreck It Ralph and so will adults, it’s the first true family film of the holiday season.
Films like Wreck It Ralph : Toy Story, Monster Inc., and Tron
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.