Director: Rich Moore
Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch.
Release Date: February 8th
It is not surprising that this little gem has been nominated for an Oscar. Director Rich Moore has created a refreshing and heart-warming tale, reminiscent of predecessor Toy Story in concept, yet modernised to relate to the ever-developing computing age of today.
What makes Wreck-It Ralph so visually appealing is how we are brought into three very aesthetically different game-worlds throughout the course of the movie. These worlds are connected to each other by the ‘Game Central Station’ which allows the characters to travel from one game to another. This simple device prevents the movie from becoming disjointed, as protagonist Ralph journeys away from the safe confines of retro game Fix-it Felix, Jr. and into the dark and violent Hero’s Duty which mimics the harrowing settings of many of the games found in stores nationwide. Ralph is later plummeted into candy-coated racing game Sugar Rush which provides a direct contrast to Hero’s Duty. What results is a movie that is so visually interesting that it relies just as heavily on aesthetics as it does on storytelling.
Director Rich Moore cleverly understands the importance of authenticity as, in addition to the many original characters, many famous game icons also feature in the movie, engaging the viewers by providing a sense of familiarity. This is not only relevant to gamers, however, with even Pac-Man making an appearance. For adults, this is just another reminder of how effectively Disney has created a world that acts as a portal from real life; for children this makes the movie all the more believable.
Yet what makes Disney movies so enjoyable for children and adults alike is the lovable characters and, in this regard, Wreck-It Ralph stays true to the Disney mould. Ralph, voiced by the equally lumbering but lovable John C. Reilly, is forced on his adventure by the desire to prove his fellow-game characters that he, a ‘bad-guy’, is just as capable of winning a medal for heroism as ‘good-guy’ Fix-It Felix. While the moral is by no means revolutionary, it is easily relatable and creates the foundation for gentle-giant Ralph’s endearing character. By himself, Ralph is certainly charming, but it is the platonic bond between himself and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) that makes this unlikely duo utterly captivating.
Finally, as with most animation movies, humour is also a significant contributor to the warm reception of Wreck-It Ralph. Cleverly written, there are laugh inducing one-liners scattered throughout while the budding romance between Fix-it Felix and Sergeant Calhoun acts as a humorous sub-plot, providing a heart-warming escape from the intensity of the final scenes.
In a Nutshell: A funny, fuzzy film set in a cinematographer’s utopia.