Wreck-It-Ralph Review: a movie for gamers by gamers

The phrase “video game film adaptation” does not generally bring many fond memories for gamers. For years the world of movies and video games have struggled to co-exist with one another. Whether it be video games based on movies or movies based on video games, it seems that the fans are always the ones that find the brunt end of the stick. Luckily fans can find a shining glimpse of hope in Disney’s Animation Studios new film, Wreck-It-Ralph.

Wreck-It-Ralph follows the story of the very man who the film is named after, Ralph. Ralph is a video game villain from the golden age of arcades. At one time Ralph once rubbed particleboard side-panels with the likes of Asteroids, Pac-ManCentipede and Q*bert. Ralph has seen many games come and many games go, but in this day and age he longs for something more. Tired of always being the bad guy and being cast out, Ralph attempts to do the impossible, become a hero. He may have some trouble on the way, and is later joined by Vanellope Von Schweetz.

Vanellope is a glitch character from the racing game, Sugar Rush. She wants nothing more than to race and become part of the actual game, but King Candy and rest of the racers will not allow it. Together, Ralph and Vanellope must try to help each other and overcome the odds in this new adventure/comedy.

Wreck-It-Ralph may not have what you would call an A-list cast, but that doesn’t mean the film is short of any great actors. John C. Reily plays Ralph, Jane Lynch plays Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhou, Jack McBrayer plays Fix-It-Felix Jr. and Sarah Silverman plays Vanellope Von Schweetz. Out of the four main cast members it is Sarah Silverman that really steps outside her norm. Infamously known for being a dirty, foul-mouthed comedian, Sarah’s portrayal as the cute and lovable Vanellope is sure to be a head turner. In fact, the mere mention that Sarah Silverman is in a Disney movie is sure to do that as well. One thing I loved about her character is how they took the idea of being a glitch character and completely explored what it would be like to be that person. Do you think at one time Ermac was envious of the other characters in Mortal Kombat because he wasn’t a part of the game? Do you think he ever felt unloved and unwanted? The exploration of this story is sure to be a fan favorite. The other three actors fill their usual roles, but do not think that it does not mesh well with the movie. I absolutely loved Jack McBrayer as Felix, and he is quite possibly the funniest character in this movie.

The setting for Wreck-It-Ralph should be all too familiar for avid gamers. The world of Wreck-It-Ralph is a retro 8-Bit setting that his heavily inspired by the classic arcade title, Donkey Kong. One thing I loved about this world is how the towns people moved with 8-bit animation frame rates. The land of Hero’s Duty is a nod to the handful of successful FPS franchises like Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Halo and Gears of War. In fact, Jane Lych’s character bared a striking resemblance to that of Gear’s Anya Stroud. The world of Sugar Rush looks like someone threw Mario Kart, Mod Racer and Candyland into a blender. Sugar Rush has Speed Boost strips and Item Boxes that can be used to attack other players. There are also secret shortcuts that can help the players make up lost time. I think the only thing this game is missing is the Blue Shells.

 

Very similar, don’t you think?

Director Rich Moore and screenwriters Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston do a phenomenal job of illustrating a fictional world that dives fans right into the other side of the CRT Monitor, literally. The video game characters inside the games can literally see the players on the other side of the screen. NPCs walking into walls, the Konami code, hell, they even show Flow Charts in the film (see examples of video game programming). All these little tidbits and more are sure to let fans know that this film was made by legitimate fans of video games.

Disney Animation Studios has come a long way from its legendary hits like Lion King and Aladdin. Since then, it seems as though the animation studio has had a problem recapturing the magic that the studio was once famous for. Hopefully with the guidance of Pixar’s John Lassester and heartfelt movies like Wreck-It-Ralph, Disney Animation Studio can be restored to its rightful glory. I absolutely loved this movie and would gladly pay to see it again. Wreck-It-Ralph has the perfect blend of action, comedy and heart that many Pixar fans have come to know and love. It will leave you wanting more and is sure to be a classic for years to come.

Grade: A+

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Mike Villarreal
Mike Villarreal 1363 posts

Mike once killed a man with a plastic butter knife. True story. #ViolentGentlemen