Movie #109 2021: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Wreck-It Ralph is one of those weird movies in that I saw its sequel before I saw the original. Sure, there were a few jokes I didn’t quite understand when I saw Ralph Breaks the Internet (the second Ralph movie), but for the most part, it was oodles of fun even as a novice to this world. As a result of all that, I was pretty excited to see where the f*ck it all started.

The movie begins by introducing our main character, who is the villain in an arcade video game named Fix-It Felix Jr. Felix (voiced here by 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer) is the game’s hero, whose purpose is to fix the surrounding buildings after Ralph (John C. Reilly) – unsurprisingly – wrecks them. However, the fact that everyone only sees Ralph as a villain makes him extremely sad, and he sets out to infiltrate other video games to show everyone that he can be a good guy. After passing through a deadly first-person shooter, Ralph ends up in a go-kart racing game named Sugar Rush, and finds himself an unlikely friendship in the form of Vanellope Von Schwartz (Sarah Silverman), whom he must help to ensure that she doesn’t disappear from the world of gaming forever.

Basically, Ready Player One could never. This movie has so many references to other movies and franchises, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario and Lara Croft. It’s pretty much an animated version of that movie, but funnier and with a heck of a lot more charm. (Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite liked Ready Player One even after reading its source material, but I know that so many didn’t enjoy the Spielberg film – maybe they’d prefer Wreck-It Ralph if pop culture is their thing?!)

Ralph did take me a while to get into however, purely because there are a lot of different plot threads and it’s really quite convoluted. I’m not entirely sure how much kids would follow the storyline either, but it’s bright and colourful enough for them not to care. However, it eventually becomes apparent that Wreck-It Ralph is a movie about the joy of making friends where you least expect it and always doing the right thing. Can’t argue with that, can you?

On top of the wonderful message it sends, the voice cast is brilliant. Though all of them are great, Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch are the stand outs, bringing their comedic chops and improvisation skills to the game to make sure the adults are entertained too. (Shout out to Mindy Kaling as well, who is always perfect as the mean girl.)

At first I was a little hesitant to praise the animation as it seemed clunky, but the longer it went on I realised it was excellent. The way they factor in pixels, glitches and the robotic nature of some of the characters’ movements is completely genius, and it’s so fun to spot the differences between each gaming world and make comparisons to their real-life counterparts.

Slap on a pretty great plot twist (definitely didn’t see it coming!) and Wreck-It Ralph is an exciting, original animated movie. Rooted in pop culture, it’s super different to any other Disney premise and a super sweet movie overall.

Not my fave of all time, but still worth the watch.

Wreck-It Ralph is available to stream on Disney+ in the UK.

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