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Wreck-It Ralph

2012 | 101 min | PG | 2.39:1

Wreck-It Ralph


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User reviews

3 user reviews

Movie appeal




Theatrical release date

 02 November, 2012
 08 February, 2013

Country of origin

 United States

Technical aspects

3D (native)

Box office




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Screenshots from Wreck-It Ralph 3D Blu-ray

Wreck‑It Ralph Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, November 1, 2012

Walt Disney Animation is targeting a very specific demographic with “Wreck-It Ralph,” though the feature spends most of its run time attempting to prove its worth to all ages. Despite its splendid animation, with gorgeous colors and touchable details, “Wreck-It Ralph” is going to be appreciated as a video game valentine, working to shower a little love on the arcade culture of the past. Perhaps the younger set won’t fully understand why their moviegoing guardians are laughing at secret code jokes involving a Nintendo controller or going all giddy at the sight of Q*bert, but they’ll still have fun with these vibrant antics, packaged into a lively adventure with sizable laughs, a delicious pour of nostalgia, and surprisingly emotive voice work.

Wreck-It Ralph (voice by John C. Reilly) is a behemoth character from the “Fit-It Felix, Jr.” video game, tasked with destroying a building filled with residents of Niceland, with their only hope being the eponymous character (Jack McBrayer) and his magical hammer of instant repair. Weary of routine and his position as a bad guy nobody likes, Ralph learns that to be respected in the video game community (located inside a power strip), you have to wear a hero’s medal. Off to secure his golden prize, Ralph sneaks into violent arcade newcomer “Hero’s Duty,” battling evil Cy-Bugs to steal his treasure. However, Ralph’s efforts to buy respect launch him and a Cy-Bug into the “Sugar Rush” karting game, where the conflicted brute meets outcast glitch Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), who’s aching to join nearby races overseen by the ruthless King Candy (Alan Tudyk). Befriending the spunky kid, Ralph begins to embrace his contributions to the world; however, King Candy won’t allow Vanellope to compete, requiring the former destroyer to help his pal in private, working on her iffy driving skills. Fearing a Cy-Bug invasion, “Hero’s Duty” leader Tamora (Jane Lynch) and Fix-It Felix sneak into “Sugar Rush” to wipe out the enemy, only to find a greater hostility forming in King Candy’s secret plans for arcade domination.

Despite its silly behavior, “Wreck-It Ralph” is a little on the complicated side, constructing an entire world out of an average arcade floor, with game cabinets housing characters in day job mode, repeatedly performing their duties for players. When the shop closes for the night, the community funnels into the power strip for celebration and conversation, with an entire Grand Central Station of pixelated personalities flooding the frame, creating a bustle of familiar faces (including icons from “Dig Dug,” “BurgerTime,” and “Frogger”) and comedic developments (the neighborhood piles into the “Tapper” machine for a drink) to study while Ralph goes about his business furthering the story. It’s a calculated effort to tap into a warm flow of nostalgia for a bygone era of gaming, and it works for those in the know, finding director Rich Moore extremely playful with cameos and visual representations of characters divided by advances in resolution. For the opening act, “Wreck-It Ralph” imaginatively builds a universe for these little guys where they work and play, turning the innocent act of a quarter deposit into a tightly choreographed vocational routine that Ralph has grown to despise.

Once Ralph settles into the “Sugar Rush” landscape, with its Laffy Taffy vines and Mentos-and-diet-soda volcanoes, the feature goes from obsessive geekery to a diabetic shock, caught up in a Candy Land playground that’s outstandingly imagined by the production. The story also transforms, moving away from Ralph’s dysfunction to his friendship with Vanellope, whose trouble with glitches becomes the focus of the plot, along with the Cy-Bug hunt with Felix and Tamora, who fall in love as they romp through the oddball kingdom of sweets (where cops are donuts and King Candy’s valet is a sour ball). The screenplay works overtime to melt “Wreck-It Ralph” down to an emotional experience, testing the union between the frazzled pixie and her beefy-pawed buddy with rather severe argumentative behavior, forcing a rock bottom scenario to help the climax to soar.

The picture comes to a halt in the second act, but it’s nothing a little sublime voice acting can’t salvage. However, to have Sarah Silverman steal the movie is completely unexpected. Fully committed to the spazzy candy girl cause, Silverman provides a rich understanding of Vanellope’s impish spirit and grim future, as the glitch can’t escape her own game in her current state, unable to flee if the cabinet is shut down for good. The performance is funny and spunky, but surprisingly grounded in genuine fears and disappointments, helping to endear the feisty character to the audience. Silverman completes a mean two-player quest with Reilly (who’s perfectly chewy as the contemplative Ralph), while a supporting cast featuring McBrayer, Lynch, Mindy Kaling, Adam Carolla, and Ed O’Neil (as arcade owner Mr. Litwak) brings additional pop to the proceedings.

There are references and inside jokes galore in “Wreck-It Ralph,” but there’s also an amusing tale to enjoy, supported by clever environments and a hearty sense of humor. Video game enthusiasts are sure to embrace the feature’s familiarity with arcade history, while the less enlightened will have to do with a splendidly animated picture populated with likable characters and explosive action set-pieces. Ah well, the non-gamers can’t have everything.

Starring: John C. Reilly, Alan Tudyk, Jane Lynch, Ed O'Neill, Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman
Director: Rich Moore

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Wreck-It Ralph, Forum Discussions

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'Wreck-It Ralph 2' 37 Apr 06, 2014
Wreck-It Ralph 2 6 Apr 06, 2014

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