Review: Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph is the latest CG animated offering from the creative geniuses at Disney. The story follows Ralph, the lovable bad guy from eighties arcade game Fix It Felix Junior, as he tries to break free from the restraints of his programming and become a hero.

Ralph’s job is to break things. He smashes up buildings with his (oversized) bare hands all day long, then returns to his home in the dump at night. All the little people who live in the building hate him. Felix, however, is their hero. He fixes Ralph’s mess using his little golden hammer, and in return for repairing their homes, the people give him a medal. All Ralph wants is to win a medal and be seen
as a hero, but he’s a bad guy, and bad guys don’t win medals. So Ralph sets off on an adventure through cyber space to find a game where he can change his fate.

On his quest, Ralph travels through a number of different games and cyber worlds. Every effort was made to separate these worlds from one another. Director Rich Moore, who has 20 years experience working in the world of animation and has directed episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama, said that the team “decided early in that [they] wanted to celebrate the different look and feel of each of those worlds and not homogenize them into one look, so we took great lengths to separate those worlds.” This is obvious throughout the film. The world of Fix It Felix is blocky and jerky, with different particles and details picked out as individual pixels. Hero’s Duty is a high-tech war game, the characters are lean and mean with bulky uniforms, and the game is seen from the player’s point of view. This world is quite dark and gritty, with lasers, monsters and bullets filling the empty landscape. Sugar Rush is a car racing game, think Mario Kart but set in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Everything, and I mean everything, is made from sweets. Here Ralph meets Vanellope, an adorable glitch whose greatest dream is to race and win. The only way for Ralph to win his medal seems to be to help Vanellope learn to drive.

Wreck-It Ralph will send every devoted gamer on a nostalgia trip, featuring “cameos” from other famous video game villains such as Bowser from Super Mario Brothers, Clyde from Pac-Man and Dr. Robotnik (Eggman) from Sonic the Hedgehog. Along with amazing visuals and clever details, Disney has assembled a stellar cast of voices to bring this movie to life, including John C. Reilly (Ralph), Sarah Silverman (Vanellope), Jack McBrayer (Felix) and Jane Lynch (Calhoun).

Wreck-It Ralph is a great film, and will be loved by kids and adults alike. Every time you watch it you’ll pick up on something different, and it will amaze you again and again!

Rating: 4.5/5

Gráinne Ní Cheallaigh

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