Written by Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston
Directed by Rich Moore
Voices by John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch
Wreck-It Ralph: I’m bad and that is good. I will never be good and that isn’t bad. There is no one I would rather be than me.
I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be very happy if every day you went to work only to be despised and misunderstood by everyone around you. Thus is the plight of one reasonably oafish, apparently stinky, video game character who goes by the name of Ralph, WRECK-IT RALPH, to be more precise. He has no friends; he sleeps in a dump; and he has freakishly huge hands that seem destined for only one thing, wrecking stuff. Here is the worst part. This has been his day in and day out for 30 years! As miserable as Ralph’s life is for him, his attempt to turn it all around is a great delight for all of us.
Ralph is the “bad guy” from a classic arcade game called, “Fix-It Felix Jr.”. As Ralph (aptly voiced by John C. Reilly) destroys a building full of innocent people, Felix (voiced by the apparent go to guy for innocent, yokel types, Jack McBrayer), with his trusty magic hammer, comes along to fix everything. When he’s done, Ralph is tossed off the building and into a pile of mud. When he realizes he hasn’t even been invited to the game’s 30th anniversary party, Ralph simply leaves it on a mission to change the way people see him. Ralph has had enough of being a bad guy and wants to be good for a change, but what he really needs is a lesson in personal acceptance. Naturally, Ralph starts wrecking stuff in other games because he has yet to accept that wrecking stuff is in his nature. If Ralph were crossing a river on the back of a frog, no matter how well intentioned he may be, he would inevitably wreck that frog before they reached the other side.
WRECK-IT RALPH is a unique and imaginative take on the world of gaming. Classic video game characters, from Sonic the Hedgehog to Pac-Man, come alive after the arcade closes for the night, and travel between games through dozens of electrical wire train tubes, that converge in a central station that deserves to be called grand. And as they come to life, so does the film, a remarkable effort by first time filmmaker, Rich Moore. There were times I questioned just who the film was made for though. I seriously doubt young kids would know who Q-Bert is but yet, more often than not, the humour was aimed primarily toward a younger sensibility. Despite some minor focus issues and some overused family friendly themes (don’t kids know that they just need to be themselves by now?), WRECK-IT RALPH is great fun all the same. It may not get a perfect score but it definitely makes the leader board. Pretty solid bragging rights for a first time player, I think.