Wreck-it Ralph review: Reconstructing video game movies

By MATT BENEVENTO
On November 4, 2012

Movie: Wreck-it Ralph

Release Date: Nov. 12

Studio: Walt Disney Animation

Grade: A

Video games and movies have an infamous relationship. Movies based on games and vice versa rarely live up to the expected hype. There are a few exceptions, but unfortunately for every Goldeneye, there are 10 Dooms.

Disney's newest animated adventure, Wreck-it Ralph, breathes new life into the video game/movie genre. Although the film isn't based on an actual video game, Wreck-it Ralph captures the essence of gaming and brings the characters to life.

Wreck-it Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly (Cedar Rapids), plays the villain in an Atari-styled video game called Fix-it Felix. Unfulfilled with his life as "the bad guy," Ralph embarks on an adventure to become a good guy, prove his bravery and win a medal.

In order to win a medal and become a hero, Ralph leaves his game and travels to the other games in the arcade. Ralph's expedition takes him to places like the terrifying sci-fi world of Hero's Duty and the colorful, sweet land of Sugar Rush.

The film is packed with scores of video game references that will keep casual and hardcore gamers laughing. The "Bad Guys Anonymous" scene, featuring classic characters like Bowser from Super Mario Bros and M. Bison from the Street Fighter series, adds credibility and makes the story more relatable.

Disney's flawless animation paints the screen with a prism of vivid colors and fast-paced action. As the story progresses, it mirrors the historical evolution of video game graphics.

From the square, jerky 8-bit world of Fix-it Felix to the beautiful, fluid environment of the Sugar Rush world, the film subtly transports you through video game history.

Wreck-it Ralph's biggest success comes from the emotional attachment to the characters. Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program) is an adorable, pint-sized, glitchy racer from the game Sugar Rush. Vanellope and Ralph form a loveable partnership in the hope of finding their place in a digital world that doesn't seem to appreciate them.

Disney has once again raised the bar for not only animated films, but for the video game/movie genre as well. Wreck-it Ralph's clever story and goofy humor will satisfy viewers of all ages, gamers and non-gamers alike.

 

Email: arts@ubspectrum.com


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