“Wreck-It-Ralph” Movie Review

Colton Goeffert, Washburn Review

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Wreck-It-Ralph, the latest Disney 3D animated film. I’d been looking forward to this film since it was announced at Comic-Con, and it was not a disappointment. Wreck-It Ralph features established video game characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Pac-Man, as well as original characters created for the film, like Ralph as well as Fix-It Felix the hero and namesake of the game in which Ralph is the villain.

On the 30th anniversary of his game being installed in the arcade, Ralph decides to attend a meeting of Bad Anon, a villain support group. Ralph does this by leaving his game and entering Game Central Station, aka the power strip that all the games in the arcade are plugged into. This is how characters go from one game to another and is home to characters whose games have been unplugged. Bad Anon takes place in Pac-Man, where Ralph takes a seat alongside a multitude of famous bad guys including Clyde, the orange ghost from Pac-Man; Doctor Eggman, the evil genius from Sonic the Hedgehog and Bowser the fire-breathing turtle from Super Mario Bros.

During this meeting Zangief from Street Fighter and a zombie from House of the Dead give Ralph a speech about liking himself whether the other characters in his game do or not. The best part of this scene is that none of the cameos feel forced. They’re very believable and the villains interact with each other very well. Ralph doesn’t take this to heart and is still tired of being the bad guy and being treated like dirt by the other characters in his game.

Ralph decides he has had enough and after confronting both Felix and the Nicelanders (the NPC’s in Fix-It-Felix Jr.) and making no progress, he decides to earn their respect by winning a medal. To find out how he can accomplish this task he goes to Tapper, a semi-obscure game from the ‘80s where you play as a bartender, and asks the titular bartender, Tapper, for advice. What makes this really cool is that Tapper was an actual game, and it had a more child friendly version, Root Beer Tapper, but Disney still used the original Tapper.  While he’s there Ralph finds out that a player wins a medal by reaching the 99th floor in a Sci-Fi inspired first person shooter game called Hero’s Duty

I won’t spoil what happens from Hero’s Duty and onwards very much because that’s where the plot really starts to take off. Hero’s Duty is home to Sgt. Calhoun, a no-nonsense, female space marine who becomes integral to the plot. Another game that becomes important to the plot is Sugar Rush, which is an anime-inspired, candy themed kart-racer that is home to the final two important characters, King Candy the ruler of the game who is very reminiscent of the Mad Hatter from the original Disney adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, and Vanellope von Schweetz a mildly bratty little girl who just wants a chance to race.

Overall, Wreck-It Ralph was a treat. The actors all perform their roles perfectly and what makes it better is a lot of the licensed characters that speak are actually portrayed by the voice actors that played them in their original games. All the jokes in the film genuinely made me laugh, even the so-bad-they’re-good puns. My one concern going into the film was that the only reason to see it would be the licensed cameos. That concern was put to rest, however, as the story is fantastic and even had a twist I didn’t see coming. All in all, Wreck-It Ralph is well worth the price of admission.