The latest from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Wreck-It Ralph, directed by Rich Moore, follows video game villain Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly), who rebels against his role and sets out to fulfil his dream of becoming a hero by game-jumping in his arcade world. Things don’t go quite to plan, however, when Ralph’s quest inadvertently brings havoc to the whole arcade, as he befriends Sugar Rush racer Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) and his game partner Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer) and Hero’s Duty leader Calhoun (Jane Lynch) are forced to come looking for him.
With a strong message running through it, Wreck-It Ralph is a beautifully animated family adventure that is full of heart. With themes of self-acceptance and the desire to be a part of something good, the film is fun for adults and children alike, an energetic adventure that we can all feel a part of, entertaining younger audiences with vibrant animations, likeable characters and a lot of humour, and older ones with its homage to 80s video games.
Bringing to life some of the most memorable arcade characters that we all grew up flicking our joysticks to (Well that sounded dirtier than intended!), the film is constantly nostalgic in that it’s characters, much like Disney’s Toy Story, are ones we all have some memories of. Giving the occasional nod to other films as well – Alien, Wizard Of Oz, and Alice In Wonderland are especially obvious – there’s much for the older audience to appreciate behind the brilliant animation and witty dialogue.
With a brilliant voice cast and a set of sweet characters who are easy to invest in, a lot of the film’s qualities come from the fact that these characters were designed with those voicing them in mind. The characters therefore really reflect on their voice actors style of humour. Sarah Silverman sounds excellent as a young rebellious girl trying to find her place in her overly pink world, and John C. Reilly is perfect as a somewhat grumpy “bad guy” who wants to show that he has a heart too. Even Jane Lynch brilliantly fits her hardcore exterior that has a secret cry for love buried inside of her. It’s this need for acceptance that shines through above all else and is what most audiences will take a lot away from.
Highly relatable for the children’s animation that it is, Wreck-It Ralph wasn’t as brilliant as I had hoped it would be, and that’s mainly because of the anticipation that was built up for it, but it is still a great film and there’s an awful lot to enjoy about it. It may not be a Disney animation that will be around for decades to come like the Toy Story franchise, but it’s certainly one that I will enjoy watching over and over again.