Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

wreck it ralph poster 2012 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun to check out all the video game cameos

Gets bogged down in the Sugar-Rush segment of the movie, sometimes goes for the easy joke instead of the smart joke

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Wreck-It Ralph

Studio:  Walt Disney Animation Studios

Genre(s):  Animated/Family

Release Date(s):  November 2, 2012

MPAA Rating:  PG

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I’m Ralph, and I’m a villain

In the world of video games, there are heroes and there are villains.  Fix-It Felix Jr. is one of those heroes.  Every day at the Litwak’s Family Fun Center & Arcade, Felix battles against the evil Ralph to save Nicelanders.  Unfortunately after thirty years, Ralph wants something different.  He doesn’t want to be the bad guy anymore, and he wants to be accepted by the Nicelanders.  When he realizes by going into a different video game, he could earn a medal to prove he’s a hero, Ralph decides to leave Fix-It Felix Jr.  Finding himself in a racing game called Sugar Rush, Ralph learns that glitch Vanellope von Schweetz might be his only chance…unfortunately, Vanellope has never been a winner either.  Desperate to save their game, Fix-It Felix finds himself teamed with Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun to get Ralph back to the game before it is too late!

Directed by Rich Moore, Wreck-It Ralph is the fifty-second Walt Disney animated feature.  Following Winnie the Pooh in 2011, the film was released to positive reviews and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (losing to Brave).

wreck it ralph fix it felix jr sergeant tamor jean calhoun jack mcbrayer jane lynch

Kiss the girl!

I was an arcade lover in the 1980s, and Donkey Kong (and Donkey Kong Jr.) were some of my favorite games.  With a lush world of video games to explore, Wreck-It Ralph was perfect for my nostalgia and manages to craft a decent story at the same time.

The story is about what makes a hero a hero.  Ralph assumes it is a medal, but he discovers actions speak louder than words.  In this reveal, Ralph (of course) teaches a lesson to the other video game characters that you are not defined by your programming and that you can have free will.  This is contrasted with Vanellope’s situation which has her title taken from her through trickery and interference…she regains her title but realizes she’s fine the way she is (and can be accepted).

The movie like most modern Disney films features an all-star cast.  John C. Reilly is perfect for Ralph because he has that sad-sack type of persona, but you still like him.  Jack McBrayer likewise is shiny and perfect as Felix and Jane Lynch feels like a real first person shooter character.  Alan Tudyk puts on his best Ed Wynn impression to give it a retro Disney feel while Mindy Kaling, Ed O’Neill, Dennis Haysbert, Adam Carolla, Jo Lo Truglio, and Horatio Sanz have supporting roles.

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Ralph’s going Turbo?!?!

The big attraction from Wreck-It Ralph is the retro video game cameos.  Scenes like the Game Central Station are lush with pause-able shots filled with classic video game characters from Pac-Man to Paperboy.  It is this that I find is the only weakness of Wreck-It Ralph.  Those scenes are so fun that I hate it when he enters the generic Hero’s Duty and Sugar Rush because it means less video game cameos.

Wreck-It Ralph is a fun film, and it is a film that can be revisited because of all the cameos.  The message is positive (though I do find it a bit muddled by how poorly Ralph is treated at points), and the whole family can enjoy it because of the retro-gaming feel.  Disney followed Wreck-It Ralph with Frozen in 2013 and a Wreck-It Ralph sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet in 2018.

Related Links:

Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

The 85th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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