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Wreck-It Ralph - Spoiler-Free Review
Wreck-It Ralph is about a character from a videogame called Fix-It Felix Jr. It’s a 30-year old arcade game where the main character and bad guy of the game, Ralph, destroys a building, and the good guy of the game, Felix Jr., has to fix it. He fixes one window at a time and jumps up each story. If he reaches the top without losing all his lives, he gets a medal and Ralph gets thrown off the building. Felix then gets to go live in his penthouse apartment, which he’s just fixed, and Ralph goes to the dump, a big pile of bricks and smashed building parts as well as his home.
On the 30th anniversary of his game, Ralph decides that he doesn’t want to be the bad guy anymore. He’s tired of living in the dump and being disliked by everyone else just because he’s the bad guy, despite the fact that he’s just doing his job in the game. So he leaves his game to find another in which he can earn a medal himself, so he can return to Fix-It Felix Jr. and get the respect and appreciation he deserves. However, due to a series of events, he ends up in a third game, where he’s lost his medal and needs to get it back.
The movie takes place in 4 distinct worlds. The world of the game Fix-It Felix Jr. (Ralph and Felix’s game), Game Central Station (the hub that connects all games in the arcade), Hero’s Duty (a first-person shooter war type game where Ralph goes to win a medal), and Sugar Rush (a candy-themed go-kart game where Ralph loses and needs to get back his medal). Each world is introduced to us with a kind of grandeur that is sure to leave you very impressed with the amazing graphics and style of the movie, as well as the work put into making this movie as enjoyable as it is.
Along the way Ralph meets many lovable and interesting characters that really put Wreck-It Ralph over the top. Thanks to the brilliant casting and voice actors of Wreck-It Ralph, if there’s one thing you are going to take away from this movie it’s the characters and how they made you feel.
This movie has something for everyone, from kids to teenagers to adults. The movie features several cameos from classic videogame characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Bowser (from Super Mario Bros.), Frogger, Tapper, Q-Bert and more. The great thing about these characters’ appearances is that they are included in such a way that they do not steal the show. They are simply background characters whose presence serves mainly to bring a smile to your face as you catch a shot of nostalgia from each appearance of a popular character from the past. Aside from the classic videogame characters, which may not be as exciting to everyone, you’ve got many candy and sweets related references in the candy-themed game of Sugar Rush. I will not mention what they are, however, for they are more fun to spot on your own.
The storyline itself is absolutely brilliant. As we follow Ralph on his journey of self-discovery and search for appreciation, I found myself smiling from all the references thrown in that some catch and others miss (and I’m positive that I missed quite a few myself); I found myself laughing at the humor and unexpected moments; I gasped, actually gasped at an unexpected twist, as well was further surprised by other unexpected developments; and even at multiple points teared up, which I have not yet been able to stop myself from doing in the 6 times I’ve seen the movie. I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster, and I wasn't the only one, as I even once heard a child in the theatre getting upset along with me. It’s amazing how wide an audience this movie appeals to, as well as how wide a range of emotion and development Wreck-It Ralph covers. Never before have I felt so drawn back to the theatres to see a movie. I can say without hesitation that Wreck-It Ralph is one of, if not my most, favorite movies.
Finally, for those who would give this movie a pass due to it being animated, I say this: the fact that it is animated does not hurt it at all. If it had been live action, I assure you that I would not have liked it anywhere near as much. They wouldn’t have been able to do half of what they did had they not made it in this way. If there was ever an animated movie you need to give a chance, it’s this one.
I highly recommend Wreck-It Ralph to everyone. If it is still playing in a theatre near you, rush out and see it! Otherwise it will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on March 5th, 2013, and even sooner for (legal) download online on February 12th in both HD and 3D on supported devices.