They say nostalgia is one of the best feeling one could ever feel. Although it may sometimes trigger bad memories to flutter in your head, the good and happy ones will linger in much longer with a heartwarming sensation that will eventually boot the bad memories away. Disney’s newest animated feature film “Wreck-It Ralph” banks on nostalgia and all that would awaken the nerdy, the gamer and the sweet-toothed child within you. It will drive you to the most exciting memory lane of your life. Your childhood. In the film’s case, however, the fun starts the moment you stepped on the arcade until the game is over.
And while you’re on your sweet slumber, video game characters come to life just like the toys in Toy Story. You will then get sucked screaming to the delight of seeing familiar video game characters in ‘Game Central’ that looked like Monsters Inc.’s ‘Scarefloor’ and further into a sugar-rushing adventure with dreamy visuals ranging from an 8-bit world to a high definition one and to a sweet fantasy land. Richmoore elevates visual spectacle to a whole new level by creating dream lands of sorts. Here’s a slice, imho, the mentos triggered explosions inside the diet coke volcano is pure genius!
The story starts during the 30th anniversary of the arcade game “Fix It Felix Jr.” where Wreck-It-Ralph (John C. Reilly), the bad guy of the game, attends a support group for bad guys where notable videogame bad-anons assemble and Ralph starts to talk about being tired of his job. We see Ralph as he pursue his dream of becoming a ‘good guy’ by trying to win the trust of the Penthouse people in his game. However, Ralph gets into a mess when he lost his temper and tries to prove everyone wrong by getting himself a medal. His point, he can be the good guy too!
Along the way, Ralph meets Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) in an attempt to get the medal he had won in a rather brief and chaotic action sequence in Hero’s Duty. Unfortunately, little Vanellope needed a coin to enter the game she’s always dreamed of joining. This is where the movie levels up with the little Vanellope providing a cheerful atmosphere, kick-ass action and heart to the story. The director really wanted this movie to become an exhilarating ride of emotions to everyone. It throws on several funny jokes and a few niched ones for gamers, the humor in the film is constrained given the makers opted to give more heart to it.
Wreck-It Ralph is a movie done by gamers for both gamers and non-gamers. Although they could have opted for a chaotic inter-game climax the story geared towards magnificent character-developments while prepping for the revelation. It’s not really a big revelation but it’s great that the villain was revealed until the near end of the movie. That gave enough time for the audience to get to know more the characters and fully enjoy the oddball romance of Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch) and Fix-It- Felix Jr (Jack McBrayer).
The animation is as excellent as Pixar films which makes you wonder what’s the real score between Disney and Pixar? I just have a few minor stuff which may or may not even be considered negative at all. First, I thought the story overstayed in Sugar Land which gave us only a brief sight of the Game Central, Hero’s Duty, Fix It Felix Jr.’s games and even the outside world. The story became quite self-centered somewhere in the middle that I was actually looking for an escape from all the vibrant colored candies and sweet creatures in Sugar Rush. Secondly, I thought the character designs were too girly and cute! Lastly, I was a little disappointed that the familiar video game characters Disney acquired did only cameos in the film.
But like I said this is a character driven film and one that is full of heart. The movie banks on the kind of bond and relationship Sully and Boo had in Monsters Inc. without being overly cute because Vanellope has a strong optimistic personality. And the relationship these two characters built for everyone to see, makes the film one of the most heartfelt animated film there is! In the end,Wreck-It Ralph is one sugar-rushing, inter-game, adventure with a heart.