Disney has produced some of the most beloved animated classics of all time. I remember growing up with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Rescuers”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “The Lion King”, just to name a few. Some of my greatest movie-watching memories are credited to this great company. However, over the last decade or so, Disney has been more miss than hit (not to be confused with the Disney-Pixar films) with films like “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”, “Home on the Range”, “Chicken Little”, and “Meet the Robinsons”. That being said, there have been some bright spots with “Brother Bear”, “The Princess and the Frog”, “Tangled” and the beloved “Winnie the Pooh”. Now we come to the latest entry in the collection of animated films now stretching 75 years. “Wreck-It Ralph” brings a lot of fun for a wide range of ages. It does a really good job of pulling in the 8-bit generation with a lot of retro video game material.
Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is a character in the popular “Fix-It Felix Jr.” which features Fix-It Felix (John McBrayer) who is loved by all the characters in the game. As time goes by Wreck-It Ralph realizes that he doesn’t want to be a bad guy any longer, but would rather be good. He is told that he is a bad guy and can never be good. So, he goes on a journey for a medal (which he is told aren’t awarded to bad guys) and does so by entering the “Heroe’s Duty” game. He ends up finding his way to “Sugar Rush”, a racing game where he befriends Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) who is a glitch in her game, and therefore not accepted by those in her game. With this common ground, the two become good friends. What ensues is a journey of self-discovery and friendship, and that good old warm Disney feeling.
I really enjoyed this movie. I went with my wife, dad, and my four boys who all enjoyed it. There were a lot of funny moments, and spots where you would laugh if you “got” the video game references, including cameos by a lot of memorable characters. Disney does a really good job of developing characters that we really care about. Wreck-It Ralph and Venellope are a good on-screen duo, and really do develop that genuine emotion with the viewer.
I found the soundtrack to be another feature of this movie that really added a lot to the whole experience of what they were trying to communicate. It had a retro video feel as well as an instrumental mix that added to the quality of the film. I appreciate when styles are able to be mixed (i.e. mixing retro with modern) in a really effective way.
The holiday season comes complete with quality time spent with family. We always enjoying watching good movies together in my family. This is a film well worth spending a couple hours with the family to see. Point goes to Disney on this one.
-David B. Harrigton