“Wreck-It Ralph” is an animated comedy film that older gamers can appreciate as well as audiences without as much gaming knowledge. With its zany charm and originality, “Wreck-It Ralph” is a surprisingly emotional movie that excels in creating a universe enjoyable by all.
Ralph (John C. Reilly), the antagonist of a retro arcade game, is tired of being a villain and leaves his game to prove he can be a hero. However, two game worlds become endangered when Ralph accidentally brings a robotic bug from “Hero’s Duty,” a subtle parody of the modern shooter genre, to another game, “Sugar Rush,” a cutesy, Japanese-inspired racing game with the design resembling “Candy Land.”
Sarah Silverman stars as Vannelope, an adorable misfit who aspires to win the “Sugar Rush” race, and Jane Lynch plays Sergeant Calhoun, of “Hero’s Duty.” All members of the cast shine beautifully in their roles, creating a dynamic set of characters. Sarah Silverman in particular steals the show with her unrecognizable, cartoony performance. The background music almost always calls back to a certain genre or age of gaming, from retro beats in pixelated games to the upbeat soundtrack of “Sugar Rush.” Even the movements of the citizens in Ralph’s game are sporadic and jerky, giving them a much-appreciated classic vibe.
The movie holds many references to other games that may go over the heads of younger generations. Game characters like Zangrief, Pac-Man, Q-Bert and even Sonic the Hedgehog play minor roles in the film.
“Wreck-It Ralph” is a movie that truly reaches out to those who are familiar with the gaming culture, but its beautiful animation and quirky nature create a movie that is enjoyable for all audiences.
Overall Rating: 3 1/2 stars
John C. Reilly voices Ralph, a tired arcade villain, in “Wreck-It Ralph.”