I am a little late to the Wreck-It-Ralph party, but better late than never. That cliché rings true for this film. Wreck-It-Ralph marks the fifth animated movie I have seen this year. Of those five (The Lorax, Rise of the Guardians, Brave, Madagascar 3), Wreck-It-Ralph is my favorite, hands down.
Wreck-It-Ralph follows the titular character’s attempt to come to terms with being a video game bad guy. Ralph (John C. Riley) lives in a landfill full of bricks from the building that he “wrecks” everyday. He has done his duty for thirty years. When the other characters in the game throw a 30th anniversary party for the game’s hero Felix (Jack McBrayer), they do not invite Ralph. When he crashes, literally and figuratively, the party, one of the tenants of the building, Gene (Raymond S. Persi), informs Ralph that if he could earn a medal, then he would be welcomed by the rest of the characters.
So, Ralph sets off to try and find a way to earn a medal. He learns of a game called Hero’s Duty, where the object is to get to the top of a structure, through the armada of alien bugs, and win the medal. Unfortunately, it is forbidden for characters to go into other games, as it messes with the programming, not to mention leaves their game missing characters. With Ralph gone, his game is put “Out of Order” which could lead to being unplugged, trapping all the characters in the game forever, essentially killing them.
Ralph wins his medal, but accidentally unleashes an alien bug into another game, Sugar Rush. Now, Felix with the help of Calhoun (Jane Lynch), a military bad-ass from Hero’s Duty, must find Ralph and the alien before Ralph’s game is unplugged and/or the bug lays its eggs and takes over Sugar Rush.
In the meantime, Ralph meets Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), a glitch in Sugar Rush. All she wants to do is race, but she is forbidden to do so by King Candy (Alan Tudyk). He fears that the user would see her glitch and assume the game is bad, potentially causing Sugar Rush to be unplugged. Ralph decides to help Vanellope in hopes of getting his medal, which she stole, back.
This barely scratches the surface of Wreck-It-Ralph. There is so much going on, and so many layers of goodness, that I could go on and on about the plot. Just take my word for it, and give this a watch. Along with all the cast already mentioned, Ed O’Neill, Adam Carolla, Mindy Kaling, Dennis Haysbert, and Horatio Sanz lend their voices to this fantastic film. The story is so cute, and the screenplay by Phil Johnson and Jennifer Lee has the right balance of humor and drama. There are plenty of nods to classic games such as Street Fighter, Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Q-Bert, and even Pong, to make all ages feel represented I cannot think of a better film to take your youngsters, or yourself, to see. I liked Riseof the Guardians last week, but Wreck-It-Ralph is sweeter.