In a few years, video games will soon be the new source for all of Hollywood material. So it makes sense to start seeing this trend, especially in the animation sector. And who else would do a better job than the king of animation?
Wreck-It-Ralph is an insanely fun and hilarious ride through the arcade world, and it also helps that it has one of the most creative scripts I’ve seen in a while. The result is an entertaining experience that gives a little bit of everything that any viewer would want.
Wreck-It-Ralph is one game on an arcade full of different machines, and one of those machines is an old school, retro type game called Fix-It-Felix. Every video game has an antagonist, and in Fix-It Felix, Ralph fulfills that role quite well. Angry that his home was taken away by an apartment complex, his mission is to destroy the building as much as he can. But of course like in all games, our hero (Felix) comes and saves the day by having a magical hammer that fixes the apartment building. As the game finishes, the player wins a bright shiny gold medal and they throw Ralph off the roof. This happens over and over again, and eventually, Ralph is tired. Tired of being unwanted, outcasted and completely unappreciated, he “Turbos” his way to other video games, looking for a medal that he can bring back to his own world.
Jumping around and creating an even worse situation for himself, he runs into different characters including Vanellope and Calhoun, who run into Ralph as he affects their own virtual reality. Going through different video games, the film sends a very strong message of inner trust and faith, and being able to believe and appreciate your own surroundings, no matter what the circumstances. Each character has some sort of complications ranging from lost love, inclusion and understanding others and their perspectives, but done so in such a creative and fun way. Creativity is something that the audience will always appreciate, and it’s clear that audiences will love Wreck-It-Ralph’s charm and wit.
The greatest attribute Ralph has is its appreciation for video games and its culture. The lost art form of the arcade, the simplicity of its characters and their story and how their lives fit into their world, its clear that the filmmakers did not cheapen this aspect. As I was sitting and experiencing this film, there were so many opportunities for the film to take advantage of certain situations and characters (Sonic, Street Fighter, etc.) and try to sell high on laughs and cheapen the world as a whole. That’s where animation films usually falter, is that rather advancing the story and the world together, they try to please the audiences in cheap emotional tactics like laughter. Not to say that this film doesn’t have tons of laughs. There are some major laugh out loud moments, especially when we are given flashbacks to different times. It may not necessarily be how funny the situation is, but how creative everything has been. We enjoy everything that we experience, and from its genuine emotions to the references it makes to other video games, it makes the entire film better as a whole.
It may not be the greatest animation film I’ve ever seen, but it definitely is one of the smarter, more innovative movies I’ve seen in a while. The clear cut favorite now to win Best Animated Feature for the Oscars, it’s something that kids to adults will all appreciate. From laughter to tears, to wit and heart, Wreck-It-Ralph provides everything a movie should be. But more importantly, it sends a clear message to Hollywood: Creativity will always be a prized asset that will never grow old.
Wreck-It-Ralph gets 3 1/2 Stars.