Wednesday, 20 February 2013

243, Wreck-It Ralph

Half Term beckons and what kind of parent would I be if I didn't allow myself to be dragged along (almost willingly) to the latest Disney animation offering.  Well, normally I would be fearful of my sanity being flushed away as I became subjected to another fairy recincarntion or indeed, some form of wishy washy heart warming fun fest but this time out - I was actually expecting a little more.

Wreck-It Ralph is the story of Ralph, a 9ft baddie to the arcade game Fix it Felix Jnr.  The game is simple, Ralph wrecks the apartment block and its down to the player (taking control of Felix) to repair the damage - resulting in a medal for Felix and a mud bath for Ralph.

Well, just like in Toy Story when the lights go out (or in this case, the Arcade closes) our characters carry on regardless with a whole community of arcade legends all living peacefully in one happy game central station.  That is apart from Ralph who is tired of being the bad guy, living in the dump and being ignored and disregarded by the tenants of the block he trashes on a daily basis. 

The movie opens brilliantly with Ralph in Bad-guy rehab - a cracking idea that makes the older viewer chuckle as there are Pac Man ghosts, am extremely vocal Zangief, zombies and even a Dr Robotnix chatting about their misfortunes and concerns - and if like me - you're an avid gamer dating back to the 80's, you will constantly recognise almost all of the 8 & 16 bit characters lost in today's modern world. 

This movie has all of them, from Ken & Ryu (Street fighter) heading off for a beer together to the Frogger Frog dodging pedestrians.  But its Ralph who steals the show with his requirement to finally win his own medal that drives him to leave his game of 30 years and head off into the big digital world, unaware that his departure potentially summons the end of his own game and the inhabitants within as a game with no bad guy is just a game that's out of order!

Okay, so I'm bigging this up maybe a little too much - after all, its just another animation in 3D (that again, failed to really impress on a 3D scale) and one designed to keep those kiddies entertained for a few hours of their week off but this time out - it had a little extra for the parents which made it actually quite worth while.

The rest of the story has its typical Disney moral and this ones about selfishness and thinking of others first, helped along by tough military female Calhoun (Jane Lynch - Glee) from the Halo styled Hero's Duty game and the completely adorable Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) from the Mario Kart styled Sugar Rush and don't forget Felix himself (Jack McBrayer) - who after realising that Ralph isn't such a bad guy after all, sets out to try and save the day - rescuing Ralph and returning him to his own game - hopefully to a newly found adoration from the characters within.

There is plenty more to this movie but John C. Reilly as the games namesake is brilliant in heading up what is actually a pretty unimpressive cast and one I am sure could have been bettered although to give them credit - just because I hadn't heard of a large number of them, as it was animation - their voices were more than adequate - albeit unrecognisable.

So - to round up - Wreck-It Ralph offers something to the slightly older viewer as much as it does its younger target audience and that isn't a bad thing - the highlight for me was still Bad-guy rehab and guessing the old 8-bit characters dotted throughout but for your little nippers - they'll love it too!