Nostalgia rules in Wreck-it-Ralph

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Noah Hughes
The Broadside

Photo taken from disney.com

You might think “Fix-it-Felix Jr” was actually there alongside arcade classics such as “Pac-Man” and “Q-Bert” after watching “Wreck-It Ralph,” the latest animated movie from Disney Studios. That’s the kind of detail the makers of this movie pay attention to, and the kind that makes this movie work.
Opening the movie is a montage that places these original creations amid the numerous arcade titles that have inhabited such establishments over the last thirty years. This is a movie for the family, but clearly there is a nod to the generation of gamers who grew up on classic games of this genre.
Ralph (John C. Reilly), the titular character, brings us up to speed as the movie opens, sitting in a sort of group therapy for video game villains that have trouble dealing with their roles. His mantra; “I’m bad and that’s good,” gets him through each day. It’s the thirtieth anniversary of Ralph’s game “Fix-it-Felix Jr,” and as usual, Ralph was not invited to the party with the heroes of his game.
Driven by depression and rejection, Ralph journeys to a hub where video game characters can meet and socialize outside their respective games. He longs to be a hero for once and breaks the cardinal rule of trespassing into other games, or “going turbo,” as the other video game denizens put it.
Along his journey, he meets several original characters who seem to fit naturally in the theme of video games- Fix-Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer), a tough sergeant from a sci-fi shooter called “Hero’s Duty,” (voiced by Jane Lynch), and finally Vanellope von Schweetz (Sara Silverman) from a colorful candy-themed kart racer called “Sugar Rush.” Through his interaction with Vanellope, the real conflict of the film reveals itself through the parallels of the two characters, and their struggle with the egotistical King Candy (Alan Tudyk).
While Ralph fights to attain what he believes will make him a real hero, he finds something more meaningful in the process.
At its core, “Wreck-It Ralph” is a story about overcoming adversity. Disney manages to play to its audiences with plenty of nostalgia for the older viewers and lots of action for the younger. However, he last ten minutes of the film are a fever-pitched culmination of all the plots that obviously cater to the children in the audience who have already consumed too many sugary snacks at this point.
Despite this, “Wreck it Ralph” is still a very good movie that offers something for the whole family, and fans of classic video games will feel delighted by all of the inside references.

(Contact: nmhughes@cocc.edu)

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