Movie Review: Wreck-It-Ralph

Yes, my inner child once again seized control of my body and dragged me off to see another kiddie movie: Wreck-It Ralph. It was your typical Disney animated film, geared towards children, but with enough parent-appeal to be enjoying to adults; particularly adults like me who grew up spending countless quarters and hours in video arcades throughout your hometown playing god-knows what game.

The story is a basic hero questing type of story, although in this case, the hero is a villain. Well, to be more specific: the hero’s JOB is to be a villain in the fantasy world in which computerized arcade characters inhabit. According to the film, all those arcade characters actually inhabit their respective games; and when the arcade closes, they are allowed to commute, hang out in other character’s games, and generally socialize amongst themselves amongst the wires of the arcade. The name of the villain-turned-hero is Ralph, and he wants to earn a golden medal, and thereby earn the respect of the “good characters” in his game. So, he leaves his own game and goes game-hopping. This, of course, leads to nothing but chaos.

The other main character is Vanellope von Schweetz who is a “glitch” in a kind of candy-land racing game. Ralph and Vanellope start out antagonizing each other, but through the course of the story become true friends (yeah, Disney!) Difficult choices are made, battles are fought, and friendships are tested. It’s a good story.

Unlike most kid movies, I don’t think there is much to complain about in this one (I know, I usually complain about something!). There’s the Hero’s Duty joke which is a poo joke, but a tastefully done one, I guess. I missed one or two scenes, but I don’t think there was anything that was really inappropriate for young children. The whole pretext of it is that it takes place inside the inner-workings of an arcade; so the fantasy aspect is firmly established. I take that back; I seem to recall (sort of—I don’t remember the specifics) that there was a “technology joke” inappropriate for children. I wish I could remember what it was, but it was one of those “Yes, we’ll turn the hairspray into a flamethrower to entertain the kids”-type of scenes. I’ve mentioned such things in other movie reviews for kids movies: I just think Hollywood forgets its target audience, and they just might try something easy-to-do like that.

On the plus side: the movie had a certain internal logical consistency. Everything tied together and flowed together well. Some standard story motifs could be identified; the foreshadowing of the true villain, and the miracle solution to the bug apocalypse, etc… etc… Overall, it was a good movie; it even had a little bit of romance thrown in.

All right, I’ll give it four stars out of five.

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