These days, quality animated films are few and far between. But Wreck-It Ralph, the latest film from Disney and one of the most anticipated films of the year, promises plenty of laughs and originality to please viewers of all ages. Featuring an all-star voice cast and enough retro video game references to make audiences dizzy with nostalgia, this is animated fare at its best.
Ralph has been a bad guy for thirty years, and he’s sick of it. In his desperation to prove that there’s more to him than smashing buildings, he goes on a quest. However, when things go horribly wrong, Ralph must show his chops and prove that there’s more to heroism than he could have ever imagined.
The voice acting here is phenomenal. John C. Reilly delivers an incredibly genuine performance as Ralph, who will surely become one of the most beloved protagonists in the history of animated films. Jane Lynch shines as Sergeant Calhoun, a kick-ass military gal with a painful past. Jack McBrayer knocks out the role of Fix-It Felix, Jr., a ridiculously silly character who bears an uncanny resemblance to Mario. Perhaps the most memorable performance is Sarah Silverman’s outstanding portrayal of Vanellope, a glitch and the rightful ruler of the game Sugar Rush. If people come away from this movie remembering any character, it would be her. Vanellope isn’t a particularly complex character, but Silverman’s performance is just superb. She brings a level of innocence and honesty to the role that just goes to show what an amazing actress she is.
Wreck-It Ralph is by far one of the most inventive animated movies ever made, complete with old movie references and hilarious new takes on beloved video games. Many of the video games featured were exclusive to the movie, but they were also nods to games that anyone who’s picked up a Nintendo controller will recognize. The game and movie references are cleverly placed and not overdone, and some are more difficult to catch than others.
The film struggles for about twenty minutes, starting after Ralph embarks on his mission. There is a brief period where the film stumbles, not sure of where it wants to go. However, it regains its footing quickly, delivering a strong middle and conclusion. The ending of the movie will likely stick with viewers long after the credits stop rolling, and many, including myself, will be eagerly awaiting a sequel.
Wreck-It Ralph reigns supreme as the year’s best animated film, and it will be interesting to see what Disney whips up for us next.