Playing the Hero

TFK Kid Reporter Rylan J. Daniels reviews Wreck-It Ralph, a movie about a video-game villain who longs to be a hero

Oct 29, 2012 | Reviewed by TFK Kid Reporter Rylan J. Daniels

 

Have you ever wondered about the characters in video games? Do they like their lives? Do they have hopes and dreams? Well, get ready to have your questions answered. I recently went to a press screening of Wreck-It Ralph at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California.  Wreck-It Ralph takes moviegoers on a wild journey through some amazing arcade games. Along the way, we get a glimpse into the secret lives of the video game characters.

Get in the Game

Ralph is a “bad guy” whose role in a video game called “Fix-it Felix Jr.” is to destroy an apartment building.  But every time Ralph destroys it, Felix comes along and fixes everything.  All the other characters love Felix because he is the good guy. As a reward for nice behavior, Felix gets lots of medals and yummy pies.  After 30 years of destroying things, Wreck-It Ralph wants to have friends and feel appreciated too. He decides to try to win a medal. Even a slice of pie would do.

Ralph goes undercover as one of the soldiers in a game called “Hero’s Duty.” He climbs to the top of a 99-story building to earn his medal. But then he gets into a battle with an evil Cy-Bug (a deadly, huge, mechanical insect that only eats, destroys and multiplies).  They fight for control of a spaceship, which ends up crashing inside another video game called Sugar Rush. While trying to recover his medal, Ralph meets a cute little girl named Vanellope von Schweetz. She turns out to be a glitch, a kind of programming error.

Ralph soon realizes that Vanellope is also a loner who wants to feel appreciated in her world. He decides to help her win a big go-cart race in Sugar Rush.  He also destroys the evil Cy Bugs. Afterwards, Ralph realizes that you don’t need to have a medal to like yourself and to be appreciated by others. 

Play It Again!

Wreck-It Ralph is one of the best-animated films ever.  The characters are believable even though they live inside fantasy video games.  Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is a likeable, if sometimes clumsy, hero with many of the same hopes and dreams that we all have.  Sergeant Calhoun (voiced by Jane Lynch) is a super-tough female warrior who conquers deadly Cy-Bugs, but still has a heart of gold. Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman) combines sweetness and courage as she inspires Ralph to be the hero who saves the day for all the characters in the arcade.

The film is also full of humor.  One of my favorite scenes is when Ralph meets with a group of “bad guy” characters from other video games in a therapy session.  The characters are hysterical as they try to convince Ralph that being a “bad guy” is really not so terrible after all.  I also loved all the fast-paced animation and special effects.  There are many different worlds created in Wreck-It Ralph and each one just takes your breath away.  The Game Central Station where all the characters mingle in their “off hours” is one you will never forget. 

If you can only see one animated film this season, make it Wreck-It Ralph.  You’ll want to see it again and again. It opens in theaters nationwide on November 2.