Video games have a unique history among youth culture. They have been there for decades now entertaining tens-of-millions of kids and adults alike. With tales ranging about military massacres to poppy princess racing there is something for everyone. Yet despite this high level of prevalence there have been few pieces of art which earns its namesake in depicting the medium in a flattering manner; that is until I saw Wreck-It-Ralph.
Watching Wreck it Ralph I was reminded of my childhood. Of all the classic and modern video games which so brought me pleasure. It is s film which manages to capture the contrasting flavors of the wildly varying genres so well that the viewer has little choice but to smile throughout the whole film. It is a tale of friendship, self-worth (and if you look at it in the right light, even class struggle) but above all it is a story of discovering your self-worth.
Opening with protagonist Ralph giving a stirring monologue about his life as a villain in the classic (albeit fictional) 8-bit video game “Fix it Felix Jr”, the audience is introduced into the world in which video game characters live; a colorful but frightening place, all of the game characters may interact with each other upon the closure of the arcade. It is during this time where each cast member from each game deals with the hardships of labor (their programming) via support groups, parties, and dreams of something better.
Ralph is the namesake in whom he bears: a wrecker. His only purpose is to destroy the windows and structure of the building which his game calls home. After this the player, playing as Felix (a mason with a magical hammer which can fix anything), fixes the damage done by ralph ultimately culminating in Ralph being thrown from the top of the building into the mud below.
Naturally this is something which he does not enjoy. So tired of his lot in life, tired of being ignored and mistreated by his “co-workers”, he strikes out on his own in search of a medal-the only piece which will lead to the respect and dignity which he so craves. Yet danger lurks behind every corner and if he died outside of his game then the death is permanent.
From this simple yet charming premise a thread of overcoming evil is intermixed with a story of surmounting your inner, and outer, prejudices. The cast is lively and features not only superb voice actors but refreshing music and masterful writing. Well I wish there were more variety in settings (such as different game realms) the plot doesn’t go awry and manages to pack and emotional (if not somewhat reactionary) punch.
Over all this is a movie which I believe people of all ages will enjoy: young adults who remember the titles of their childhood, kids who are merely attracted to the bright animation, and even teenagers and adults who might have to sit through it as a chaperon. This film has something for everyone and is the best children’s movie since “The Lorax”. So if you have a youngling begging you to buy this film or if you just have an affinity for “kid’s films” then go out and see this film because believe me-you will not be disappointed.