Wreck-It Ralph brings plenty of nostalgia, humor

By Jen Weddle

Wreck-It Ralph, released in theaters Friday, follows the story of Ralph (John C. Reilly), the villain of an arcade game called Fix It Felix Jr.

Ralph is tired of always being the bad guy, so he decides to set out on his own to become a video game hero. His adventures take him to various fictional gaming worlds that closely resemble real-life retro video games.

The movie begins with Ralph destroying an apartment complex and Felix (Jack McBrayer) fixing it with a magical hammer given to him by his father. Felix, the hero of the game, always gets pies and gold medals from the residents, and Ralph has to watch miserably from afar on the garbage dump pile that he calls home. He lives on a pile of smashed bricks, and his pillow is a tree stump. If that isn’t sad, I don’t know what is.

When the movie first introduces Ralph, he is the villain everyone despises. He describes himself as a 9-foot-tall man who wrecks things professionally.

Ralph ventures into different video game worlds, leaving the audience with a sense of nostalgia. There were cameo appearances from favorite childhood video game characters like Bowser, Pac-Man, Sonic and Q*bert.

The characters weren’t the only thing nostalgic about the movie; the games also seemed vaguely familiar. Fix-It Felix Jr. reminded me of Donkey Kong with its 8-bit classic style. Sugar Rush, a fictional game from the movie, was a brightly-colored, candy-coated racing game resembling Mario Kart, including a Rainbow Road course. Hero’s Duty, another game from the movie, could easily be mistaken for Call of Duty, a popular first-person shooter.

The characters are all unique and easy to fall in love with. Ralph is the underdog and Felix is the nice guy who fixes Ralph’s mess. Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch) is a tough leader from Hero’s Duty, and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) is a sweet, “glitchy” outcast from Sugar Rush who becomes Ralph’s best friend. It helps that the cast consists of superstar voices.

This movie is genuinely a true Disney classic. Everyone can find something to enjoy whether they’re 4 years old or 90. Disney has done a wonderful job with making us fall in love with villains by giving us the point of view that is often forgotten. Think about Gru from Despicable Me or the super-villain Megamind; they’re all just bad guys with a heart of gold. So whether you’re a gamer, a loner, a hero or a villain you’ll find something enjoyable in Wreck-It Ralph.

4/5 Stars.