Release Date: Out Now in the US. Releases February 15th 2013 in the UK.
Wreck-it-Ralph is Disney’s latest 3D animated movie, following on from the excellent Tangled, with the company this time addressing the subject of video games with the movie hoping somewhat to do the same to video games as Toy Story did to toys. Does Wreck-it-Ralph get KO’d? Or does it hadoken its way to success?
Wreck-it-Ralph takes place in an arcade where loads of game arcades cabinets, new and old, sit waiting to be played by excited gamers. Of course what these players don’t realise is that the characters inside these game worlds are living beings, just like you and me.
One of these arcade machines is Wreck-it-Ralph, an 8-bit game inspired by the classic Donkey Kong.
Each arcade cabinet is a different game/world with all of the cabinets being connected up to Game Central, which is a hub where all of the characters from the various games can meet up, socialise and travel to other worlds/arcade games.
One of these arcade machines is Wreck-it-Ralph, an 8-bit game inspired by the classic Donkey Kong which has Ralph destroying a building and Felix fixing the building and saving the citizens inside the building. Ralph is your stereotypical looking bad guy, large and menacing; something which has gradually gotten to him over the years as he is treated poorly by his peers in the game world because of his job and looks. The lack of recognition as a good person, and someone who is good at his job, eventually forces Ralph to go to another world and try to win a medal in order to prove that he is a “somebody”. The journey is not an easy one however, as if you die inside another game world, then you’ll die for good.
Wreck-it-Ralph is a journey about self discovery, a topic which is often explored in Disney films, and one which is given plenty of attention in this particular movie. What’s interesting is the exploration of Ralph’s desire to have recognition for a job, which is something that should resonate with adults in the age of large cooperation’s and people getting lost in the crowd.
With the movie looking at other concepts such as death and family, Wreck-it-Ralph is full of themes and looks at them appropriately. Perhaps it’s interesting then that video games existence as an artistic medium, and the mediums perceived villainy, isn’t one such thing that is examined. Rather video games are treated with respect throughout the movie and are just accepted as something normal and artist.
What might be surprising is the lack of human interaction Ralph and his friends have with the human world. The process of a player getting attached to the characters in a game isn’t something which is explored which is surprising given how much of a connection video games can create with their players.
With a few cameos from Sonic and some Street Fighter characters, gamers may feel like there could have been more video game references and one wouldn’t blame them for thinking so given the amount of video game characters used in the movie’s marketing.
At the end of the day, this is a Disney movie first and foremost and it is not in their interest, neither their intention, to make this movie strictly for fans of the art. Rather they have clearly aimed to make the movie for everyone, and introduce a whole new group of movie goes to the concept of video games and make those who don’t understand them feel more comfortable with the medium. This is something Disney does well, and does in a way that only such a great company could.
The characters which the movie centres around, Ralph and co, are all well fleshed out and are more than likeable. They will definitely grow on you, and are more than interesting enough to hold your attention throughout the movie.
Rather they have clearly aimed to make the movie for everyone, and introduce a whole new group of movie goes to the concept of video games and make those who don’t understand them.
Having said that the movie does lose pacing three quarters into the film, slowing to a crawl as the characters stay in one location for too long, but thankfully the movie quickly gets back on track, with the ending being particularly exciting and full of plot twists.
Overall, you can expect a fun and humorous Disney movie. Whilst it may not be bundled with references to the medium, what it does have is a heart and soul which it wears proudly on its vest. Regardless of your disposition towards Disney this is one film you ought to see, especially if you’re even remotely interested in video games, as it’ll definitely take you somewhere special for a few hours.
As I was sitting in a cinema mixed with both children and adults then I can safely tell you: If you are lucky enough to be a parent then know this, the movie will most definitely keep your kids quiet for a while.
Should I see this movie?