Toy Story for a New Generation
I was pretty excited going into the movie. The initial reviews were highly positive, and the overall concept spoke to me. I am a huge video game fan, so imagining a Toy Story-like movie with cameos from classic games fueled my anticipation.
The student has become the master. Disney Animation one-ups Pixar with the best animated movie of the year. Wreck-it Ralph has a heartwarming story that will create lots of nostalgia for video game lovers.
Wreck-it Ralph is set in an arcade where the video game characters, like in Toy Story, come to life after the users leave for the night. The characters can interact across games by traveling via the electrical cords. The main character Ralph is the villain of his game Fix-it Felix, a fictional game inspired by Donkey King; however, Ralph wants to be more than a villain. He wants to be the hero who wins a medal and accolades. So, since he cannot be the hero in his own game, he jumps games to succeed elsewhere.
The highest points in the film happen when Ralph interacts with “real” video game characters with which fans are familiar. I felt bad seeing Q-bert down on his luck because his game was unplugged. The support group for video game villains is just hilarious. I am surprised at how many characters they were able to get, especially the Street Fighter ones. Zangief easily steals the show even though he was only briefly seen.
It’s unfortunate we were not able to spend more time with the actual video game characters. A good part of the movie is spent in fictitious game settings created for the express purpose of the film. Still, Wreck-it Ralph is very enjoyable without the cameos. Ralph himself is very likable as a character. You will be cheering for him in the end. A central part of the story is his relationship with another misfit, Vanellope, who is a character in a cart racer. Their interaction is hilarious as Vanellope enjoys poking fun at Ralph. The bond they develop through the course of the movie is touching.
With video games’ vast history, the possibilities for sequels are endless. The filmmakers need to consider switching the setting to perhaps the characters inhabiting a console instead of the arcade. The arcade will limit the types of games with which the characters can interact. Perhaps Wreck-it Ralph and Sugar Rush are downloaded as classic games on someone’s Xbox? Regardless, I am eagerly awaiting the next movie.