You know how I go on about lack of original ideas? Well…Wreck-It Ralph is proof that it still exists. It is one of the most clever, original stories I’ve ever seen. It may have familiar themes, but in execution it is all creative and awesome! 😀 I loved it.
Before I jump into Ralph, I must begin with the animated short that runs in front of the featured attraction…Paperman. It is truly a beautiful mixture of hand drawn and CG images and 100% brilliant. Do not be late–it is worth the extra minutes.
Okay. Animation is powerful. You can use it to tell stories that would be impossible to tell in live action and it also ups the ante on possibilities. W-IR takes full advantage of this and creates a world that only animation could capture–the video game world. It is rich and full of tiny details that only helps to sell the entire universe. (Side note: Children will love the colorful images and understand the narrative, but adults will relish every game reference and classic character cameo, too.)
Writers Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston (with story help from John C. Reilly) focus on classic themes of loneliness, isolation, rejection and self-image but they wrap it in a unique package–a 10 foot tall 64-bit video game villain, with “freakishly big hands” and an annoying little girl with candy stuck in her hair. Director Rich Moore makes all the right choices. The pace is quick and tight (never a dull moment) and he cleverly allows Ralph to evolve organically, while staying true to his nature.
The voice cast is perfect. John C. Reilly is Ralph. His intonations and inflections just fit. Sarah Silverman (who I usually do not care for) is wonderful as Vanellope. Jane Lynch hits it out of the park and Jack McBrayer‘s typical one-note character (sorry…but he is) actually works here.
What elevates Wreck-It Ralph from the standard kids movie is its attention to more than just funny gags and clever cameos. It tells a real human story. A story about what it is like to be without a home and trying to identify who you are. There were a few moments that choked me up a bit and others that had me laughing out loud. The social media keeps saying that Disney has finally put out a Pixar quality film and I may have to agree with them.
Wreck-It Ralph will stick with you–for all the right, wonderful reasons! And yeah…I am going to see it again!