Directed by: Rich Moore | 92 minutes | animation, comedy, family | Original Voice Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Adam Carolla, Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, Joe Lo Truglio, Ed O’Neill, Dennis Haysbert, Edie McClurg, Raymond S. Persi, Horatio Sanz, Rachael Harris, Skrillex, Rich Moore, Stefanie Scott, Jamie Elman, Tim Mertens, Laraine Newman | Dutch voice cast: Frank Lammers, Irene Moors, Georgina Verbaan
Just be the bad guy all your life. Knowing for thirty years that you can perform this thankless task every day, where nobody seems to appreciate you. When you hear Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) sigh in the beginning of “Wreck-It Ralph” “It sure must be nice being the good guy”, some understanding is certainly in order. Now Ralph is not just any bad guy, he is the protagonist in a computer game from an arcade hall. However, it is not him, but his opponent Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer) who is cheered every day, who lives in a beautiful house and who is showered with medals. Where Ralph has to destroy everything in his computer game, Felix is the hero of the game. And that is good enough for Ralph after thirty years.
“Wreck-It Ralph” takes place entirely in the computer game world created by the creative minds of Walt Disney called “Game Central Station”. Game Central Station functions as an intermediate world to which all arcade machines are connected and where all game heroes come together when they are not in their game. And so we also see other famous game characters such as Bowser and the ghost from Pacman walking around here. It is great to see how this world has been transformed into a fun and credible environment. Disney has incorporated all kinds of nice details. However, the problems in Game Central Station start when Ralph decides he wants to be the hero in a game and tries his luck in other computer games. This is not appreciated by the rest of the characters, as it can disrupt the computer games. When this happens, the arcade cabinets can be locked.
His quest for heroism quickly leads Ralph into the violent “Heroes Duty” where he earns his coveted medal, but beyond that, causes more misery than joy. Eventually he ends up in Sugar Rush, a beautiful color parade that almost hurts your eyes and where a kart race takes place. It is here where he meets young Vanellope (voice of Sarah Silverman), who has her own problems. With a lot of pain and effort, a beautiful friendship eventually develops between the broad Ralph and the little and oh so cute and funny Vanellope. The relationship between these two, which eventually turn out to have the same desire and have more in common than you might initially suspect, is beautifully and endearingly portrayed. And that actually applies to the entire film.
“Wreck-It Ralph” has, as befits a good animation film, more than enough in terms of humor. You actually start to watch the film with a smile and it stays there for the full hundred minutes. Whether it’s opening with a fun psychological session with Ralph and his fellow villains, the “triumphal march” in Hero’s Duty or the kart race in Sugar Rush, all worlds are entertaining and beautifully portrayed. “Wreck-It Ralph”, with its many references to the arcade era, is nostalgic enough for older viewers, but cheerful and funny enough for the younger audience. Perhaps in retrospect, behind the beautiful and original appearance, there is a slightly too matt and not very original story, a story in which not all the different storylines are elaborated convincingly. But the movie is forgiven. “Wreck-It Ralph is another handsome and original piece of Disney work.