Starring: John C Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, Raymond S Perci, Ed O’Neil, and more.
Directed by: Rich Moore Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston Additional Story Material by: John C Reilly Original Music by: Henry Jackman
Premise: Ralph has been wrecking things for the Mr. Fix-It Jr. game for thirty years. He has no friends, he lives in a junkyard of bricks, and he gets no recognition for his contribution to the game by the other members. So when one of the building’s tenants get upset at him and tells him if he gets a medal, he can live in the penthouse, Ralph decides he’ll go off and do just that. Unfortunately, leaving his game during arcade hours has repercussions. Dangerous repercussions Ralph had never thought about. (Rated PG)
1) Voice Acting – Total Thumbs Up: John C Reilly is very convincing as the misunderstood and underappreciated Ralph. Sarah Silverman is utterly adorable as Vanellope. Jane Lynch is a lot of fun as Calhoun, especially when reliving her game backstory in flashbacks and having to deal with Felix (Mr. Fix-It Jr.)
2) Artwork/Animation – Total Thumbs Up: For the adults in the audience, especially those who liked or loved video games (and for those that still do), the film will well up tides of nostalgia as different games and the art used in them flash across the big screen. Having played most of the games mentioned in the movie myself, it was an utter treat to see my old friends brought back to giant sized life in the film.
From 64 bit to HD, old and new games are well represented. The artistry really shows though, once we enter the gaming world. Those with better, more complex software, even within their own game, move easier and better than others. This gave a nice touch of individuality to the characters, while also showing the restrictions on being who they are. The obvious research that went into the film with regards to old and newer games truly shows in their wonderful attention to detail.
Once Ralph goes to Sugar Rush though, that’s when the art really impresses. With the Real 3D effects added on, the cotton candy, the giant gum drops, and the taffy swamps really gain texture, making the experience even more amazing.
3) Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: While in real life we look at games as often being clear cut as to the roles of the characters in them, in the gaming world, life is as complex as the human one, despite the characters’ programming. And as is so often in life, sometimes those who seem good are not, and vice versa. Plus even good people can make bad choices.
On the surface the story seems simple and straight forward, but ends up having a few plot surprises and more depth than expected. And while kids will enjoy the movie a lot, this is one which will also be a big hit with the adults. Between the nostalgic elements, the deeper emotional currents, in-jokes, and play-on-words, parents might just end up even more entertained than the kids.
Conclusion: Fun film filled with both comedic and heartfelt moments. For video game players, young and old, the film will be a treasure trove of relived memories.
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price To See Again!)