Film Review: Wreck-It Ralph appeals to all ages through laughs, lessons


Walt Disney Animation Studios has succeeded once again, releasing another hit animated film, Wreck-It Ralph. The movie is ideal for all ages and incorporates a playful, humorous tone and a valuable moral lesson.

Wreck-It Ralph is about a video game character experiencing his midlife crisis in which he questions his current status as a villain. He eventually begins exploring other video games in an attempt to experience a life as a hero instead. This sets up a clash between a narrative and characters that wouldn't be expected to work together.

During the weekend following its release on Nov. 2, Wreck-It-Ralph hit $49.1 million in box office revenue. This tops 2010's Tangled to claim the crown of biggest opening weekend for a Disney animated film.

Emmy Award-winning director Rich Moore, who is known for a unique yet crude sense of humor, did an excellent job with the film. Famous for television shows like “Futurama” and “The Simpsons,” Moore's direction in Wreck-It Ralph proves that he is capable of providing a comedy experience suitable for anyone.

The movie's cast - which was brilliantly picked from a list of top-notch entertainers - brings the computer animation to life with excellent performances. John C. Reilly as Ralph and Jane Lynch as Calhoun bring their established talent and likely their respective fan bases to the theaters. Other actors, including Jack McBrayer, Alan Tudyk and Adam Carolla, make this cast a unique and successful collaboration.

There is one voice actress in particular, however, that truly stands out for a phenomenal performance as the nine-year-old Vanellope. Comedian and prominent writer Sarah Silverman brought her wit and experience to the film, giving Vanellope's dialogue its own distinct flavor.

With lines such as “You better watch where you step in a game called 'Hero's Duty'” delivered in a way only Silverman could, Vanellope becomes the funniest character in the film.

Wreck-It Ralph's soundtrack - while at times energetic and appropriate for the video game the characters are in - has one glaring oddity: the song “Shut Up and Drive” by Rihanna. While a sensible choice - it plays during a racing scene - it may not be appropriate for an audience primarily made up of children.

For any generation exposed to the world of video games, Wreck-It Ralph gives insight into that world, imagining how game characters live after a “game over.” Similar to Disney-Pixar's Toy Story, this film can touch the viewer's heart through excellent animation, acting and a story that resonates with all of us.