Wreck-It Ralph – As someone who’s interested in video games and particularly their characters (hey, I have the complete series of Captain N on DVD), I guess it was pretty much a given that I’d enjoy this. The movie did what Captain N generally failed to do, however, and made me actually care about the characters. The film takes place in an arcade, where the game characters can act on their own when no one is watching. Definite shades of Toy Story here, although there’s also a bit of Who Framed Roger Rabbit in terms of characters from different franchises making appearances. Q*bert played a pretty significant role, and I enjoyed Bowser’s cameo.
Apparently it was originally intended for Mario to appear as well, but Nintendo’s fees were too high. I’ve also seen Dr. Wily mentioned as being cut from the film, supposedly because it ruined the pacing, but that could have also ultimately been due to financial reasons. I don’t recall having heard of Tapper before, but it is a real game, released in 1983 and having both real beer and root beer versions. The bartender was apparently based on a co-worker of one of the developers, but I can’t help seeing him as a cross between Mario and Mr. Potato Head.
Anyway, Wreck-It Ralph is the bad guy in a thirty-year-old game called Fix-It Felix Jr. He tires of his job and lack of respect, and searches for a way to become a hero. After a brief stint in the first-person shooter Hero’s Duty, he finds himself in the candy-themed racing game Sugar Rush, where he befriends a glitchy girl named Vanellope von Schweetz. Vanellope is voiced by Sarah Silverman, and appears to have been based on her book as well. The candy world of Sugar Rush, based largely on Candy Land, is rendered in amusing detail, with a lot of puns and references. For instance, a Google search revealed that Beard Papa, the security guard at the kart factory, was named after a cream puff company headquartered in Japan. I also liked the Oreo guards chanting like the Winkie guards from The Wizard of Oz, the diet cola mountain with Mento stalactites, and of course King Candy with his Ed Wynn voice and mannerisms.
Other significant characters were Fix-It Felix himself with his aw-shucks attitude and a tough sergeant from Hero’s Duty with Jane Lynch as her appropriate voice actor. So, yeah, it’s definitely worth seeing, and it manages quite well at being sympathetic as well as funny. If you’re a fan of video games, definitely give this one a watch.