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Those of you who have wondered what happens when the arcade closes, the lights turn off and the doors get locked will finally find out. The Walt Disney computer-animated family movie, “Wreck-It Ralph” shows you.
Directed by Rich Moore (of “The Simpsons”), the story starts with an arcade game villain that wants to be a hero in a game that has been around for 30 years. Wreck-it Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly, is the character that destroys the buildings that the arcade player constructs.
The player then uses the character Fix-it Felix, voiced by Jack McBrayer, to reconstruct the buildings. Despite Felix’s efforts, villainous Ralph wrecks the buildings again. After years of playing the destroyer, Ralph longs to become a hero. He wants to have a hero’s medal like Fix-it-Felix has — to prove he can be a hero and earn the respect of the other characters in his game.
He learns that medals are the awards in another arcade game called “Hero’s Duty,” a first-person shooter game. Ralph and all the arcade characters can move from game to game at night. Ralph sneaks into “Hero’s Duty” disguised as one of the soldiers and meets its leader, Sgt. Tamora Jean Calhoun, (voiced by Jane Lynch of the “Glee” television show).
Ralph earns his medal but, during his escape, one of the games enemies, a Cy-bug, manages to climb into an escape pod with him. He loses control and crashes into a Mario-like racing game called “Sugar Rush.” There, a little girl named Vanellope von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman) steals his medal to use it for the entry fee for an upcoming race.
Later, Ralph finds out that Vanellope is a glitch. The ruler of “Sugar Rush,” King Candy (voiced by Alan Tudyk), declares that Vanellope is not part of the game and can’t race.
But Ralph discovers something about Vanellope that makes him do everything he can to help her race. In the meantime, all the games are threatened to be destroyed by the Cy-bugs. Plus, since Ralph is missing from his own game, it won’t work anymore and might be unplugged forever.
This movie was very entertaining and funny. It used a lot of real-life foods as props in the games. The “Sugar Rush” game trapped racers with Nesquick sand and laughing Laffy Taffy vine obstacles.
All the characters had witty and funny remarks, which kept the audience laughing through the one hour-and 20-minute movie. The movie also made reference to familiar video games like Pac-Man and Sonic.
“Wreck-It Ralph” might be confusing at times for the younger audience because of all the action-packed plot details one has to keep track of. The games were old-fashioned pixel graphics until you went under the screen and inside the game. Then, the computer animation graphics were high definition. It was very clever how the characters moved from game to game through the electrical cords like a subway system.
The romance between Fix-it Felix and Sgt. Calhoun was humorous because the sergeant was a tall, armored, science fiction-like commando, compared to a very short “Bob the Builder”-like cartoon figure.
The movie’s plot and characters will probably appeal to a younger, female audience, but can be enjoyed by anybody.
“Wreck-It Ralph” was released on Nov. 2 and is rated PG.