I’ve had high hopes for many animated movies of 2012. All have disappointed. Brave and Ice Age: Continental Drift were two that I had been looking forward to for a good long while. While not all that bad, they were completely average; nothing special in the least. The Rise of the Guardians and Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted caught me off guard, but, still, weren’t anything groundbreaking. Mainly, just something enjoyable to watch with a little sibling. Wrek-It Ralph had been getting lots of praise. Strangely, nothing ever got me excited about it. When I finally get around to seeing it, I wondered why it took me so long to do so. It’s funny, looks great, voice acting is top-notch, and is smart. Most of all, it puts a big smile on your face. Wrek-It Ralph is a far better animated movie than Pixar has released in the past year or two – they better step it up!
Wrek-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) has been playing the villain in the arcade game called Fix-It Felix for the past thirty years. After all these years, though, he’s tired of being the bad guy. Ralph wants to prove he is more than that. He believes getting a medal will earn him respect with the rest of the characters from his game, along with the entire arcade community. Ralph goes to another arcade game where he hopes to accomplish that goal – the game is an alien first person shooter. He is victorious, but his medal gets taken away to another game. Ralph then goes to a Candy Land racing game where he intents on getting his most prized medal back. However, things get complicated when he meets Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), a glitch in the game.
This is Rick Moore’s directional debut. I look forward to what he tackles next (especially in animation projects). The story was crafted extremely well. Not all elements are entirely original, however, it is structured in a way that comes off as original. Plot wise, this was one heck of an idea. It was so cool seeing all these video games interact with each other. A stand-out is the bad guy meeting near very beginning – just perfect. Another thing I loved was the overall message the movie had to offer: we should never change who were really are, we should just enjoy the lives that are given to us. While I don’t concur with that statement 100% (still agree with it a lot), it provides this movie with an emotional core.
The screenplay was very well written. Of course, not all the jokes are going to work, but a lot worked here. All the visual gags worked, though; it was fun to notice them. They were clever. Overall, many laughs are present throughout. Characters were a home run for the most part. All the characters were given enough depth for you to interested in them; particularly the title character. I simply loved Ralph. He was easy to relate to, and you really do come to like him a lot. One of the main reasons you enjoy this world, is the characters that populate it. Phil Johnston and Jenifer Lee deserve a lot of credit. They did a remarkable job.
The voice acting is top-notch. I’ve always liked John C. Reilly. Here, he was the perfect choice. His voice just fits a character that’s a big gentle giant. Perfect casting selection, and Reilly does a marvelous job becoming the character, Ralph. Sarah Silverman can come off a tad irritating, but that has more to do with the role and direction, than her. Still, she is very funny, delivering her lines with excellent timing. Jack McBrayer does a fine job. This guy hasn’t been in much; mainly supporting roles – Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one example. McBrayer does a great job, easily makes Felix a better character. Jane Lynch did exactly what I thought she was going to do. Lynch is hilarious while not meaning to be. All the voice actors to wonders, injecting a lot into the roles. More than is needed, for sure, but that extra mile is taken.
Wrek-It Ralph is easily the best animated movie of 2012. It should take home the Oscar for Best Animated Film. I wouldn’t be upset if Frankweenie won, but would be if Brave won solely on Pixar’s amazing reputation. Honestly, Wrek-It Ralph felt similar to something Pixar would have made; a well thought out story that works on many levels, and can cater to both children and adults alike. I’d even push it further in saying this is one of the better animated movies I’ve seen in the past year or two. I wasn’t expecting this to be as good as it turned out. It had an ample of positive aspects and extremely little negative. The animation was on par with anything released this year as well. If you haven’t had a chance to see this yet, I would highly recommend it to anybody.