Before the film began there was an animated short called “Paperman” which was absolutely adorable. No words just animated characters accompanied by music and actions. One day on a local train station platform a guy meets a girl when the sheet of paper he was holding fly’s into her face. When the man pulls the paper off there is an imprint of her lipstick on the page. In the flash of a moment he turns and she is on a train riding away but when she peers back at him and their eyes meet he knows he must see her again. When he arrives at work he notices her in a high rise building across the street and tries to get her attention by making paper airplanes and launching them at her window. To no avail it does not work until moments later when he runs to find her on the streets below it is all the paper airplanes themselves that actually take over to make the immaculate introduction.
In the main feature, Wreck-It Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) is a video game character in a local arcade. Ralph likes to wreck the Nice Landers homes but thanks to Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer) with the stroke of his hammer everything gets fixed. Little do the people that play the games realize that when the arcade closes and they go home all the video game characters meet and greet each other traveling through the electrical wires and crossing paths at a station similar to Grand Central in New York City. The people in Ralph’s game are all friends and live together in the building Ralph wrecks and Felix fixes but as for Ralph he sleeps in the local dump. He is considered the outcast of the game and never included in the Nice Landers events.
Ralph attends the local Bad Anon group therapy sessions with the rest of the bad guys like Pac Man, Zombies and Satan from the other video games. All taught that bad is actually good but for Ralph he wants more than anything to be good, get a medal and become a hero and if so he believes the rest of the people in his game would then accept him and look up to him like they do Felix. So Ralph ventures away one day from his game and enters another video game called Hero’s Duty so he can slay some Cybug’s and become a hero. Little did he know what he was getting himself into and worse yet what he would bestow on the rest of the games.
You see if a character dies outside their own game then they are done, a fate that fell on to Turbo from a racing video game when he entered into a competitor’s new racing video game. So Ralph is fighting bugs in the game Hero’s Duty alongside Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch), one tough but quite good looking warrior that handles a weapon better than any other soldier in her army. Everything goes wrong though when Ralph decides to climb the tower of light and grab the Medal of Honor. When he trips on a bug egg breaking it open a bug emerges attaching to his face like a creature from the film “Alien”. He stumbles into a shuttle which crashes from one game into another but this time Ralph finds himself in a game called Sugar Rush, where he has unleashed a bug that is capable to multiply and create a virus that will kill off all the other games. In a race against time Calhoun along with an infatuated Felix who has joined forces to find Ralph and bring him home go searching in Sugar Rush.
While in Sugar Rush which is a video game of candy, run by King Candy (voice of Alan Tudyk) Ralph befriends a young girl known as a glitch but also known as Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman), her goal is to race in the local kart races, win and gain the respect of everyone in Sugar Rush. When she steals Ralph’s medal to pay to enter the contest they soon become rivals but later comrades working together to try and win the race and along the way fight the army of bugs out to kill everyone before it’s too late. Little did they know that they also uncovered a hidden secret kept deep within the memories of the video game software that would answer the mysteries behind Vanellope’s glitch and that of the Sugar Rush kart races. Lies are told, truth is discovered and a wedding takes place although this time without bugs and no one is left out of order. Across the finish line, discoveries are made and revelations are learned that it’s most important to be happy with whom you are and that sometimes being bad is good!
The film is nicely told but seems to lose its way a few times making it a little tiresome. Although it seems to appeal to all ages it just did not seem to have the best writing to sustain the audience’s constant attention. The voices seemed to be nicely matched but I think if they were given some better lines it would have made a world of difference at least for the older members in the audience. Lynch of course I found to be the most dramatic, McBrayer cute yet annoying and Silverman the most whimsical with Tudyk the best matched. As for Reilly he does a nice job as Ralph but at times seemed to drag making his dialogue a bit tiresome. Overall the film has its moments but it is a far cry from the rest of Disney’s animated films that always seem to make a lasting impression on the heart and mind of both young and old. Either way I’m sure it will find its audience thanks to the Disney magic but it wasn’t as good as I expected probably more so due to the writing even though they tried to spoof on some older well known films of the past along the way. Written and enjoyed for the most part with 2 paws out of 4 by Jon Patch.