Film Review: Voice Cast Delights in Wonderful ‘Wreck-It Ralph’
CHICAGO – The nostalgia of the old video game arcade comes to life in a charming and fun way in the new Disney film, “Wreck-It Ralph.” One of the strengths is the precise selection of celebrity voices used to animate the rollicking characters. John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch are part of the familiar voice cast.
What makes “Wreck-It Ralph” so enjoyable, is that it never panders to sweetness and it doesn’t rely on pop culture references for laughs (beyond it video game roots, which is the subject of the story). The coming-to-life of the various video game characters are fit with perfect voice matches, which adds so much entertainment to an already fresh story and atmosphere. Creating a universe from the simple and well-known comfort zone of the arcade – for what is now multiple generations – is pure genius, and for the most part the wacky story fits naturally into that environment. “Wreck-It Ralph” is a valuable day at the movies.
Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) is the antagonist of the video game “Fix-It Felix, Jr.” The idea is that Ralph wrecks the building, and points are gained by Felix (Jack McBrayer) fixing up the joint. This arrangement has worked for 30 years, until finally Ralph has had enough. He wants to be the hero for a change, and join in the adulation of the Fix-It community. He escapes his game – by cleverly going through the electrical plugs – and ends up in the game “Hero’s Duty,” a tough-as-nails first shooter contest run by the harsh commander Calhoun (Jane Lynch).
He gets a heroes medal as part of the game, and can’t wait to get back to the Fix-It village to claim his attention. He borrows a craft from “Heroes Duty” that accidentally lands him into “Sugar’s Rush,” a sticky-sweet candy themed game. He loses his medal to Vanellope Van Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), who uses it to enter the Sugar Rush race. Vanellope is a “glitch,” who is trapped in exile until she participates in the race. Meanwhile, Fix-It Felix goes in search of Ralph, and gains an ally in Calhoun. It seems that Ralph has taken a Cy-bug in “Sugar Rush” and can destroy the whole video universe if the bugs multiply, which would result in “game over.”
Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures