If you’re one of the two people in the entire continental United States that hasn’t seen Wreck-It Ralph yet, you really, really should.
It’s definitely the best Disney movie I’ve seen in years. It’s cute, it’s funny, and it’s got a lot of heart, but not in the oh god it’s the after-school-special kind of way. You can tell the angle of approach from the bad guy affirmation of Bad-Anon: I am bad, and that’s good. I’ll never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me. But I really liked the approach taken; within the world of video games, bad guys are obviously a vital part of the ecosystem, and part of the movie is about the good guys learning that.
I’ve seen it twice already and definitely wouldn’t mind seeing it again. (Only there’s currently a brazillion movies out right now I want to see, holy shit November what’s up with you.) But if you’re a gamer nerd like me, the more times you see it, the more fun video game stuff you can pick out. (There’s a list of video game character cameos over at the Disney Wiki.)
You don’t have to be a big video game nerd to like it. Sure, those of us who have been playing since Atari will get a lot of the cameos and have some good laughs (OMG AERITH LIVES), but the main story takes place in two made-up games (Hero’s Duty and Sugar Rush) and you don’t even really have to be that familiar with first person shooters or racing games to get what’s going on. It’s all very evident from the story. (The script writers, by the way, deserve a hearty handshake.)
I loved all the main characters. Calhoun (voiced by Jane Lynch) is definitely my favorite, though. She has the most tragic back story ever! (I’m thinking this might seem extra hilarious if you have a few RPGs under your belt.) Also Felix sounded so very, very familiar – I had to remind myself later that Jack McBrayer is Kenneth in 30 Rock and yes, Felix sounds just like that, to hilarious effect. Also, Alan Tudyk voices King Candy, which I didn’t even realize until I got to the credits and was like wait a second, that’s Wash?
As a note for people with kids, the movie has a PG rating, and I think it’s mostly inoffensive stuff, cartoonish violence and the like. However, the bit of the movie in Hero’s Duty could be scary for little kids, since it’s got the space-marine-bug-invasion-first-person-shooter thing going on, and at the very end the bad guy looks seriously creepy to the point that my first thought was how much he would probably scare the pants off my niece. So just be aware of that.
There’s also an animated short before the movie called Paperman. It’s probably the cutest short I’ve seen in a while, and it’s about paper airplanes and love.
Nicely done, Disney.