Friday, November 2, 2012

Movie Review: "Wreck-It Ralph"

Disney's latest animated film, Wreck-It Ralph, is a charming film that is laugh-out loud hilarious, and yet tender-hearted at the same time.  Ralph is a video game bad guy for a video game called Fix It Felix, Jr., a game similar to the original Donkey Kong with Mario and DK.  All Ralph wants to do is be seen as a good guy and be liked, so he sets off on a journey traveling through other arcade games to win a gold medal, proving he's a hero.  Ralph finds an unlikely sidekick in a glitchy little girl named Vanellope in a Mario Kart-like kart racer who just wants to be a race car driver, and the two team together to try and achieve their individual goals. 

It's been said about this film already, but it feels like a Pixar movie rather than a movie from Disney's in-house studios.  Not only is the film just wildly original and different than most other animated films in the market, but folks at Disney also created all of these arcade games that seem as if they should be real.  Adding to the Pixar comparisons, the filmmakers also crafted some extremely lovable characters, from Ralph to Vanellope to the big bad guy, named King Candy, while infusing the film with deeper themes than most prior Disney animated films deal with.  Wreck-It Ralph is all about learning to be comfortable with who you are and not letting a label define you, which is an important lesson for kids, and it's told in such a hilarious way with so many inside jokes about video games that anyone who even has a passing knowledge of video games will find funny, with cameo appearances from the likes of Pac Man and Sonic the Hedgehog. 

In all honesty, so much of this film's success must be attributed to Pixar co-founder, John Lasseter, as the new head of Disney Animation, but give credit also to Futurama creator, Rich Moore, who directed Wreck-It Ralph.  With Moore's vast imagination, and folks like Lasseter willing to try something different and let talents like Rich Moore simply do what they love, it produces films like these, which is the best film to come from Disney's in-house animation studio in over a decade.  The animation is beautiful, the story is both funny and touching, and the voice-over work is superb, with immense kudos to Sarah Silverman for playing the spunkiest little girl on Earth as Vanellope, I mean, who knew she could sound like an 8-year-old kid?

On a final note, the animated short that plays before the film, Paperman, is so good it is almost worth the price of admission itself for its sweet love story and for the amazing combination of hand-drawn animation and computer technology that brought it to life.  I truly feel that this short shows the true future of animation, combing old school techniques with modern innovations to make a better, higher quality product that still has that personal touch that only hand-drawn animation can give, while creating a depth of the image that you can really only get through using computers.

I give Wreck-It Ralph an A+

No comments:

Post a Comment