"Turns out I don't need a medal to tell me I'm a good guy. Cause, if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be?"— Wreck-It Ralph
Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 52nd Disney animated feature film. The film was directed by Rich Moore, who also directed episodes of The Simpsons, The Critic, and Futurama, and the screenplay was written by Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee from a story by Moore, Johnston, and Jim Reardon. John Lasseter served as the executive producer. The film features the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch, and tells the story of the eponymous arcade game villain who rebels against his "bad-guy" role and dreams of becoming a hero. The film premiered at the El Capitan Theatre on October 29, 2012, and went into general release on November 2. A sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, was released on November 21, 2018.
Arcade-game character Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is tired of always being the "bad guy" and losing to his "good guy" opponent, Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer). Finally, after decades of seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides to take matters into his own hands. He sets off on a game-hopping trip to prove that he has what it takes to be a hero. However, while on his quest, Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade.
Why It Wrecks (In A Good Way)
- The CGI animation looks very fluid and gorgeous, and it has aged very well for its time, even to this day; for example, the character designs are perfect and unique, especially Ralph himself, it seems like a college student did it who did it very well and other characters like Sonic, they are faithful to the original, the backgrounds look very nice and cool, especially Sugar Rush, since you can see sweets, cookies, ice cream, cakes, candies and a lot of chocolates to the point of making you hungry after seeing everything that is in Sugar Rush, which is a great advancement in Disney animated movies.
- Not to mention, it has a brilliant fast-paced nature.
- Pretty likable, surprisingly good, and unforgettable characters.
- The idea of a movie about a villain from a video game wanting to become a hero is rather original and interesting, especially for the time the film was released.
- There's a very effective running gag about Ralph being unable to stop breaking stuff.
- Several video game characters cameos such as King Bowser Koopa from the Mario franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr. Eggman from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, and M. Bison and Zangief both from the Street Fighter series.
- The soundtrack is great, notably the song "When Can I See You Again?" that plays during the end credits, along with sprite animation.
- Not to mention, Henry Jackman does a great job at composing the score for this movie, and is considerably the perfect choice for composing the music for the Untitled Super Mario Movie (2022).
- The movie references many video game genres like the old arcade cabinet classics, racing video games and sci-fi first-person-shooters.
- These famous quotes:
- "I'm gonna wreck it!"
- "What’s the first rule of Hero’s Duty?!”
”No cuts, no butts, no coconuts?”
”Never interfere with the First Person Shooter!”
- "You are one Dynamite Gal!"
- On top of that, most of the jokes are very funny, for example, Ralph wrecks the cake and the cake spreads all over the place.
- It is very original, even for the standards of a homage. It also proves that cliches can be put to good use.
- It also delivers a strong message about being yourself instead of someone else.
- Solid and excelent voice acting from a very talented cast, as it seems like they are putting some effort into their roles, that is, its as if one of the characters even sounds like they are excited while reading their lines and it will never be mediocre, bad, or monotonous and it feels like they want to do it at all.
- The emotional core with Ralph and Vanellope's relationship is really powerful, since when Ralph and Vanellope first met, they didn't exactly see eye to eye. Ralph saw Vanellope as nothing more than a rotten thief after she stole his medal, and Vanellope thought Ralph was nothing more than an oafish buffoon. As they spent more time together however, they realized that they're not as different as they thought. Like Ralph, Vanellope was tired of being mistreated by the other members of her game, and wanted to be accepted. This connection gave the two a far better understanding of one another. It also explains why Vanellope was so crushed when Ralph (as a result of King Candy's manipulation) was against the idea of her racing. After years of being rejected, the one person who showed her kindness, was apparently against her, though Ralph's actions were meant to keep Vanellope safe. However, after Ralph realizes King Candy lied to him about what would happen if Vanellope did race and he learned from Sour Bill that everything would be fixed if she crossed the finish line in an official race, he didn't hesitate to come to her rescue, and the two reconciled. Vanellope also changed Ralph for the better as she helped him understand what it really means to be a hero, as he decided to sacrifice himself to save her when King Candy and the Cy-Bugs took over Sugar Rush. Their relationship became similar to that of a big brother and little sister and grew into a very heartwarming one at that. Vanellope even offered Ralph a room in her castle after she turned out to be the rightful ruler of Sugar Rush, though he humbly denied as their friendship alone was enough to keep him happy.
- The falling out they have, culminating in Ralph decimating her kart (in his defense, King Candy/Turbo manipulated him into doing so), is extremely heartbreaking.
- Excellent character development. For example, unfortunately, years of bullying due to King Candy's propaganda against Vanellope left her with a sharp tongue and a somewhat sour disposition. When first greeted, she comes off as annoying, obnoxious, and rude, with a bit of concern for the feelings or ambitions of other people, in comparison to benefiting herself. However, these aspects of her character are merely a result of her tragic upbringing and were more so done for survival rather than pure pleasure. Before Ralph's arrival, Vanellope was a loner, and the only programs she had any contact with were her abusers. Therefore, she has not experienced friendship or any form of compassion. Interestingly, although years of being shunned have left her with negative traits, Vanellope is one of the few characters in the film with a lack of prejudice. After learning Ralph is classified as a video game "bad guy", Vanellope never criticizes him on his position; instead, she looked beyond Ralph's programmed occupation and understood that his label is only a job title and does not define who he is on the inside. Her kindness would heavily influence Ralph, and it was through their friendship that Ralph learned what it really means to be a hero.
- King Candy/Turbo's revelation is shocking, since when they start to fight but then King Candy is revealed (rather it begins to distort due to the glitch that Vanelope has) to be Turbo, and Ralph and Felix are shocked, but then Turbo is later swallowed by a Cybug. While its design often looks unnatural, it looks awesome as the entire face is distorted.
- Overall, it's a great love letter to retro gaming since the whole movie is set in old or modern arcades.
- Depending on your point of view, there may be a bit of toilet humor, for example, when Ralph is looking in a box of the lost things in Tapper, and then later he finds Zangief's underwear and Ralph is disgusted.
- A few characters are incorrectly depicted. For example, Zangief from the Street Fighter games is depicted as one of the villains from the games, which is pathetic and stupid, its worth mentioning that the fact he's one of the allies from the video game series and also the true villain of the Street Fighter series, is M. Bison (and other installments like Gill from Street Fighter III). When asked about this, the director stated that he did that because he thought Zangief was a villain as a child. To add insult to injury he also does not have his English voice actor from the Street Fighter Series, Peter Beckman even though the other Street Fighters characters do not to mention Peter Beckman actually gives Zangief a Russian accent unlike Rich Moore.
- Mario does not make an appearance due to an arguably bad excuse of not finding a place for him in the story. To add insult to injury, he (along with Bowser) do not make a appearance in the sequel either because the sequel is found on the internet.
- Balrog and Vega (as well as possibly Sagat and Akuma) should have been in the Bad Anon meeting due to being villains from Street Fighter.
- No SNK games or characters like Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury, Kyo from The King of Fighters, or Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown make an appearance in the film despite SNK being a big part of the golden age of arcade games. This can be blamed on the fact that SNK is not as well known in America compared to companies like Namco.
- There is blatant bias for Sonic The Hedgehog, Street Fighter, and Q*Bert, as proven by the end credits. While they are not inherently bad games and franchises, it’s not very fair to fans of other video games and franchises.
- Some missed opportunities for more character appearances such as Glass Joe from Punch Out!, the Galaga aliens, Heihachi Mishima from Tekken or even Dr. Wily from Mega Man (he made appearance in an arcade game Mega Man: The Power Fighters).
- The movie contains product placement, such as Mentos candy, Nesquik, Oreo cookies (where they can be seen in Sugar Rush), and even Budweiser beers (where it can be seen in the 80's video game, Tapper). But at least it makes sense, because it's about Ralph wanting a medal in another video game and trying to get it back in Sugar Rush, and then the Sugar Rush creatures invade him, so...
- Speaking of the plot, promoting Budweiser beer is unsuitable in a children's movie, as its worth mentioning that they are alcoholic beverages.
- The Nicelanders and Fix-It Felix Jr. first start out being somewhat unlikable to Ralph, and they’re pretty much what led to him “going turbo” by trying to win a medal. It’s especially made ironic by their names.
Wreck-It Ralph received mostly favourable reviews. The review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 87% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 188 reviews with an average score of 7.4/10. The site's consensus reads: "Equally entertaining for both kids and parents old enough to catch the references, Wreck-It Ralph is a clever, colorful adventure built on familiar themes and joyful nostalgia.". On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 72 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The film earned an "A" from audiences polled by CinemaScore.
- Dr. Wily, the main antagonist from the Mega Man Classic Series, was originally going to be appear in this movie, but after the first trailer was released, he was later removed, due to the fact that Capcom was poorly treated with Mega Man during that time.
- Dr. Wily wasn't the only character removed as other cameos were set to appear consisting of Tails from Sonic, Glass Joe from Punch Out, characters from Dragon's Lair like Dirk and Daphne (Though a cabinet can still be seen), Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and Mario.
- The concept of Wreck-It Ralph was first developed at Disney, in the late 1980s, under the working title High Score. Since then, it was redeveloped and reconsidered several times: In the late 1990s, it took on the working title Joe Jump, then in the mid-2000s as Reboot Ralph.
- The movie had a troubled production. Originally planned to have been screened before Tangled, it had went through a number of cancelled and uncancelled calls along the way before finally getting the go-ahead. As well, the many video game companies (especially Japanese ones) had strict guidelines as to how their characters should act - Nintendo had guides as to how Bowser should drink a cup of coffee, Sega had them reanimate a scene were Sonic loses some rings because they said he could only lose rings if he were hit and the only reason Q*Bert got prominence in the movie was because Namco took offence at Dig Dug being the target.
- There was going to be a fourth game called Extreme E-Z Livin' 2 which would have been a game that mixes elements from The Sims and Grand Theft Auto. Instead of going back to the Fix-It Felix Jr. game to show off his medal, Ralph would've gone there instead with a native of that game as his guide that he met while being in the Hero's Duty jail cell. While enjoying the recreational facilities in the sim game, Ralph realizes that Vanellope is more important than the medal, bails out, and heads back to Sugar Rush. This sequence was even taken to the storyboard phase before the team eventually scrapped it because it seemed to drag the plot in an unnecessary direction, and added 20 minutes to the already-90-minute-long film.
- Dr. Eggman was going to have a speaking role. Mike Pollock was set to voice Eggman as usual but he was not informed by Eggman's role. Jim Cummings who voiced Robotnik in Sonic SatAM had lines yet they were cut.