Walt Disney Animation Studios recently released “Wreck-It Ralph,” its 52nd animated feature. Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the villain of an arcade game called “Fix-It Felix Jr.” When you pop a quarter into the game, Ralph begins demolishing an apartment building. But never fear, as game hero Fix-It Felix — you and your trusty golden hammer — can fix the building.
In the tradition of “Toy Story,” once the lights go down at the arcade, our video game characters can interact with each other, hang out at central station (which is inside their power strip) or even visit other games.
Ralph is hated by the citizens of his game. When he gets it into his head that he’d be treated differently if only he showed up with a hero’s medal of his own, he slips into “Hero’s Duty” — a scary, “Halo”-like, first-person shooter game — to do just that. Ralph manages to get his hands on the medal he’s after, but one of the game’s alien bugs attacks and pushes him into an escape pod. They wind up inside a racing game called “Sugar Rush,” where Ralph strikes up an unlikely friendship with an adorable, smart-mouthed glitch called Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) — after she initially steals his medal, that is.
While Ralph and Vanellope get tangled in some trials of their own, Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer, no relation) teams up with a commanding soldier from “Hero’s Duty” (Jane Lynch) to return Ralph to his game before it’s marked as out of order (dun dun dun) and to rescue “Sugar Rush” from the bug now secretly laying eggs underground.
“Wreck-It Ralph” is a total delight. It has the originality of films like “Toy Story” and “Up” and features loads of cameos from well-known video game characters (although my godson kept asking me who Q*bert was). This is a thoroughly entertaining picture; it’s hilarious, and it’s a hit with kids and adults alike.
I’m a fan!
McBrayer’s column appears weekly in the Courier. Watch reviews at www.coastalcourier.com.