From the moment we drop in a quarter, an interactive world is born, and we are thrown into a special good fights evil scenario. The arcades are home to many worlds where children and adults arrive at this three ring electronic circus to play these video games. One quarter makes them the rookie challenger in an underground fighting tournament in Street Fighter 2. Another one can make you a blue hedgehog saving the forest from a mad scientist in Sonic the Hedgehog. Every current smart phone and computer tablet can thank the arcade for inspiring many engineers that have adapted the arcade fashion of interactivity and bringing it to our own everyday lives.
Going back to the battle of good and evil, that relationship has been the long running standard in creating the conflicts that set the players on their mission. The study of playing the role of a bad guy is examined in Disney’s latest animated movie, Wreck-it Ralph. The magic of Disney’s storytelling talent and the world of video games finally meet in one of the most creative films of the year. This lovely animated film is something that children will eat up, and parents will have fun spotting the many references to their old school classics like Pac-Man and Pong.
Wreck it-Ralph (played by John C. Reilly) is the bad guy to his game, Fix-it Felix, an old-fashioned 8-bit Donkey Kong style challenge. For the past thirty years, he’s destroyed the apartment building to the nicelanders, only to be constantly fixed by the games hero, Fix-it Felix (played by Jack McBrayer). The world’s occupants only see Ralph as a bad guy, and shun him, even when the arcade is closed. After all those years, all Ralph wants is to prove that he can be as nice as any other hero.
After attending a bad guy support group (where you’ll spot many game references), he goes into the latest game that’s been plugged in, Hero’s Duty. Here in this Xbox 360 era first person shooter, Ralph shoots alongside the commander of the soldiers, Sergeant Calhoun (played by Jane Lynch). Fighting some space bugs, he eventually finds the hero’s medal he had always wanted. But an accident sends him in an escape rocket that sends him to a candy themed kart racing game, Sugar Rush. Here he encounters another outsider, Vanellope (played by Sarah Silverman). This spunky child and Ralph are forced to work together to fix a problem that could threaten the rest of the arcade.
Crafted with the love of video game nostalgia and great story telling, Wreck-it Ralph is another magical film from the great minds of Disney. Though different, this is a movie that feels contemporary, without the notion that it could become outdated. This movie makes me want to look around in my garage for my old Nintendo NES system. I could very well see Wreck-it Ralph fighting alongside Mario in these worlds of video games. I rarely say this, but this is something that parents have to show their kids.
I’ll give this five arcade units out of five. Not only is Wreck-it Ralph my favorite animated movie of the year, but I think it’s one of the best movies of the year period.