By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

It’s a safe bet that video gamers will flock to and embrace this latest Disney entry with open arms.  As for other audience members who are not quite as game savvy, there’s still much to love in this movie; however, the loads of in-jokes and game references may soar right over their heads.  That really seems to be my only criticism of an otherwise adorably sweet, entertaining and hearty time at the movies. As for myself, I am no longer a major video game player, but in my life I have played enough arcade, Atari 2600 and Nintendo games to understand and appreciate all the winks, nods and cameos that this delightful Disney film has to offer.

In an arcade somewhere in the U.S. (presumably), video games serve to entertain people of all ages.  Within the cabinet of an old school game named Fix-it Felix, the massive monstrous villain Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) wreaks havoc on a city building and it is up to Felix (Jack McBrayer) to use his magic hammer to repair the damage on the building before it is too late.  One particular night after the arcade closes, the characters of Fix-It Felix hold an anniversary celebration for their game, honoring their hero; however, the unfairly maligned Ralph grows frustrated and tired of serving as the bad guy everyone hates or fears.  Ralph leaves his game determined to become the beloved hero. In his first stop, he narrowly escapes a first person shooter game with a hero’s medal, but crash lands in a young children’s candy land game where he agrees to help game glitch Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). Another game outcast, Vanellope wishes to earn respect by winning a candy car race.  Ralph agrees to help her in exchange for his precious medal.

Directed by Rich Moore with a screenplay by Jennifer Lee, Phil Johnston and John C. Reilly, Wreck-It Ralph is all heart and hilarity.  Every one of the jokes worked for me and I left the film thoroughly entertained and satisfied.  The film definitely has its target audience.  I feel that with all of the jokes and references to video games, the uninitiated will be left less satisfied.  I am not saying that they won’t enjoy it at all.  I just think that there will be several times where the humor will leave them flat and not amused.  Most children of all ages should find the comedy and the visuals enjoyable and parents can rest assured that the material never gets too risqué.

I have no complaints with the voice cast who all perform wonderfully, especially Reilly who has the perfect voice for the clumsy, lovable, but hot tempered oaf that is Ralph.  The animation perfectly recreates the game characters for their respective eras.  The candy land in Vanellope’s game is bright colorful and a feast for the eyes.  I do not recommend spending the extra money to see Wreck-It Ralph in 3D as it adds little to the experience, but I do recommend it for a full priced ticket.  For the entertainment value offered, it certainly is worth it.

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