Wreck-It Ralph

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Wreck-It Ralph
Wreck-it-ralph-movie-poster.jpg
"I am bad, and that is good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I'd rather be than me."
Genre: Animated
Comedy
Directed by: Rich Moore
Written by: Phil Johnston
Jennifer Lee
Rich Moore
Jim Reardon
Starring: John C. Reilly
Sarah Silverman
Jack McBrayer
Jane Lynch
Photography: Color
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date: October 29, 2012 (El Capitan Theatre)
November 2nd, 2012 (United States)
Runtime: 101 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $165 million
Box office: $471.2 million
Sequel: Ralph Breaks the Internet


"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.

Plot

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

  1. It's one of Disney's most creative and innovative films to date, since it has a video game aesthetic that makes it look unique from any other animated film released at the time, but also features several well-known video game characters and has an original story that hasn't been done before, along with the fresh concept of the bad guy wanting to be the good guy in a video game setting and an emotional core that is well-developed and makes the film feel creative and since most of them are usually fairy-tale based and tend to use several cliches found in fairy-tales themselves, something that Wreck-It-Ralph completely avoids altogether in favor of something new, which was a good choice and made this film feel like one of Disney's most modern yet refreshing takes upon their film catalogue to date.
    • It also subverts the typical Disney formula by lacking musical numbers, not featuring any animal sidekicks, having more cartoony character movements, being less realistic and whimsical, has no fairy-tale elements, utilise more of the emotional moments and less fantasy-like elements, focus more on the character growth and less on the visuals, choosing to abandon generic tropes and cliches that many classic Disney films from the 20th century (aside from the Disney Renaissance) suffered from and have been mocked for in recent times and having a more modern setting as opposed to an old timey setting that most Disney films had before Chicken Little. In other words, it has a different take on the Disney formula that feels fresh and creative while still keeping the Disney Magic that made their films timeless classics in the first place and helped them receive historic importance in the world of animation as we know today.
    • It also tends to feel more like Pixar film with it's usage of comedic moments of pop-culture references and slapstick humor combined with emotional scenes that make people shed a tear at times alongside an original story that is about the struggles of a bad guy who doesn't want to do the thing that he built to do anymore and begins to reconsider his purpose as a video game character and tries to find it until he meets a young girl who's just like him and grows a massive bond with her as they quickly become best friends to each other (which is somewhat similar to UP where Carl Fredickson is traumatized by the death of his wife and doesn't want to move on from her death until Russell comes along and Carl begins to reconsider his purpose in life and he grows a relationship with the young boy and quickly becomes a good friend to him) and Ralph then learns that he doesn't need to be a good guy to get a medal or rewarded with honor, he just has to be a good person and help others achieve their goals, something that he does later in the film where he saves Sugar Rush from being unplugged and the entire arcade from being destroyed by Turbo and becomes beloved by his community and gains more respect from others for his good qualities and how nice he is overall (even managing to kill Turbo off in the end), something that a Pixar film would usually do and it shows, giving the film a more unique style that no other Walt Disney Animation Studios has had before and after it, not even Big Hero 6 or Zootopia for that matter.
      • This makes the film surprisingly mature for an animated kids movie, since it deals with topics like discrimination, prejudice, depression, loneliness and trauma since Ralph throughout the film is treated with zero respect from the Nicelanders and is often looked down upon by society for being the bad guy, and the same thing also applies to Vanellope who is often treated like an outcast for being a glitch and tends to laughed at by many citizens of Sugar Rush alike. However, since Ralph and Vanellope grow such a strong bond with each other throughout the whole film, the scene where Ralph breaks Vanellope's car as a command from King Candy exemplifies the mature tone even further since it also deals with the topic of betrayal in such a mature and emotional way that it makes the scene feel more sad and tearjerking.
      • In fact, the climax of Wreck-It-Ralph is the only part of the film that isn't Pixar-like at all and is more video game-like to fit with video game aesthetic of the film, even down to the fight with Ralph and Turbo being similar to a boss fight from a video game. However, once again, it makes the film feel unique and different from other Disney films and adds a unique flair to the movie that gives it an appeal that most early 20th century Disney films lack, thus making Wreck-It-Ralph one of their most experimental films they've ever produced aside from Meet the Robinsons.
    • The film is also unique since most Disney films are usually based on either books or fairy-tales that are then adapted into film, whereas this movie is an exception since the Fix-It-Felix Jr video game is mostly fictional and isn't really an actual video game by itself and is mostly something made up by the movie itself, which is a clever subversion of the idea of Disney basing their film ideas on classic literature, and many of the other video games like Sugar Rush and Hero's Duty are also fictional and were purely created just for this movie, and a lot of the original content in this film are meant to be parodies of actual video games that distinguishes them from their real-life counterparts like Sugar Rush being a Mario Kart clone, Fix-It-Felix Jr being inspired by Donkey Kong and Hero's Duty being a COD clone, which is very unique for Disney and shows that they are able to craft original stories for modern audiences and keep them as timeless as their older material.
  2. 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.
  3. Pretty likable, surprisingly good, and unforgettable characters.
    • 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 looks beyond Ralph's programmed occupation and understood that his label is only a job title and does not define who he is inside. Her kindness would heavily influence Ralph, and it was through their friendship that Ralph learned what it really means to be a hero.
  4. Tons of research upon the mechanics of video games and how they function is very well-documented in this film, as they show how games work and that they need to function or else they'll get unplugged if there's something wrong with them, and it also shows what can happen to a game if it doesn't work properly or something in it is missing, since it's all themed around video games after all, thus making this film feel more like a proper video game movie than those crappy movie adaptations of popular video games.
    • There's also the fact that they show how a game will function without something programmed into it and instead getting being replaced by something that was clearly modded into it that was never meant to be there to begin with, with Turbo's presence as King Candy in Sugar Rush replacing Vanellope as the main character due to him going "Turbo" (no pun intended).
    • They also put in a great animation detail where the Nicelanders move in choppy 8-bit NES like walk cycles with limited character frames to replicate how characters used to move in old arcade video games during the 1980s, which shows how dedicated Disney were when making this film.
    • They even show that when a game suffers from a game-breaking bug and ends up crashing, for an arcade game it's very severe and can result in the game getting plugged and no longer being available to play there anymore, as proof of Turbo moving games and ruining one's experience with another with the flashback explained by Felix.
    • They portray video games very closely to how they are in real life arcades very faithfully, even down to the graphics and how the characters are animated shows that Disney were able to make this movie look and feel like a video game while still keeping the same artstyle that they use for many of their CGI films.
  5. There's a very effective running gag about Ralph being unable to stop breaking stuff.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 Super Mario Bros. Movie.
  8. The movie references many video game genres like the old arcade cabinet classics, racing video games, and sci-fi first-person-shooters.
  9. 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!"
    • "Name?"
      ”Lara Croft.”
    • "You are bad guy, but this does not mean you are bad guy."
  10. 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.
  11. It is very original, even by the standards of a homage. It also proves that cliches can be put to good use.
  12. It also delivers a strong message about being yourself instead of someone else.
  13. Solid and excellent 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.
  14. The emotional core of 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 were 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 it as their friendship alone was enough to keep him happy.
    • Their falling out, culminating in Ralph decimating her kart, in his defense, King Candy/Turbo manipulated him into doing so, is extremely heartbreaking.
  15. 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.
  16. Overall, it's a great love letter to retro gaming, since the whole movie is set in old or modern arcades.
  17. Epic final battle that is very reminiscent of a boss fight in a video game, since Ralph tries to avoid a giant robotic Turbo while at the same time destroying the giant Coke Volcano to distract the Cyborgs and destroy them once and for all, and it all ends in Ralph being saved by Vanellope and Turbo being destroyed in the end.

Qualities That Have Gone Turbo

  1. 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.
  2. 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, it's 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 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, does not make an 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 a 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 an appearance in an arcade game Mega Man: The Power Fighters.
  3. 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 it's worth mentioning that they are alcoholic beverages.
  4. 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.

Reception

Wreck-It Ralph received mostly favorable 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.

Trivia

  • Dr. Wily, the main antagonist from the Mega Man Classic Series, was originally going to 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, and 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 gone through a number of cancelled and uncancelled calls along the way, before finally getting the go-ahead. As well, 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 where Sonic loses some rings because they said he could only lose rings if he were hit. The only reason Q*Bert got prominence in the movie was that Namco took offense 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 whom 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 of Eggman's role. Jim Cummings who voiced Robotnik in Sonic SatAM had lines yet they were cut.

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