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Wreck-It Ralph - Review

Wreck It Ralph

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

WHAT if arcade game bad guys had feelings too? It’s a question posed by Disney for their latest animation and one that’s answered in genuinely charming fashion.

Wreck-It Ralph is, as his name suggests, a man who likes to destroy things. But he’s misunderstood and hankering for more from life. Plus, he’s got a big heart.

For starters, he’s envious of the popularity afforded to his game’s hero, Fix-It Felix. And he feels there is a new world beyond his horizon waiting to embrace his skills. So, Ralph begins to game jump – first to a violent shoot ‘em up where butch marines are pitted against bug-like aliens and then to a sugar-coated racing world presided over by King Candy.

It’s here that he meets the similarly misunderstood Vanellope, a glitch who has been banned from racing, but whom Ralph resolves to help fulfil her destiny.

Directed with infectious vigour by Rich Moore, Wreck-It Ralph is – like all the best animations – a film that has something to offer all ages.

For kids, it’s fast-moving, colourful and populated by fun characters, deftly combining heartfelt storytelling with stunning set pieces and plenty of comedy to boot.

And for adults it also plays on a welcome sense of nostalgia for the arcade games of yesteryear as well as innumerable clever pop culture references.

And while the story arcs may well be predictable and, to a degree, formulaic, the more sentimental elements never feel as forced or manipulative as some genre entries.

Voice-wise, it also boasts a great central performance from John C Reilly as Ralph (nicely combining vulnerability with bravado), as well as winning support from the likes of Sarah Silverman (Vanellope), Alan Tudyk (King Candy), Jane Lynch (as Calhoun) and 30 Rock’s Jack McBrayer (as Felix).

Wreck-It Ralph is therefore something of a complete package, an effortless crowdpleaser that engages the head and the heart, while tickling the funny-bone too.

What’s more, it also arrives in cinemas with the sublime Oscar nominated short Paperman, which is another reason not to miss out on going to see it.

Certificate: PG
Running time: 108mins
UK Release Date: February 8, 2013