Video games and movies rarely mix. If you need an example just look at any of the Resident Evil movies. Or Lara Croft. Or Max Payne. Or Prince of Persia. Or that second Lara Croft movie. Or Resident Evil 2 through 153. Or Prince of Persia again. Did I make my point?
But despite the silver screen’s bad history with video games, today is a new day and there’s a new movie coming out based on a video game. Except this video game isn’t a real video game and is instead set in a world with real video games. Also people still go to arcades in this world. Confused yet?
In Wreck-It Ralph, which hits theatres today, the bad guy from a popular arcade game, Ralph, decides that he’s had enough of his job and wants a change. He wants to be good. Abandoning his game, Ralph goes from game to game in the arcade trying to be the hero.
For those of you thinking that this movie sounds an awful lot like Toy Story, you couldn’t be more wrong. Wreck-It Ralph is about what happens to video game characters when no one is around or playing with them… Oh. Okay so yeah, it’s actually an awful lot like Toy Story in that way, but not in many others ways.
Wreck-It Ralph is as innovative and clever as it is beautifully animated and skillfully told. There’s a lot of references for those old enough to know what Pac-Man is, and there’s some nice twists and turns in the plot that make this more than an average kid’s movie.
With Pixar basically dominating the computer animation genre since they invented it with Toy Story, every other studio has really struggled with making anything as layered, complex, and thoroughly amazing as movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, or The Incredibles. There’s been successful attempts every now and then, but for every Rango there’s about ten-thousand Shreks. Literally. There’s been like at least ninety different Shrek movies at this point.
Though usually only Pixar can make a Pixar quality movie (let’s just ignore the last two), Wreck-It Ralph comes very close, only stumbling when it comes to childish humour or predictable moments. Though the film is primarily meant for kids, it does do a very good job of being entertaining for all ages and not making anyone under the age of 9 want to power down and stop playing.
With great voice-acting by John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, and Jack McBrayer, as well as some beautiful animation and a good story with some heart to it, Wreck-It Ralph is a great computer animated film from a studio that isn’t Pixar. At its best, Wreck-It Ralph will make you laugh and leave you fully satisfied. At its worst, well… at least it’s not another Shrek movie.