10 Reasons Why We Love ‘Wreck-It Ralph’
When Funk, Jr. takes a liking to a new movie we wind up watching it almost every day. Luckily for us he has pretty good taste in cinema, with The Muppets, The Muppet Movie, WALL-E and How to Train Your Dragon getting the most play. Recently he’s taken a shine to Wreck-It Ralph and would be watching it on a loop if I didn’t occasionally boot him out of the theatre so I can play Tomb Raider. Still, I’ve seen it well over a dozen times (not bad considering it isn’t out in this backwards country yet) and still sit down every time it comes on. So why do we love it so much?
**SPOILERS FOLLOW – READING THEM MAY CAUSE YOU TO GO TURBO**
#10 The Real Gaming Characters
The film-makers really could’ve done just as good a movie using new characters created purely for the movie. The ones that they did create fit easily into gaming archetypes, but the movie also includes so many easily recognisable figures makes it feel like part of the real gaming landscape. Pac-Man’s jaw dropping after Ralph smashes the cake is very cool, but Zangief easily wins out with “but then if I weren’t bad guy, who would crush mens skulls like sparrow eggs between thighs?”
#9 – The Dialogue in Hero’s Duty
Pretty much everything said by Calhoun is a sliced of fried gold. Here’s some examples:
‘”Fear” is a four-letter word, ladies! You wanna go peepee in your big-boy slacks, keep it to yourself!’
‘This is it, ladies! The kitten whispers and tickle fights end now!’
‘Lucky for him, otherwise I would’ve slapped his corpse.’
#8 – This Bit
#7 – Alan Tudyk Playing Both Goofy and Scary
We’ve seen Alan Tudyk playing goofy in Firefly and many other places. We’ve also seen him playing intensely psychotic as Alpha in Dollhouse. In this outing we get to see him bringing both performances to the table. He’s almost annoyingly goofy as King Candy (although we can forgive most of it after the glasses routine) and then when he switches into Turbo he’s almost traumatisingly frightening.
#6 – 8-Bit Animation
Just one of many little details added to the animation that made this such a great movie to watch. In the 8-bit games the characters retain their limited movement and animation even when in three dimensions. It must’ve been a job and a half to strike the right balance, but the work certainly shows.
#5 – The Video Games Look Real
The people behind this movie clearly love video games. This is never more apparent in the fictional games that they created – ‘Fix It Felix Jr’, ‘Hero’s Duty’ and ‘Sugar Rush’. They perfectly capture the feeling of each genre and era of gaming. It wasn’t long before they got ported onto iOS and became best sellers, and rumour has it ‘Sugar Rush’ is heading for the 3DS.
#4 – The Main Characters are Not Completely Good or Evil
An increasingly rare thing in family entertainment the characters in this film aren’t just black and white sides of a conflict. The recent Rise of the Guardians was praised for it’s supporting cast but similarly criticised for the protagonist and antaganist having no character to them. Wreck-It Ralph breaks the mould by creating a group of characters who don’t sit in either camp. Ralph is programmed to be a villain and is depressed about being shunned for it, but he doesn’t know the right way to go about earning their respect. Felix is the focus of much of Ralph’s ire but he’s simply oblivious has to why, being that he’s constantly being praised by those around him. It’s what makes the movie endure through repeat viewings.
#3 – Easter Eggs
There is plenty to spot beyond the usual Mickey Mouse ears in this film. If you’re quick you might catch the Pong paddles playing in Game Central Station, or recognise the Metal Gear Solid exclamation point, but gaming geeks might see a bit more. Among the graffiti you may notice ‘Aerith Lives’ (reference to the rumoured methods to resurrect the character in Final Fantasy VII), ‘Leroy Jenkins’ (a battle cry used in World of Warcraft) and ‘All Your Base Are Belong to Us’, the most famous mistranslation is gaming. Plus there’s the Konami Code and the original Star Wars Trilogy arcade cabinet.
#2 – Vanellope and the Emotional Angle
There’s one thing we can tell you for free – Vanellope is unlikely to make the Disney Princess franchise even thought she meets the qualifications (of being a princess in a Disney film). Just like Meg from Hercules didn’t make the cut from being off message Vanellope has already been skipped over in favour of Merida and a character from a movie that’s still being made. This is a real shame, because she’s a great potential role model, and very much the emotional heart of the movie. She’s cheeky but it’s not her defining characteristic, as she’s also determined, crafty and tries to remain optimistic in the face of literally everyone who knows her treating her like dirt. She sticks up for herself and works tirelessly towards her goals.
Because she’s such a fantastic character she becomes central to the most heartbreaking moments in the movie. When King Candy lays out the consequences for her racing for Ralph, and the subsequent scene where he smashes her car, it’s a difficult moment to watch. Eventually it’s her triumph that resonates stronger than Ralph’s, and she handles it with a bucket of class.
#1 – The End Credits
Nothing makes me want to start the movie from the beginning again quite like this sequence…