With The Simpsons and Futurama director Rich Moore at the helm, it should come as little surprise that Disney’s video game-centric animation Wreck-It Ralph (2012) serves up something for everyone with its tale of self-acceptance – which, in the wrong hands could have fallen spectacularly on its face. Set in the pixelated world of fictional game Fix-It Felix, our titular hero Ralph (John C. Reilly) is forever confined to the role of the game’s villain, whilst snubbed by his fellow characters for constantly destroying the work of the title’s hero Felix, Ralph decides to break out of the Fix-It Felix realm and take up residence in the world of a different game.
Eventually, Ralph winds up in the world of Mario Kart copycat Sugar Rush, where he forms an unlikely bond with an equally maligned character known as Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). The pair subsequently embark upon a journey of self-discovery and acceptance that manages to successfully straddle the line between cringe-inducing tat and heartwarming charm.
As with his aforementioned most notable works, Moore skilfully succeeds in providing something for audiences right across the board with Wreck-It Ralph. Gamers are sure to delight in the raft of cameos from legendary gaming character past and present, while adults and children alike will be able to enjoy what is essentially sweet and touching tale of an unlikely friendship.
Visually, the film is also resplendent throughout, while its sounds effects, many of which offer knowing nods to video games gone by, are equally notable. The one gripe many have understandably had with Wreck-It Ralph is its over-zealous approach to product placement; there is only so much waving of Mentos packets and Diet Coke logos that one can take before an air of cynicism begins to infiltrate the viewing experience. However, while the whirring cogs of the corporate machine may be almost audible in places, only the stone-hearted among you will fail to be won over by Moore’s latest creation.