GeekDad Report: Wreck-It Ralph
My 5 year old boy laughing in the seat most of the movie is probably the easiest way to summarize this movie.
The evening started off … eventual enough, Lincoln and I were ready to roll out with my mother in law that was going to the movie with us. My two year old daughter was crying her eyes out because I was leaving and had a tight grip around my neck as I was holding her. This was probably the low point, yeah, definitely the low point of my Wreck-It Ralph experience. I managed to have my heart torn out as I had to pass my daughter to my wife and just walk away as my little girl wailed about wanting to see Wreck-It Ralph with us. She’ll have to wait for the DVD release.
This was an advance screening of the movie, so, sadly, we didn’t get to catch any previews. Just some stuff for ABC Family or whatnot, which is owned by Disney. Then there was the preshow, which I’ve never experienced for a Disney movie, but after thinking about it, made a lot of sense. The preshow consisted of what I’m assuming are people from the local Disney Radio station, they taught kids dances to songs and did some games. Tons of kids were down there, my son even went down after he found out he could get free swag for participating. I should have known that nobody knows how to keep kids entertained and excited for a movie like Disney, I’m looking forward to more of these screenings when it comes to kids movies.
Before I get into the actual movie, I do want to comment on the beautiful animated short that was before it titled “Paperman” The music was perfectly done as it played to the emotions of our Paperman, who bumped into a woman that took his breath away as he stood there holding his stack of papers outside a train station. A piece flew off and hit her on the face, leaving her red lipstick kiss mark on the paper as she handed it back to him. It was a wonderful story of him trying to find her, finding her, then trying to get her attention again. It was wonderfully done and almost had my sappy dad heart making my eyes leak. Damn my leaky eyes and sappy dad heart, luckily Lincoln was laughing his little laugh toward the end to break me out of my downward spiral toward CryingTown.
Wreck-It Ralph is a wonderful movie about an arcade and what happens with the video game machines that inhabit it in when the store closes for the night. Ralph (Voiced by John C Reilly) is the “Bad Guy” in a game called Fix It Felix Junior. He’s eight feet tall and 600 pounds (I may be off on the numbers that he said at the beginning of the movie) Oh, and he’s got a temper and that gigantic hands just waiting to smash things and make the building he lives in look unflattering. The Hero of his game is Felix, with his golden hammer (apparently inherited from his father) that can fix anything that touches the hammer. After 30 years of being the bad guy day in and out, Ralph’s tired of his station in life, and wants to just be the Hero for once, and maybe get to stand on the rooftop of the building in his game with all the people and have them like him, give him a pie. He tries to express his feelings with the “Bad Guy Group” that we’ve been seeing in the commercials but that doesn’t get him far. So, he goes Turbo, leaves his game in search of a medal to finally proclaim him a Hero and then maybe people from his game will treat him differently at like him. Wreck-It Ralph is his journey in that attempt, and like any journey, it’s full of ups and downs.
I don’t want to give the movie away, honestly, I could just lay everything out there at this point because I enjoyed the movie so much. It’s not my place to ruin any of the fun for you though. I will give you some things to be on the lookout for. There are TONS of retro gaming inside jokes and characters that had a lot of adults chuckling in the theater while the kids remained silent. When a certain Konami Code came into play, the chuckles of my fellow retro gamer dads echoed through the theater and left me with a smile on my face. We all knew it HAD to be coming at some point, and they played the card wonderfully. Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz was nicely done, Lincoln really liked her character and laughed at all her little jokes, especially her take on the word “Doody”. Yeah, 5 year olds, I know.
The story behind Wreck-It Ralph is entertaining for adults and kids both, especially if you’re an adult that liked to play video games when you were growing up. It is chock full of all kinds of little snippets for you to pick up on and pass on to the little gamer with you. Well, if you have a kid, if you don’t, this is still a fun movie to see with some friends or a date night. Our screening was in 3D, which had its moments, but if you’re like me and your eyesight isn’t that great or you just don’t know about paying the extra to see it in 3D, I suggest you just go to the regular screenings. Yes, the 3D does add some “heh, cool” parts, they don’t justify the extra expense. Disney knows what it’s doing when it comes to making family fun movies that everyone can watch and enjoy, Wreck-It Ralph is just a continuation of that legacy. Find the Hero in you and check out Wreck-It Ralph, you have a damn good time.