“Wreck-It Ralph” energetically mulls over escaping traditional roles, embodied in the titular character’s search for change and validation.
Like in “Toy Story’s” secret world of living toys, video game characters meet up and coexist with each other behind the scenes, crossing over to each other’s connected environments after their busy days. As an arcade game’s villain, Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) routinely destroys parts of a building, which is fixed by the game player through the hero Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer).
Tired of being an outcast and his repetitive role, he sets out to win a medal for heroism in a faster-paced, violent game. After his brief adventure, unavoidable circumstances bring him to the candy-coated world of the karting game Sugar Rush instead of home. Ralph meets another misfit, the pesky kid Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), rejected by most Sugar Rush denizens because of her “glitchy” nature.
Visually lush and splendidly realized, “Wreck-It Ralph” introduces a variety of distinctly designed worlds without losing its narrative focus. It also manages to corral pre-existing characters from “old school” games and food products, the “crossover” and corresponding references pleasantly affecting the film’s original protagonists.
The luscious designs of the Sugar Rush world and its confection-covered venues are appealingly animated. There’s a good mix of characters as well; the gun-toting Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) and King Candy (Alan Tudyk) also complement the story, both prominent figures developed satisfactorily.
“Wreck-It Ralph” keeps things busy without looking cluttered. A fun and meaningful treat, Ralph’s quest is definitely a worthwhile adventure.