(NOTE: do not read this review if you don’t wish to be spoiled.)
I’m not as much of a gamer as I used to be. One of the reasons is that I find it more time-consuming and I just don’t have the luxury I used to have. I’m really more of an “old-school” gamer. Old school games really had that pick up and play feel that you just don’t see in today’s variety. Wreck-It Ralph is truly a celebration of classic games. There’s so many cameos–Sonic the Hedgehog, M. Bison, even Q-bert (my favorite puzzle game!) makes an appearance.
The story focuses on Ralph, the villain of Fix-It Felix Jr. The point of the game is that Ralph is destroying a building as Felix, the hero, is repairing it. Despite their roles, Felix and Ralph get along. However, the residents of the building despise Ralph. It is their disdain which makes Ralph wish he could find some way to be as respected as Felix. His idea is to win a medal, which happens when you beat a level. He decides that the only way to do this is to “go turbo”–enter the other games instead of the ones you’re supposed to be in. This is actually forbidden, but he is desperate for respect. Felix pursues him throughout the movie as well.
It is then that he meets Vanelope Cruz, a character in a racing game called Sugar Rush (think Candy Crush Saga meets Super Mario Kart) . Vanelope is a glitch in the game who wants to be an actual character, however the other characters won’t let her race because they fear should she win, the game would short-circuit.
What I like best about the movie is that its moral is that there are no pre-determined roles. Ralph learns through Cruz that he has potential to be a hero. He learns that he doesn’t have to be evil.
I also like what it says about Vanelope. At the end of the movie, Vanelope is given the opportunity to be an actual character and erase her status as a glitch. But through Ralph, she has learned to accept herself for who she is. This is a great lesson to teach children. Each of us is born with a glitch. And sometimes, that glitch can be a strength. I certainly see my autism as an example of a glitch with a strength.
Even if you don’t like video games, I’m sure you can appreciate this movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, what’s stopping you?