For some unknown reason Wreck-It Ralph was released in the United States three months earlier than here in the United Kingdom, meaning I had to sit here while all the praise rolled in and the Academy Award nomination got announced and I was yet to see it. Finally I have, but did it live up to my expectations?

For anyone who doesn’t know (but lets face it why wouldn’t you?) Wreck-It Ralph is a story of an arcade video game villain named, you guessed it, Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly). Ralph grows tired of being a villain due to his lack of recognition and being forced to live in the dump while his rival in the game, the good guy, Fix-It Felix Jr (Jack McBrayer). received medals, cakes and parties. Eventually, Ralph decides to go ‘turbo’ and abandons his game, causing disruption and hysteria throughout the arcade as he puts several other games in jeopardy of being shut down.

Wreck-It Ralph is ultimately a story about change; it promotes the idea that it doesn’t matter what people think of you, you always have the ability to go against your ‘programming’ and be what you want to be. Whether it’s Ralph being a hero, Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) giving into her feelings and going against ‘the most depressing back story ever’ or Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) turning her ‘glitch’ into something positive. Disney always try and promote these messages to kids throughout their films but that doesn’t mean that Wreck-It Ralph is just for children; there is just as much to behold for adults.

In almost every scene for the first half an hour there are references to hundreds of video game characters of past and present. Whether that be Pac-Man, Bowser, Ken and Ryu, Frogger or Q*Bert, there is something for everyone and part of the fun while watching Wreck-It Ralph is trying to spot all the references to video game history, right down to the 8-bit movement of the residents of Ralph’s game. It has an incredibly authentic video game feel to the world which only enhances the viewing.

The four heroes of the story: Wreck-It Ralph, Fix-It Felix Jr, Sergeant Calhoun and Venellope are some of the best characters Disney have ever come up with in my opinion. I was incredibly impressed with Calhoun and thought she was a great addition to the story but for me, it was Venellope von Scheetz who stole the show. Her animation, the way the character is written combined with Silverman’s voicing talents make her just about the most adorable thing to ever be seen on screen. There are some really heartwarming and also heartbreaking moments between Venellope and Ralph but it becomes one of the best on screen partnerships out there.

And as for the twist… wow! The more you get through the film you realise what the danger is for Ralph and Venellope and you come to accept who the real bad guy is and you’re quite content there. And then Rich Moore (the brilliant director of the film) hits you with a twist that you wouldn’t have seen coming in your wildest dreams but, in actual fact, makes perfect sense. This reveal was one of the most enjoyable parts of the film for me.

Wreck-It Ralph is a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend your time for adults and children alike. For many people Toy Story is seen as the epitome of animation, the best animated film ever made. Now it has true competition.

My Rating: 10/10.

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