New Release: Wreck-It Ralph
What is a hero? What does it take to be happy with what we have? Simple questions, with hard answers, but Wreck-It Ralph meets the challenge.
In an old 8-bit video game, Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the nemesis to the game's hero Fix-It Felix, Jr. (Jack McBrayer). The game has survived at the local arcade for over three decades, but within in the world of the game, Ralph is tired of being the bad guy because he finds himself extremely lonely. Ralph decides to "game jump" to Hero's Duty to win (i.e. steal) a hero's medal so the other characters of his game will finally show him some respect, but an accident throws him into the new racing game Sugar Rush, where he meets Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), an outcast in her own world, whom Ralph decides to help gain acceptance.
In a society where heroes are shown as Avengers, Batman and Spider-Man in less than a three-month span at the theater, Wreck-It Ralph takes a more intimate approach of what it means to be a hero for its younger audience. Ralph sets out to become the hero to many, but what really matters to him is being the hero to just one little girl. It's an excellent lesson to a younger generation that has been bombarded with endless superhero films for the past few years. Our children need to know that helping just one person, especially when extreme bullying is involved and for which you may never receive any massive recognition, can be just as meaningful as saving the entire world. It's a lesson our children need to learn as they grow up and realize that the notion of superheroes is just fun and games, but real heroes exist in everyday life, just not as celebrated.
But Wreck-It Ralph holds just as much for the older, more cynical crowd, besides a nostalgic wink to the days at the arcade. In Ralph's gaming world becoming "unplugged" is a harsh reality for the characters at every turn. Characters whose games have gone out of commission are left to wander "Game Central Station" begging for scraps, no doubt a reflection on our own world's recession and rise in unemployment. Ralph's disgust with his "job" and his search for greener pastures, despite the threat to his own game should he not return, reminds the rest of us to be thankful for what we have and be the best at what we do, even if we have to take t one day at a time. We may not have ended up in the glamorous lives we dreamed of a kids, but that doesn't mean we're wasting the lives we do have.
With lovable characters, great animation, and a touch of genuine cleverness, Wreck-It Ralph imparts very important lessons to the entire family while making us laugh out loud.