I tend to measure the quality of any Disney movie by one thing - does it make me cry? If the answer is yes, then I consider it a job well done by the House of Mouse because my heart is (mostly) made of stone.
Wreck-It Ralph made me cry. It also made me laugh and remember how much I used to love playing Sonic on my Sega Game Gear. But mostly it made me feel warm and fuzzy and completely enthralled for 108 minutes.
Ralph is the bad guy in Fit It Felix Jr, just one of the games in an arcade where kids go to spend their pocket money. He spends his days smashing up a building and being thrown off the roof by its inhabitants when good guy Felix has fixed his mess. And when everyone goes home after the arcade is closed, all he can do is go to his Bad Guys Anonymous meeting and then snuggle up in a pile of bricks for the night in the dump where he lives. It's a harsh life being a bad guy, especially when you're not a bad guy.
All Ralph wants is a friend, and maybe some cake, and definitely a heroes' medal. So he sets off to get one in the action-packed Heroes Duty and everything kind of goes wrong from there. Although actually it doesn't, because his quest for a gold medal brings him something far more precious: friendship.
*hangs head in shame for writing such emotional fluff*
Wreck-It Ralph is the type of story Disney tells very well and in this case it's delivered with incredible attention to detail and a lot of love from the creative team. Ralph's journey from wrecking stuff to making a life for himself is familiar territory, so you won't be surprised that he learns lessons about the value of friendship and becomes a hero in the eyes of speed-racer wannabe Vanellope.
The film looks stunning, the voice cast is brilliant and the gooey emotional centre is a satisfying treat. Sales of Diet Coke and Mentos are likely to increase when this film opens, but you'll understand that when you see the film for yourself.
Other things I liked about this film
- Pong and Sonic in Game Central Station.
- The sweets and cakes in Sugar Rush, including the flaming marshmallows as torches outside King Candy's palace, Oreo cookie guards, doughnuts as policemen...
- Everything that Jane Lynch's character Calhoun says could be from her Glee script, "the apocalypse and Armageddon just had a baby, and it's ugly!".
- Disney's new short Paperman played before the film, great to see this on the big screen.
If you don't cry during this film then you're far deader inside than me.
"If that little kid likes me, then how bad can I be?"