Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Walt Disney

Directed by:

Rich Moore (TV’s Futurama)


Voices of John C. Reilly as Wreck-It Ralph; Jack McBrayer as Fix-It Felix; Sarah Silverman as Vanellope; Jane Lynch as Sgt Calhoun

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

Wreck-It Ralph

The game is simple: Ralph wrecks buildings, and Felix fixes them. But Ralph is sick of being treated like a bad guy. So one day, he runs away to join Hero’s Duty, a futuristic war game.

Along the way, Ralph befriends a childish “glitch” named Vanellope. She’s not allowed to join the other racers in her game due to faulty coding. It's only when these two outcasts get together that they grow beyond their programming.

Ralph’s disappearance puts his fellow game characters in danger. After all, no Wreck-It Ralph means no wrecking. If a child drops a quarter into the game while he’s away, the machine will go out of order . . . permanently.

It’s fun to watch classic video game characters mix and mingle in their “off hours.” Gamers will cheer for the inclusion of 8-bit villains—Bowser, the Pac-Man ghosts and brawlers from both Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat attend Ralph’s “bad guy” therapy group—but, lacking context, younger viewers might find some characters frightening (and parents might frown at the accurate but revealing outfits).

Ralph bumbles, stumbles and crashes around constantly, his giant body ill-fitted for the other games he invades. The soldiers in Hero’s Duty fight hundreds of giant cy-bugs that splat on impact. And while characters respawn after dying in their own games, death in someone else’s game is permanent.

The real villain of Wreck-It Ralph is the dialogue. Ralph and Penelope repeatedly call each other names and giggle over toilet humor. Characters utter dozens of startled exclamations, ranging from harmless (“Jammity jammer!”) to deliberately almost-crude.

At some point, most of us feel limited by our “programming.” Wreck-It Ralph explains that true heroes stick by their friends, no matter what. It’s a comforting lesson of love and self-sacrifice, but one that’s slightly undercut by mean-spirited insults and bodily-function jokes. If Ralph were really a game, it would probably be rated E10+.

Copyright © 2012 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com