It’s not often I get the opportunity to take my kids to the cinema. In fact our recent visit was a first for my two daughters R and LA. The outing was a reward for both girls reaching the end of their reward charts – it had been a long time coming!
The night before I sat them both down in front of the laptop so they could see which movies were showing, and a few long-winded trailers later they both decided on Wreck-it Ralph – the latest from Disney in their ‘animated classics’ series.
The plot is pretty clever in my opinion! In a slightly run-down arcade, time goes by and numerous games machines come and go, but just like in reality the odd classic stands the test of time – and in the case of this movie, that classic game is called Fix-it Felix Jr. It’s the job of Fix-it Felix Jr to repair a tall block of flats after his in-game nemesis, Wreck-it Ralph has destroyed it.
At the end of each day the characters of Fix-it Felix Jr head into the now fully repaired tower block, with the extras all gathering around Fix-it Felix Jr to congratulate him. Wreck-it Ralph however lives in a large pile of bricks, away from the view of the screen and after settling into his ‘dump’ a party in the tower block awakes him. He goes in to discover the games’ anniversary being celebrated, and he had not been invited.
After a bit of verbal with a little fat dude, Wreck-it Ralph decides he must change his ways to be appreciated and vows to venture into another game to win a medal, to show he deserves some respect and not to be ignored and left on the sidelines alone.
Trains from every game in the arcade take the characters through the electric cables to the large multi-socket adapters they’re all powered by – inside the adapters? Game Central Station! A place where characters can now roam freely between games until morning comes and marks the start of another days play.
After leaving a bar, Wreck-it Ralph comes across a drunken, heavily armored character in distress at what he has seen during the day in his own game. Before long Wreck-it Ralph hears of the medal available in the game, and after stripping the soldier off and taking his armor and weapons he heads off to Hero’s Duty.
Morning comes and it’s not long before Ralph is thrown in at the deep end. A young girl decides to play Hero’s Duty, and into battle he goes! Completely out of his depth, he finds a standalone character known as ‘First Person Shooter’ which see’s exactly what the player sees and demands an end to the game – not only is the little girl confused, but Ralph’s new comrades are pretty peed off too! The game comes to an end, and Wreck-it Ralph slips off to find this medal before a new game begins.
Meanwhile back at Fix-it Felix Jr, the dreaded ‘out of order’ sticker is bound for it’s glass as players complain that it’s broken. Of course it’s broken – with Wreck-it Ralph elsewhere, the game lacks a vital part of it’s cast! If Ralph doesn’t return by the following morning, Fix-it Felix Jr will be unplugged never to return, so Felix himself heads out into Game Central Station to find Ralph and bring him home.
Wreck-it Ralph himself finally reaches his medal in Hero’s Duty but inadvertently activates a few evil bug eggs, a little battle breaks out and before you know it Ralph has slipped into an aircraft unaware that he has company – and that company sends him spinning out of Hero’s Duty, through Game Central Station and into a disgustingly colourful and happy kart-racing game called Suger Rush where he crash lands, before setting off on foot to find the medal he’s dropped somewhere on the journey.
He spots it up a tree! Little does he know that in Sugar Rush, double-striped branches disappear when you grab them, so climbing it isn’t as easy as he first thinks. When he does near the top a creepy looking child awaits, named Venelope von Schweetz who takes the medal and uses it as a golden coin to gain entry into a random roster race – held each night by the Suger Rush racers to decide which of them will be selectable by players the following day.
The ruler of the Suger Rush kingdom King Candy, however isn’t best pleased when he realises who this mystery entrant is – it turns out Venelope von Schweetz is a glitch, and has been banished from the game play One thing leads to another and before long Ralph finds this common ground with Venelope and decides he must help her become a racer once again, with Venelope promising to give Ralph the first medal she wins when she races.
Together they break into the Kart Bakery and create a car, before Wreck-it Ralph teaches her to drive it. She’s ready to go! But shortly before the next race begins, King Candy visits Ralph for a heart to heart, telling him that Venelope is a glitch – which until now Ralph is unaware of. Glitches cannot leave the game, ever, and King Candy tells Ralph she was banished for her own good as if players saw her glitching during a game, they would complain and the game would be unplugged. Every character could leave into Game Central Station, except for Venelope who would die with the game when it’s unplugged.
Forced into a difficult decision, Wreck-it Ralph destroys the car made for Venelope leaving her in tears. Although it turns out King Candy isn’t telling the whole truth about his reasons for banishing Venelope von Schweetz from the game – or her true identity.
I won’t spoil things entirely by carrying on, and a couple of vital details of the story line have been deliberately left out near the beginning too. All things considered I think my girls enjoyed being at the cinema for the first time more than the movie itself, but to be honest it’s not exactly a ‘girly’ film, however they were fully focused and laughing until 15 minutes from the end so they clearly were entertained.
If your children haven’t seen it yet and they enjoy other movies from Disney’s animated classics series, the chances are they will enjoy Wreck-it Ralph just as much! Plenty of funny moments and if you kids enjoy video-games as well, this is perfect for them with a number of very familiar faces making an appearance.