Disney’s new 3D animated feature, Wreck-It Ralph, explores the ‘secret world’ of arcade video games, uniting several classic gaming characters in a tale about the titular Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) – a Donkey Kong-esque human baddie who sets out to prove he can be a good guy. The film essentially takes a very Pixar-style approach to storytelling, mixing a kid-friendly world with themes more likely to resonate with adults (career dissatisfaction, identity issues, etc.).
The first Wreck-It Ralph trailer introduced the film’s wannabe-hero while teasing cameos from gaming icons like Sonic the Hedgehog, Zangief, and Bowser, among others. Today we have an international promo that’s somewhat less plot-oriented than its peers, but offers more imagery from the shiny and occasionally candy-colored video game worlds (literally, with the fake game Sugar Rush) visited by Ralph on his quest.
Wreck-It Ralph (voice of Reilly) longs to be as beloved as his game’s perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix (voice of McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes… so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan—win a medal—but soon wrecks everything, and accidently unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph’s only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Silverman), a young troublemaking “glitch” from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it’s “Game Over” for the entire arcade?
Disney’s previous attempts to stray away from its traditional animated princess fairy tale/literary adaptations with its 3D animated projects have shown a trend of improvement, beginning with the (at best) lukewarm critical reception for Chicken Little, going on to the admired (but less financially-successful) Meet the Robinsons, and then culminating with the critical and box office success of Bolt. Thereafter, the studio went back to the drawing board with the popular Rapunzel flick Tangled, but it is now expanding its horizons once again.
Judging by trailers – and the footage shown at Disney’s Comic-Con panel – Wreck-It Ralph does not look to buck that trend of higher-quality material. It has the makings of a good mix of heart, humor, and vibrant animation from the Mouse House – not to mention, the nostalgic video game content is sure to help draw in older audience members, as well as the usual family crowd.
Wreck-It Ralph opens in U.S. theaters on November 2nd, 2012.
Source: Walt Disney Studios UK