Jake the movie guy: Wreck-It Ralph review

Ralph is the “bad guy” in a long lasting video game in Disney’s “Wreck-it Ralph.” (Photo by Ricky Brigante used under Creative Commons license.)

By Jake O’Bannon, Columnist

Why didn’t you all tell me how good “Wreck-It Ralph” was when it came out back in November? I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed in you.

All joking aside…what a great movie! It may just be me, but I love how a well-made children’s movie such as this is able to bring out such innocence. Directed by Rich Moore, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph perfectly portrays the dangers of misperception and the joys of truth.

Disney has done it again with this movie. Though portions may seem Toy Story-esque, the concept is fully unique and often times brilliant.

The story centers on Ralph, the “bad guy” in a long lasting arcade game called Fix-It Felix. As the game’s name illustrates, the hero of the game is Felix, who works to fix the apartment Ralph is trying to wreck. Felix is the character the gamer is controlling.

The film’s genius is revealed once the game stops. Rather than seeing the story from the perspective of the person playing the game, we see it from the angle of the characters. When the arcade closes for the day, the character’s workday ends. Felix and the other characters stay together in the apartment, while Ralph goes back to his home (pile of bricks) for the night.

Ralph doesn’t necessarily mind his job; it is what comes after that bothers him. On the inside Ralph is a good person, but his job and image makes him off to be a bad one.

These issues lead Ralph to go to a “Bad Anon” group with other bad guys from famous video games, where their slogan is “One Game at a Time.” At the end of each meeting they recite their Bad Guy affirmation: “I’m bad, and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me.” This entire scene is hilarious, and possibly my favorite sequence of the entire movie.

Though the members of the group accept him, Ralph knows he was made for bigger and better things. Rather than staying around and accepting the life he knows and the perceptions others have of him, he leaves the game in search of what he believes will bring him respect from others: a medal.

To do this, Ralph must leave his game and enter another. He takes a train to Game Central Station (This is actually a surge protector that all the games are plugged into. Genius, right?). To make an hour and forty-five minute story short, Ralph finds himself in a game called Sugar Rush with a new friend named Vanellope.

Vanellope is different from the other characters in the game. What differentiates her is that she often glitches. Because of this she is not allowed to race and is, for the most part, shunned from the Sugar Rush society. When Ralph meets her he feels sympathy for her because of the way she is treated due to her glitch.

As I often say in my reviews, I hope you watch this movie to fill in the holes of the story. But I want to focus on the message the story tells.

Ultimately, the people of Sugar Rush find that Vanellope was given her glitch by the power-hungry king. Once they realized this, the hearts of the people changed and they looked at Vanellope as she really was, not as what they had been told she was. And the same went for Ralph, because when the people in his game heard about how he treated Vanellope they began to accept him as well.

The message here is simple but so important. How would our world be different if we were able to look at people for who they really are and not what we have been told about them by others?

We are playing with fire when we take part in rumors and lies, yet it is so easy to fall into (especially at a small Christian college, am I right?)

I hope this film can be a reminder of how dangerous that kind of talk and misperception can be, and how much good can come from truth.

What do you think?