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Capone longs to return to his childhood arcade after watching the glorious WRECK-IT RALPH!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

Plain and simple, Disney's WRECK-IT RALPH is a hoot. But as much as it's being pushed as the Roger Rabbit of videogame movies (characters from many of the most familiar games make appearances in a it), the film actually owes as much to familiar candy and dessert products as it does new and vintage games. The premise is simple: after 30 years of being the unlovable bad guy in the arcade game Fix-It Felix Jr., Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly as the perfect schlub) decides he'd like to be the one earning medals and the affection of players. So he abandons his game and heads off into other games, including Sugar Rush, a game set in a world made of sweet confectionary items and infected by a cute "glitch" character named Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), who is being hunted by other characters in the game for reasons unknown.

Not being much of a player of modern games, I was impressed how many old-school games were represented in WRECK-IT RALPH. But the biggest threat in this universe is being unplugged because the game stops working. Ralph leaving his game means people can't play, so the other characters in his game (including the Jack McBrayer-voiced Felix) know the danger of his not returning.

Some of the best early moments are those where Ralph is trying to cope with his feelings of inadequacies, both at a group therapy session of Bad Guys (who aren't all bad guys) and at his own game's 30th anniversary party, which he isn't invited to. There is something in Reilly's voice that makes him essential in selling Ralph as a sweet man who occasionally loses his temper and breaks almost everything he touches.

On his adventures outside his own game, he wanders into a more modern game that pits human soldiers led by Sgt. Calhoun (voiced by Jane Lynch) against bug-like aliens that take on the traits of anything they eats. He manages to retrieve a much-coveted medal, but in the process unleashes the bugs into Sugar Rush, a car-racing game that sends pixie-like, little girl drivers through scenery made of sweets. Silverman is the perfect foil for Reilly, as she sasses and insults him with a playful venom. Even her character talks out of the side of her mouth like Silverman does sometimes.

Eventually, all of the main characters end up in the land of candy, and all hell breaks loose, as it should. There's nothing particularly complicated about WRECK-IT RALPH, but it does score points for being about the healing power of friendship, and for smartly using such actors as Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, Joe Lo Truglio, Ed O'Neill and even Dennis Haysbert in clever ways.

Director Rich Moore has logged in a lot of time helming such shows as "The Simpson" and "Futurama," so he's used to his humor working on several levels at once. There are as many jokes that will go right over the heads of youngsters as there are ones that will hit them squarely between the eyes. My favorite animated works tend to do that. The focus on RALPH is laughter and not necessarily story, although both are in fine for here.

Two footnotes: I went into my screening of WRECK-IT RALPH not realizing it was in 3-D, and I'll admit, I was more impressed by the 3-D in the MONSTER INC. reissue trailer than I was by anything in the feature. Some of the Sugar Rush car chases look especially great in 3-D, but this movie will work just as well without the added dimension. Particularly impressive was the short film PAPERMAN that plays before RALPH. It's a cute, funny love story about the magical powers of paper airplanes. Make sure to get to the theater on time so you don't miss it.

-- Steve Prokopy
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Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 3, 2012, 3:29 p.m. CST


    by Mitch

    Paperman was excellent, I saw the 2D version and it still was very strong. In ralph I really enjoyed some of the little things, like how they would show life outside the game both in game central and in the "real world.".Great movie, it should be in theatres for a while, word-of-mouth is great on this one.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Just got back from seeing it

    by SavourTheSea

    Liked it a lot. Good for Disney! I can only hope they get the Pixar braintrust around the table when it comes time to make Indiana Jones 5.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Can't wait

    by Phategod2

    This will be my birthday present to myself.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST

    "The Simpson"? Does O.J. have a cartoon out now?

    by Chris

  • Anyway, I just found that to be a unique swapping of what each studio usually does. Anyway, yay Wreck It Ralph!

  • an entire theater filled with five-year-olds was subjected to the trailer for the Seth Rogen/Barbra Streisand comedy The Guilt Trip, with three uses of the word "penis" within a ten-second span of time. The trailers were quickly shut off after that (halfway through the similarly age-innapropriate trailer for Jack Reacher) and an usher apologized profusely before the right feature came on, but inside, I was trying to supress my incredulous laughter. Other than that squirm-inducing mistake, the movie was loads of fun, with a perfect mix of snark, in-jokes and genuine emotion. Sarah Silverman's character bordered on annoying, but the heartfelt moments balanced it all out.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Paperman had a great beginning...

    by paper

    but fucked up the ending with sentient planes. Also it seems like it could have been a segment in Fantasia with a few tweaks.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Should have gotten Tom Cruise.

    by gruemanlives

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 6:14 p.m. CST

    What ever happened to Mister Do and Lady Bug?

    by Gorgomel

  • Seriously, this movie has a ton of great micro-gags, which is kind of what you would expect from a "Simpsons" alum (classic simpsons, also!)

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Kill screen at the end of the credits = Brilliant.

    by vic twenty

    Obviously made by people who know about the subject matter and care. Great time. And that is not really a spoiler, it is just a kill screen.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 7:17 p.m. CST

    You guys are marketing this movie hard

    by tradeskilz

    You guys got the VIP treatment from Disney or what?

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 7:21 p.m. CST


    by kesoze4

    Pretty awful, Capone. You summarize the plot unnecessarily for four paragraphs, give one to director background, the a conclusion that's just discussing the 3D with one line of recommendation thrown in just for kicks. Maybe try writing something sometime that's just about modern society and why the movie works or doesn't outside of the basic plot points?

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 7:38 p.m. CST

    The Simpson.

    by T

    Whoa! MAJOR budget cuts! LOL!

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST


    by justmyluck

    Yep, could have had the girl just follow the one paper airplane, arrive at and sadly lament over the pile of lost airplanes, only to be romantically chased right into the guy's arms by the vortex of wind and paper, but they dropped the ball and went for *Disney magic comedy sequence*. re: PAPERMAN's great beginning with the silent guy trying to connect with a girl in nearby building using paper, check out the short, SIGNS:

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 8:07 p.m. CST

    I loved this movie!

    by duct tape wallet

    I welled up with tears of sheer pleasure more than once, and the Paperman short had enormous heart. Fact: I saw the 10:45 matinee and was surrounded by wall to wall kids and their parents. I was sure that it was just going to be one kid-based distraction after another, but they were RIVETED to the story and visuals and the only sounds I heard were laughter and sounds of delight. On top of that, they SAT STILL. Astounding. I'll be seeing it again in ETX real soon.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Oh, and I can't get the "Sugar Rush" song out of my head!

    by duct tape wallet

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Paperman wasn't that good (spoilers)

    by AdrienBrodysOface

    Overly sentimental, takes to long to get to the obvious conclusion, and an out of nowhere supernatural deus ex machina. And, maybe this makes me a heartless corporate goon, but I would have fired the main character's ass long before he had a chance to abandon his job.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Yes, v2micca, you are a....

    by Brett Peacock

    heartless corporate goon.... not to mention a fun hating killjoy. makes folks wonder what you've been up to!

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Make a Dragon's Lair movie

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    in 2-D. I fucken dare ya.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 12:07 a.m. CST

    duct tape wallet: same experience here

    by Sir Loin

    I've seen it twice now, and kids weren't running around but were drawn into the story. PAPERMAN was indeed awesome, as were the nods to Leeroy Jenkins and kill screen final frames. Awesome :D I also can't get the SUGAR RUSH Japanese song outta my head, haha.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 12:46 a.m. CST

    I went last night

    by Paul

    Wreak it Ralph was awesome and Paperman was awesome also!

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 1:19 a.m. CST

    I think the end credits bit is a spoiler...

    by Loosejerk

    As I didn't know about it going in and was pleasantly surprised....and wouldn't have had that enjoyment knowing about it going in. My kids after my explanation: "You can beat Pac-man?".

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Nostalgia is stupid.

    by Nintendarth

    As are the things that make you nostalgaic. That is all.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 1:16 a.m. CST


    by gringostar

    Your handle is an advertizement for nostalgia - Ninten(do), Darth (Vader)... therefore you are a douche for suggesting that you know better than everyone else. You might want to change your handle to "Asshat".

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 1:18 a.m. CST

    good review, only 1 typo I saw

    by Anthony Torchia

    fine for" should be "fine form

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 3:02 a.m. CST

    Movie was a huge disappointment (minor spoilers)

    by Wolfman Nards

    They could have done so much more with the characters ability to cross into different games in the arcade. Instead, they go to two. And both of them are not real games and not very cool fake games. One is a shitty first-person-shooter for about 5 minutes and the rest of the whole fucking movie takes place in a Candy Land Mario Kart clone. And that's it. It's still an enjoyable film, but a massive failure to capitalize on an idea that had infinite possibilities. Even as the climax of the movie approaches it leaves you hoping for at least some nostalgic characters to come into play but all of the nostalgic scenes are minor and in the first act. Wasted opportunity.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 3:05 a.m. CST

    Ugh... And the Oreo part...

    by Wolfman Nards

    That gag was in my 2nd grade Wizard if Oz play. Not that brilliant...

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Wreck-It Ralph. Fix-It Felix. Would it be wrong of me to...

    by buggerbugger

    ...want a cameo by Annihilate-It Ani, who goes all 'Kill Bill' on a bunch of kids with his laser sword? Yeah, probably.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 5:02 a.m. CST

    Quentin Tarantino says

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    CGI is the death knell of cinema. If I wanted that video game shit I'd have stuck my dick in a Nintendo.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 5:08 a.m. CST

    actually here's the real quote

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    This CGI bullshit is the death knell of cinema. If I'd wanted all that computer game bullshit, I'd have stuck my dick in a Nintendo.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 5:16 a.m. CST

    aaargh. fuckin aicn and the no quotes rule

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    quote by Quentin Tarantino. why don't you make some real cartoons again, Disney, you pussies. what, there's no GAP in the marketplace? hahahahaaaa how about going back to actual physical materials, hire an ink and paint crew, and instead of every fucking 2 dozen movies since the Little Mermaid, make a good movie that isn't just Broadway style Princess horseshit for girls and their Grandmas. you guys used to make good movies!! The Jungle Book. Robin Hood. we have six different Disney channels at my house and they don't even play their classic cartoons, ever it's like they want the world to forget that they used to make more than hyped-up-and soon-forgotten CG cartoons BRING BACK REAL CARTOONS!!!!! somebody hire Don Bluth to make his Dragon's Lair movie, that would be a nice start.

  • That movie is WEAK. What next, The Aristocats?

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 10:41 a.m. CST


    by jellypop

    Well okay... Been looking forward to this one for ages. Hope it's a decent effort.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    I hope that Oreo gag praise was an ironic joke.

    by Baked

    Seriously, I'm almost 30 and we made that joke as kids. Hell, it was in an actual OREO COMMERCIAL later on.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Also, hush your mouth, nasty in the pasty. Hush your mouth.

    by Baked

    Everybody wants to be a cat, sucka.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Total agreement on the 3-D

    by SenatorJeffersonSmith

    It was totally pointless.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 4:44 p.m. CST

    ROBIN HOOD is awesome. THE RESCUERS is awesome

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    so are the Black Cauldron and, I dunno, The Secret of NIMH which is not Disney, but, you get my drift 2D remains an exquisite way to do fantasy and that fact that there is not one studio out there trying to put out real animated fantasy into theaters is a crime there hasn't been even an option in what, 15 years?

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Product Placement: The Movie.

    by Mono

    I didn't like it. I was kind of hyped for this movie. The trailers looked good to me and I thought it might be one of those kid's movies which everyone can actually enjoy, like Monsters Inc. or Up.... You know -- one of those flicks with genuinely funny humor and an engaging story. What we got instead was a paper-thin story with exceedingly few moments of genuine humor, and a lot of LOUD obnoxious music and incredibly annoying characters, full of *relentless* product placement in a movie which seemed intentionally designed to provide as much product placement as humanly possible. ...The bulk of the movie takes place in a fictitious game called 'Sugar Rush' full of real candy brands which get named over and over again in moments of painfully unfunny humor? Really? This is Wreck-It Ralph? ("It's Laffy Taffy! Quick, make them laugh by hitting me in the face over and over and over...") Ugh. It's hard to express how unfunny those sequences are. Ralph is wonderfully animated and sweetly voiced by John C. Reilly, who is pretty wonderful. I really wish that they had put Ralph in a halfway decent movie. If you're an adult, don't waste your money. The gamer nostalgia business is an empty schtick. If you have little ones, maybe they'll like it, who knows? I thought it sucked.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 7:38 p.m. CST

    One damn fun movie

    by FeralAngel

    Hell I liked this. Looked better than the last two Pixar movies and was a helluva lot more fun. Disney Animation has finally found its hit. More Ralph in the future, no doubt. And I will be there.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Paperman was the SHIT

    by FeralAngel

    For one moment, while watching this new short cartoon that mixed CGI and 2D animation so brilliantly, I thought that Uncle Walt had finally been thawed and was running his company again. Because this was the kind of thing HE used to do: blend old-fashioned heart with modern wit and inventive technology. Paperman I hope is the NEW animated style for Disney apart from CG. I would love to see more.

  • Nov. 4, 2012, 10:12 p.m. CST

    This feels like Disney wanting to have their own Shreck

    by chien_sale

    It feels unoriginal from afar. That dude looks exactly like when Shreck became human. He is this big seemingly villain goofball. Instead of poking fun at Fairy tales characters it pokes fun at the World of videogames.

  • That giant purple rhino? no where in the movie. Paperman was excellent though.

  • Nov. 5, 2012, 6:39 a.m. CST

    The Disney love is pissing me off.

    by Fuck disney with a rusty chainsaw

  • Nov. 5, 2012, 11:10 a.m. CST

    What the fuck - Is this now "Ain't Disney Cool?"

    by 2for2true

    Honestly, this movie "Ain't That Great." Spit out Mickey's cock, guys.

  • Nov. 5, 2012, 5:01 p.m. CST


    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    There will not be a return to the greatness of classic Disney, Bluth and the like until the day they turn real artists loose with real paint on actual film cels again. Physical materials and real sweat.

  • Nov. 5, 2012, 5:08 p.m. CST

    I am all for AICN staying independent and sucking on as little corporate cock as possible

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    People forget that if Lucas's neighbors hadn't been such whiny bitches he might have gone the other way, and we might have seen an independent studio out there on Lucas Valley Road. Say what you want about the prequels, the man stayed independent, and made his movies in his house, HIS way. He always hated the studio systems and the corporate mindset. So for this man to sell out to a corporate monstrosity, that has gone so far from the wonderment and ingenuity they pursued under Walt's auspices... that should be a cause, fucking SADNESS for independence, and the little guy, and cinema in general. a fuckin Ray Harryhausen couldnt even get a JOB in 2012. Chuck Jones either. STOP SUCKING THESE PEOPLE'S COCKS BECAUSE MOVIES USED TO BE A LOT BETTER.

  • Nov. 5, 2012, 7:12 p.m. CST

    It was good..."glorious" is overstating it, but...

    by PorkChopXpress

    ...I definitely enjoyed it. One of the better videogame-inspired movies that's ever been produced. A bit too "kiddy" in a lot of parts for me to fully embrace it, but I still had fun picking out all of the references (reading the graffiti in the subway was entertaining).

  • SMURFS SCOOBY DOO YOGI BEAR ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS CHIPMUNKS 2 THE SQUEAKUEL CHIPMUNKS 3 CHIPWRECKED. they don't need to have any respect for the stuff we loved as kids, but a -chipmunk kicks guy in the nuts- movie is always guaranteed to please a four year old and make a jillion bucks the watermark of what used to be Disney Classical Animation is now a shallow kiddie pool that the brats can splash around in and be happy for a couple hours. its sad Disney was trying to fight against crass manipulative product for kids, but 50 plus years of gorgeous timeless handcrafted work beloved by families, and now here is where we find ourselves, WITH ANOTHER FUCKING CGI MOVIE VOICED BY STCOM ACTORS

  • Nov. 5, 2012, 10:01 p.m. CST


    by gringostar

    Jane Lynch did voice work as her primary employment long before Glee and Best in Show, and are you really going to complain about John C. Reilly... no, I didn't think so. Finally, you obviously didn't see this movie so you opinion is essentially meaningless because you have no idea what you are talking about... Now its time to go back to your corner and feel sorry for yourself.

  • Nov. 5, 2012, 10:10 p.m. CST

    come back to me in five years and see if anyone still gives a fuck about this movie.

    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    or a cooking rat movie, or a talking car movie, or a video game movie say what you want, but these are this generation's disposable movies, and really can't be regarded in the same breath as anything that my Dad, my Grandfather, would call a "Disney Film"

  • Nov. 6, 2012, 3:20 a.m. CST

    I saw the repetive shit even when people were praising Saving Nemo

    by chien_sale

    And Up and even Wall-E. At the end of the day, it's all the same old shit. Even when it starts good like Wall-E. The last good satisfying cartoon I saw was William and Gromitt. And even if it had good spirit it wasn't a masterpiece either.

  • Nov. 7, 2012, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Alright movie but the soundtrack is total shit.

    by nephilim138

    and I would've liked to see the Street Fighters actually pull off some of their moves. The finale should've been the bugs and king candy storm game central and all the characters there have to band together to fuck him up. That could have been the greatest finale ever but instead it fell way short of that.