Seventeen years ago, Disney and Pixar released the innovative film Toy Story, which used a now common technique — CGI animation — to tell a simple but clever story about a kid’s toys that come to life when he’s not in his room.
Now Disney has moved its storytelling to another fantasy realm, showing viewers independent-thinking video game characters. Wreck-It Ralph is much like Toy Story in that we are watching children's playthings that live their own lives in secret. But Rich Moore’s family film adds a new element.
In a world revolving around an arcade, Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is a video game bad guy who wishes he were good. On a dare from his game partners, Ralph travels to other video game worlds, such as "Hero’s Duty" and "Sugar Rush," to try and win a medal like a hero. Unfortunately, Ralph lives up to his name and ends up unintentionally wreaking havoc in the games and now has to save the day with the help of Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch) and Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer).
Alan Tudyk and Mindy Kaling also provide voices of supporting characters in "Sugar Rush." Wreck-It Ralph is a cute little family film to enjoy on a weekend afternoon that is filled with homages to old school video games for grown-up gamers, but it has a story structure enjoyable for all ages. Reilly, Silverman and Tudyk shine with their vocal performances and though no longer revolutionary, the CGI is pretty spectacular.