2012 Written by Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee
Additional Story Material by John C. Reilly
Directed by Rich Moore
Nostalgia is really hot right now. So are movies that have good stories. Disney combins the two to bring us Wreck-It Ralph, and the video game movie world will never be the same. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but Wreck-It Ralph is still a great flick. Beneath the Pac-Man ghosts, first person shooters, and sitdown racers is a tale of finding your place in the world, becoming a better person while still accepting yourself for who you are, and working for a better life.
There will be spoilers, so if you hate spoilers, get the heck out of this review!
Wreck-It Ralph is the first Disney animated film I’ve been excited about for years, except maybe Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue. It’s a video game world featuring characters you grew up with playing in minor roles. But they’re just flavoring for the real story. Before Wreck-It Ralph is an awesome short called Paperman, which is a cute love story and a neat meld of 2D influence in CG animation.
Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) – The villain of the Donkey Kong-styled arcade machine Fix-It Felix, Jr., a machine that has been active for 30 years at the local arcade. Ralph’s job is to destroy the building, when the player fixes using Fix-It Felix, Jr. Over the decades, Ralph has become increasingly depressed and angry at his lot in life. An anniversary and a confrontation with the other denizens of his game cause him to act out, in essence have a midlife crisis and go looking for respect. And for that he needs a medal like the one Fix-It Felix wins every day.
Fix-It Felix, Jr. (Jack McBrayer) – Titular hero of Fix-It Felix, Jr., possessing a magic hammer that fixes anything with a simple whack. But it can’t fix Ralph’s hurt feelings, and Felix is forced to go after the game-jumping Ralph to prevent his own game from being unplugged.
Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun (Jane Lynch) – Tough as nails squad leader from the FPS Hero’s Duty. Joins in the hunt for Ralph when he inadvertently brings a Cy-Bug from Hero’s Duty to the racing game Sugar Rush. Is programmed with the most tragic back story ever.
Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) – Racer in the sitdown racing game Sugar Rush. Is a pariah in the game because she’s a glitch, which means she often de-rezes or jumps around within the game. Glitches cannot leave the game, if it is shut off she will die. None of the other citizens of Sugar Rush are fond of her due to her glitch status.
King Candy (Alan Tudyk) – Ruler of Sugar Rush who controls the racing to determine which racers are available that day, and also enforces the anti-glitch mentality. Has a dark secret.
Wreck-It Ralph looks awesome and helped fill a void in the land of upcoming animated films I’m excited about (Sorry Shrek 16, I don’t care…) The video game world with cameos from all sorts of actual video game characters is the magical movie stuff that only Disney can pull off (as they are the only studio that has pulled it off before, with Roger Rabbit!) And thanks to the influence from the Pixar group, the increase in quality of the storytelling will be there. So barring an unforeseen disaster, Wreck-It Ralph will be at least entertaining, if not totally awesome. That’s just me speculating, but it will be true because I’m always right. And Q*Bert is awesome, and always has been.
The worst analysis I’ve seen of Wreck-It Ralph are people who seem to think kids won’t like it because Ralph is an old 8-bit character. Yes, because children totally get turned off by old video game sprites and will ignore the other 99% of the movie done in modern animation. My only conclusion is this concern is brought up by internet nerds insecure that they’ll like a film that 3-year-olds will also like, and thus are trying to drive the children away so it becomes their movie and not everyone’s film. To that I say go check yourself before you wreck yourself!
Do you think Wreck-It Ralph and Fix-It Felix Jr. will end up being related? They both have It in their names! Or maybe they’re named after Pennywise from Stephen King’s It! (which is getting its (Its?) own 2 movies!)
Director: Rich Moore
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch
Damn Coily invested all of Q*Bert's money in Bitcoins!
2011 Directed by James Bobin
Written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller
After a far-too-long absence at the theater (I remember going to see Muppets From Space in a deserted theater like it was yesterday…), the Muppets return to the big screen in a big way. And as you can guess from the mention of seeing Muppets From Space, I’m a huge Muppets fan. Enough that I can rattle off obscure background Muppets and spot errors on the Muppet wiki. But I’m putting the fanboy aside to give a nice objective review. And that review is positive. Not because I liked the film (I did), but because it’s a good film.
The Muppets are more than just puppets, just entertainment for kids. The Muppets are entertainment for all ages, treating the audience of all ages with respect and dignity. They may not have invented that kind of entertainment, but they rode it to a new plateau. Jim Henson was never afraid to tread new ground, always experimenting and improving, wanting to put out quality products that appealed to everyone.
As for the Pixar short before it – most of the jokes seem to be just the concepts of the fast food toy characters rather than actual story. But it is funny and does deal with abandonment issued and support groups. And some of those toys look like they come from neat fake franchises. I should just design fake Happy Meal toys as a hobby…
It’s time to start the music…
Gary (Jason Segel) – Our hero from Smalltown who loves his brother and also the lovely Mary. His attempts to please both of them cannot continue forever.
Mary (Amy Adams) – Gary’s long-suffering girl who has been waiting for him to propose for a decade now.
Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) – Evil oil baron who will buy the Muppet studios and tear it down to get oil. Spends most of the film trying to sabotage the plans to save the studio. And rapping.
Walter (Peter Linz) – Gary’s brother who was born a Muppet. Becomes obsessed with the Muppets and their number one fan. And begins the crusade to reunite them and save their theater from Tex Richman. As fun as Walter is to follow, I’m not sure he has what it takes to be an iconic Muppet. But when there’s a sequel they can probably come up with something cool to do with him.
Kermit (Steve Whitmire) – Our Muppet leader who realizes that the gang has dispersed and must go and get everyone back together to save the day again.
Miss Piggy (Eric Jacobson) – Kermit and Miss Piggy have gone their separate ways, largely due to her gracious forcing of issues vs. Kermit’s low-key attempts to keep everything together. She is now a high-profile fashion editor at Vogue. But true love cannot be defeated, even between a pig and a frog on two different continents.