Wreck-It Ralph is tired of being the bad guy in his video game. He attends self-help meetings but realizes that he will only be accepted if he wins his own medal. Finding himself in a racing game called Sugar Rush, he meets a little girl called Venellope who steals the medal that he ‘won’ in an alien shooting game, who then uses it as payment to enter the next race. On his journey to get the medal back, Ralph learns that Venellope is a kindred spirit and that they must work together in order for them both to achieve their goals.

Wreck-It Ralph (2013) – Director: Rich Moore

Is Wreck It Ralph suitable for young children?

Rating: PG

Running Length: 108 mins

Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer

Genre: Fantasy, Action /Adventure, Comedy

REVIEW

With its colourful visuals, comedy characters and numerous subtle video game references to watch out for, ‘Wreck-It Ralph‘ is a delightfully family friendly movie which will appeal to both children and adults alike. The underdog aspect of Ralph’s character and his desire to better himself drives the plot forward and creates a relatable and believable character which is no mean feat when the setting is a fantasy world of both real and fictional video games.

Unfortunately Venellope’s brattish introduction is somewhat off-putting and stealing Ralph’s only chance of securing a better life for himself (when he had worked so hard for it) doesn’t do her any favours. Luckily her character does become more sympathetic as the movie progresses and the other characters such as Fix-It Felix (the fixer of Ralph’s destruction) and Calhoun (a hard-nosed female marine who hunts down rogue aliens) are enjoyable to watch. While being fun, it is a little disappointing that a story which revolves completely around arcade games visits so few of them directly. The obvious characters are referenced, such as Qbert and Sonic the Hedgehog but a few more cameos would have been welcome for those who are expecting a nostalgia trip. Also, it is somewhat of a shame – after introducing the concept of a video game character who can move from arcade to arcade – that ‘Wreck It-Ralph’ stays in the syrupy world of ‘Sugar Rush’ for so long.

Whilst some more variety of setting would have been welcome, the movie’s plot and charm still shine throughout.

IS ‘WRECK-IT RALPH’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

We feel that the PG rating of ‘Wreck-It Ralph‘ is appropriate for the content, however there are a few elements which parents may wish to be aware of.

Ralph visits the game ‘Hero Duty’ which is a first person shooter game set on an alien planet. The aim of this game is to kill giant bugs and collect a medal at the top of a huge building. This could be quite scary for younger children as the execution of this game is very intense and Ralph (who had no clue as to the content of the game at first) is terrified. As an audience we are told just before this scene that although a video game character dying in their own game is fine because they will come back to life for the next turn, if they die in the ‘wrong’ game: they stay dead. Although this never really seems to cross Ralph’s mind (he certainly doesn’t acknowledge this particular danger) children may have this thought in their mind, especially as this is quite a sustained scene (lasting for approximately 5 minutes). There is also a flashback around this time at a wedding where the groom is attacked and eaten by one of the giant bugs.

Ralph falls into a pool of green slime when he is in the ‘Sugar Rush’ game. He then stumbles into the racing area covered in the slime and other debris which he has accidentally picked up along the way. Although it is clear that this is Ralph, he looks like a scary monster and his loud shouts and growls add to the image. Security guards then taser Ralph and while this is done for laughs, his comedy gurning lasts for several seconds.

When Venellope earns her place in the next race (by using Ralph’s medal as her coin payment), she shows the other racers her homemade car. They are mean to her and pull her car apart out of spite. Venellope is devastated and cries over the loss of her only chance to race. Similarly, her car is again destroyed later in an emotionally charged scene. Venellope is shown to panic at first and then become distraught and inconsolable.  This is a key part of the movie and her trauma is held for several minutes.

The true identity of the villain of the movie is revealed in a sustained scene at the end. His manic eyes and aggression towards Ralph and Venellope is likely to scare some younger children. However, the mysterious motivations of this character are shown to be bad throughout the movie so although the full reveal is right at the end, it should not be too much of a shock.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

Wreck-It Ralph’ has been showered with praise since its release, including getting an Academy Award Nomination for ‘Best Animated Feature’ (although losing out to Pixar’s ‘The Brave’), and it is easy to see why. The love for video games is brought to the screen with genuine affection and never descends into the kind of gimmicky derision that the computer entertainment industry normally has to suffer through. Much like ‘Toy Story’ before it, ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ plays on the charming notion that games enjoy being played as much as we enjoy playing them.

Although the amount of time spent in the Sugar Rush game may get a little grating, the sub-plot between the eager-to-please-but-out-of-his-comfort-zone Fit-It Felix and the brash-and-efficient-but–gradually-softening-marine Calhoun makes for a fantastic extra layer of fun. ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ may have adults in mind for the nostalgia factor, but it certainly has kids in mind for the fun factor.

  • Violence:  1/5
  • Emotional Distress: 2/5
  • Fear Factor: 2/5
  • Sexual Content: 0/5
  • Bad Language: 1/5 (the rapport between Ralph and Venellope contains many very childish insults like ‘Booger Brain’ and ‘Fart Feathers’ which you may find repeated over and over at you!)
  • Dialogue: 0/5
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of accepting your role in life, the necessity for mutual respect and always being open to self-improvement.

Words by Laura Record

Please feel free to comment and let us know how we did!


Wreck It Ralph [Blu-ray] [2012] [US Import]


New From: £19.08 GBP In Stock

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