Wreck-It Ralph

Director: Rich Moore (2013)

Smashing its way through several levels of fun, this fun-filled blast of candy coloured, sugar flavoured confection from Disney is inspired by old video games.

Genial giant Wreck-It Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly, is the unfairly maligned bad guy of an arcade game called Fix-It Felix Jr – a lot like the 80s gaming classic Donkey Kong.

At night after shut-down the other characters socialise in their penthouse. Ralph, left all alone, starts to ponder his lot in life and goes to a support group.

He confesses that after 30 years he doesn’t want to be the bad guy any more. Ralph decides to ‘turbo’ – arcade-speak for invading another game.

So he breaks into another machine – a violent and scary shoot-’em-up called Hero’s Duty, before landing in a racing adventure called Sugar Rush.

But Ralph going missing means Fix-It Felix Jr is considered broken – putting the lives of its other inhabitants under threat. What’s more, during his hopping around between games he inadvertently lets loose a computer virus which threatens the existence of every game in the arcade.

Teaming up with tiny, racing-obsessed Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), Ralph begins a digitised adventure with a quest.

Combining the insane world of arcade games with the upside-down logic of Alice in Wonderland, the film generates slapstick fun as it powers its way through its own levels.

The animation is mind-blowingly good, with tremendous amounts of invention, but it is all a bit too sickly sweet and garish.

Also, Vanellope’s rival King Candy (Alan Tudyk) is more fun than von Schweetz or Ralph. But Glee’s Jane Lynch is on great form as the tough-talking, space marine commander.

Oscar-nominated Wreck-it Ralph was made by people who obviously have a deep love of arcade games.

They have great fun dropping in cameos with Pac Man, Sonic, Q*bert, Frogger and old favourites from Street Fighter all turning up. But there’s more than enough to enjoy even if you don’t get the references.

Like the title character, this film is a digital hard-nut with a soft centre. Bright and cheerful, it will keep you entertained all the way through to Game Over.

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