Wreck-It Ralph movie review: Q-Bert’s back!

Nov 2, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Ever wondered what happens to those video game characters when the game is over? This gem from Disney explores the hidden realm of "gameland," where characters travel into each other’s games through the wires. Careful though! If you "die" outside your own game, don’t expect a few quarters to allow you to "start over." Kids and their parents will love this animated film that combines old-school video games with the new.

Wreck-It Ralph

4 out of 5 stars: Perfect for video gamers of all ages

I can remember spending hours after school at the local 7-11 with friends, sliding quarters into the Ms. Pacman machine. I had a "pattern" and was delighted when I could enter my initials as one of the game's top players. Oh, how fun it was to watch this movie and remember all the old games—I don't think I've thought about Q-Bert in years!Wreck-It Ralph

Turns out, however, that Q-Bert's fate wasn't all that grand. He now lives in gameland without a game of his own and holds up a sign begging for charity. This isn't the case with a modern game called Fix-It Felix, in which Felix (Jack McBrayer) must use his magic hammer to repair all the damage caused by a large, clumsy, but strong character named Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Rielly).

When the game is over, Ralph retires to his local dump, watching the high-rise where all the other game characters celebrate Fix-It Felix. Ralph longs to be one of the "good guys" and go to parties with Felix and the gang, but the harder he tries to fit in, the more people hate him. Ralph is only good at wrecking things.

When Ralph leaves his own game on a quest to prove he can be a hero, he meets touch-chick Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) in a game called Hero's Duty, but it's a young girl named Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) from a game called Sugar Rush, who seems to steal his focus.

Wreck-It Ralph

In this candy-car racing game, Vanellope wants more than anything to race one of the Jujube jallopies. The only problem is that she doesn't know how to drive. Ralph is determined to help her fulfill her dream, even if a group of mean-girl racers want to keep Vanellope out of the game.

Bottom line: Disney strikes gold again with a film that is funny to both kids and adults. Clever, imaginative and sentimental, Wreck-It Ralph is a true winner when it comes to entertainment that crosses over into all age groups.

Photo credit: Disney