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Wreck-It Ralph [DVD]

Guide price: £7

Last updated on 9th Dec 2013

Tags: wreckit ralph

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Wreck-It Ralph [DVD]

Cinema loves a great villain, but for Ralph--the star of this sweet-natured fairytale about a video game character in search of a higher purpose--it’s a thankless task. He’s just a blue-collar bad guy from the retro arcade Fix-It Felix, Jr., doing his best against its handyman hero Felix and coldly abided by his game-mates as a necessary evil. Obviously, nobody voiced by John C. Reilly can truly be evil--and from his lonely landfill Ralph dreams of escaping the natural order of things.

He’s just one of a metropolis of familiar faces--including Sonic the Hedgehog, Q*bert, and the paddles from Pong--that dwell in Mr. Litwak’s Video Arcade, commuting to and from their games via Game Central Station, a majestic hub of power sockets, slotted with diagonal blades of sunlight in the classic image of Grand Central Station.

Steadily losing heart at Bad Guys Anonymous, Ralph sets out to conquer his hard-coded destiny, enlisting in the first person shooter Hero’s Duty and hitting rock bottom in the acrylic racing game Sugar Rush. This is Disney, where the doors of redemption never close, and Ralph inadvertently becomes the personal hero of Vanellope--played by Sarah Silverman--a lonely kart racer with a head full of dreams, bullied by the other girl-racers for a glitch in her programming.

‘We can’t change who we are’, reflects one of Pac-Man’s nemeses, and only an escalating crisis, involving a virus-like infestation and the threatened unplugging of the arcade machine, can teach Ralph and Vanellope a few thine-own-self lessons on the virtues of acceptance, belonging and taking each game as it comes.

Full of underdog charm and video game nostalgia, Wreck-it-Ralph is both an endearing children’s fable and an update of Toy Story for the coin-op generation, inviting us to pour our own childhoods into its toy-coloured brightness. So: whether your childhood possessions were pulled with a string or spurred with a coin, we should all make way for the bad guy.

--Leo Batchelor

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