'Wreck-It Ralph': What the Critics Are Saying
Disney's 3D animated comedy will have adults nostalgic about old-school video games while kids enjoy the visually addicting storyline.
Opening Nov. 2, Wreck-It Ralph offers a movie about video game characters with an all-star voice cast featuring Ed O’Neill, John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman.
The Disney animated film follows Ralph, voiced by Reilly, who is tired of playing the bad guy against McBrayer’s goody-two-shoes character Felix in the game known as “Fix-It Felix Jr.” Feeling neglected, Ralph is ready for a new start and goes on to learn about what else life has to offer.
While some critics aren’t impressed with Disney’s new animated feature, most agree that both the young and old will enjoy the arcade quest.
Wreck-It Ralph earned an 83 percent fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Read below to see what top reviewers have to say:
Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter says, “Guided by executive producer John Lasseter, Walt Disney Animation Studios has clearly devoted significant resources and talent to Wreck-It Ralph, recruiting a top-notch cast and a diverse array of animation, visual effects and lighting artists to contribute to the distinct and varied vid-game styles. With a mix of retro eye-candy for grown-ups and a thrilling, approachable storyline for the tykes, the film casts a wide and beguiling net.”
Examiner.com’s Joe Belcastro comments, “Video gamers and/or arcade dwellers from the ’80 and ‘90s are going to eat this right up. Wreck-It Ralph is not only clever, but when it wants to strike with a resonating/emotional moment, it does so with as much might as the titular character’s actions in his respective ‘demolition’ game.”
Entertainment Weekly’s Keith Staskiewicz gives the flick a B+ rating, writing that “the story itself risks getting overly sweet at this point, but miraculously it never melts into a syrupy wash. There are more videogame cameos and winks than you can shake a Wiimote at — even the Konami Code, the gamer's paternoster, makes an appearance — but the real success of the film is its emotional core and the relationship between the two misfits. It doesn't quite carry the heft of Toy Story, but there's a lot of heart packed into these zeroes and ones.”
Drew McWeeny at HitFix is a fan: “Walt Disney Animation is looking for a voice these days, and the thing they have to start doing if they're going to ever be the company they once were in terms of importance to the family market is give filmmakers a chance to establish their own voice, to tell stories that have broad appeal but a personal focus, and if that's the model they want to pursue, then Wreck-It Ralph is a major step in the right direction.” McWeeny also gives it a B+ grade.
On the other hand, Indiewire’s Kevin Jagernauth is unimpressed: “Perhaps Wreck-It-Ralph marks a half step out of the comfort zone for Disney. It's certainly atypical in many ways for the studio, with some pretty heavy gun violence and intense scenarios that we'd wager will frighten smaller children. And yes, the idea is unique. But they aren't quite ready to shake off what has worked for them for years -- namely making girls want to be special and popular, and boys strong and heroic.”
Jagernauth ends with the remark that “Wreck-It-Ralph is diverting enough in the moment, with the originality of setting at carrying much of the weight, but once the credits roll, you won't be in a rush to select Continue.”
Marshall Fine from Huffington Post thinks otherwise and ends on this: “But you don't need to be a gamer -- or the parent of a gamer -- to appreciate the humor and heart of Wreck-It Ralph. Director Rich Moore, working from a script by Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston, makes this a computer-animated treat that is as funny for what it is doing on the surface as for the inside jokes that will serve as ‘Easter eggs’ for the initiated.”
Wreck-It Ralph hits theaters Nov. 2.