Walt Disney Animation Studios 52nd feature and my personal favourite for nearly twenty years, Wreck-It Ralph is a love letter to the video game. Expertly combining cutting edge animation with 8-bit, 2D and classic arcade styles, the film is chock full of references and in jokes to the thirty or so years of the video games industry which it celebrates. The film tells the story of an arcade game villain who wants to be liked and leaves his own game, travelling to others in the hope of winning a medal. It’s this medal that he hopes will aid his inclusion with the good guys of his own game, Fix-It Felix, Jr. While outside this game, he enters the candy themed cart game Sugar Rush in which he meets a glitch who has struggles of her own.
Wreck-It Ralph is a sweet and funny film that rewards concentration and multiple watches but doesn’t alienate the casual viewer or gamer. As well as being targeted at those with specific game knowledge, it also features a surprisingly emotional plot and some likeable and well drawn characters. It cleverly appeals to both boys and girls with its combination of gender centric games and characters while mums and dads will get a lot of the references to gaming history that will go over the heads of younger audience members.