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Movie Review: Wreck-It Ralph

Disney's latest movie sets the bar high for family films.

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

November 3, 2012 | 12:00 p.m. CST

Disney's Wreck-It Ralph is not about video games. It doesn't stop to explain how video games work, or what they mean to those who play them. What it does is warm your heart with at story of belonging, and what it means to be good and bad.

The story focuses on Ralph, the villain of the imaginary game Fix-It Felix Jr. We join Ralph on the 30th anniversary of his game, when a life of being eschewed by the other residents finally becomes too much. Crashing an anniversary party, he gets a challenge: If he can win a medal, he'll be able to move out of the dump and into the penthouse. The rest of the movie follows Ralph's pursuit of this dream, but along the way he unleashes something bigger than he could have imagined; and when things turn south for the entire arcade, it falls to Ralph to fix it.

Though the cast lacks blockbuster stars — Jane Lynch (Calhoun) excepted — the actors all have plenty of experience behind them, and their performances here show it. John C. Reilly in particular, as the titular Ralph, perfectly captures his easy-going, wisecracking personality, letting you relate to Ralph instantly.

Wreck-It Ralph is a children's movie, but it is a masterpiece nonetheless. Video games are used as a frame for the story, and though those who game as a hobby will catch many great nods and winks, they are ultimately superfluous. The story of Ralph and Vanellope is the core. Although every problem is solved in the end, the journey there will touch you. The movie is nothing short of the next generation's Toy Story , and I can give it no greater compliment than that.

Vox Rating: V V V V

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