Wreck-It Ralph has a delightful, Toy Story-esque premise: when the gamers go home, the characters in the game live their own lives, the game being their job. Someone’s job has to be ‘the bad guy’; how do they feel when the game is over for the day? The film opens with Ralph in a self-help group for baddies, where they reassure themselves that being the bad guys does not make them bad guys.
It is beautifully comic and rather touching, and the emotional involvement that Disney rarely fails to establish is there from the start.The rest of the film is funny and enjoyable, but the promise of the premise is not entirely upheld, dipping as the plot reaches its melodramatic climax. It’s probably unfair to argue this for what is essentially a kid’s film, but the complexity and morality of the story is hugely simplified as we enter the final act. There are many witty videogame-based jokes and a lot of retro-warmth, but these are diminished towards the end, and the script lacks the wit and verve of previous Disney pictures. Although the visuals are charming to begin with, they do become slightly nauseating as we progress. Nevertheless, there is certainly enough in the film to enjoy and make it worth seeing. Possibly the best reason to see Wreck-It Ralph, however, is the mini-movie screened before it. Disney and Pixar have produced some stunning pictures in this format, and Paperman is no exception.