Curse of the Chupacabra

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Did Not Expect-It Ralph

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes 'Wreck-It Ralph', a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping adventure.  For decades, Ralph has been overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, Jr., the good-guy star of their game who always gets to save the day.  Tired of playing the role of a bad guy, Ralph takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a journey across the arcade through multiple generations of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero.

As I wait (rather impatiently) for Les Miserables to hit theatres on Christmas Day, I'm glad I've had all my 'Night of the Chupacabra' book promotion to keep me busy - never expecting that another film would come along before Les Mis to distract me from the musical powerhouse coming not-soon-enough to a theatre near me.  Today I attended a media screening of 'Wreck-It Ralph', which I never thought would be about an hour and 45 minutes of pure genius.  Really... WOW!  I mean, I expected to like this movie, but I did not expect to love it!  Yes, I am an obsessed fan.

'Wreck-It Ralph' has to be one of the funniest animated films I have seen in a long time - granted, if you're not a child from the 1970's and 1980's, some of the jokes may leap and bound over your head like a Mario brother.  But alas, there is still plenty for every generation to laugh out loud about as the writers and producers did a fine job of making sure their target audience was not simply children and their parents but teenagers and the over 50 crowd as well.  I guess what I'm trying to say is if you know who Q-bert is then this movie, filled with innuendos and cliches and fads across multiple decades (and you would need to view this film 10 times to catch every one) is a little extra special.

But it's not all Pac-Man and Oreo jokes, the producers made the best move from the start by casting - what I believe to be - the best voice cast for this film.  Very smart.  As much as I knew how much I would worship Jane Lynch's (Glee, Best in Show) voice for Sergeant Calhoun, she did not stand too tall next to everyone else.  I don't think any other actor could have voiced Wreck-It Ralph better than John C. Reilly (Stepbrothers, Walk Hard), the big lug with a bad temper who has a heart of gold, nor Sarah Silverman (Sarah Silverman Program) as the feisty spit-fire-wire Vanellope on Schweetz (aka Glitch) or Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) as Fix-It Felix, Jr. who would have been the star if this film would it have been about the good guy.  But I think the actor who shocked me the most was Alan Tudyk (Suburgatory, Firefly) who played King Candy and characterized his voice to sound amazingly similar to the Disney-staple character voice actor, Ed Wynn, who voiced the the Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland", the Toymaker in "Babes in Toyland", and Uncle Albert in "Mary Poppins".  (I know you can hear his voice in your head.)  Plus I have to not only give huge kudos to the director, Rich Moore (The Simpsons, Futurama) but to the writers as well (Phil Johnsont & Jennifer Lee) for finding a big twist to this storyline and being able to recollect so many nuances from our past; however, I'm sure the cast helped some in their improvs - you know I'm looking at you Jane Lynch.

Lastly, the film is precluded by a black and white short, "Paperman", which I thought was cute but at one point crossed a line between a story that started as realistic and believable to fantasy.  Still, it was fun but not even remotely as fun as Wreck-It Ralph.  Five Stars!  Highly Recommended!  Must See!  'Nough Said!


  1. Yes. Amazing movie. Although I'm very fascinated that you thought Alan Tudyk's performance reminded you of Pat Buttram. To me he sounded more like Ed Wynn (Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland" and Uncle Albert in "Mary Poppins"). I guess we all hear things differently! :)

  2. No, I think you are right Steve, and I'm going to change that. Upon my research I (for some reason) heard the the Sheriff of Nottingham's voice from Robin Hood in my head when making the comparrison but now that you say the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, it fits much better.



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