Best freaking animated movie of the year!!!
Since seeing a trailer for it last spring I knew right away it would be great but man was it even better! Very cute, clever, beautiful animation, great humor, tons of hilarious gaming references, and a lot of heart. Everything you can expect from a good animated film! SPOILERS AHEAD!!! STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED!!
Unlike I usually tend to do, I actually didn't go onto Wikipedia and look up the plot for this film. Yes, I resisted the urge, so I was surprised with a lot of things in it but not disappointed! I had already known the overall plot for a while: a video game villain is tired of being the bad guy and wants to go out to see if he can be a good guy, but it's a lot more than that. Ralph actually does his 'heroic' act in the first half of the film not too long after the beginning. He tries to get a medal in the "Hero's Duty" (not that kind of 'duty') game to show to everyone that he can be good but ends up getting stuck in the "Sugar Rush" game and loses his medal thanks to Vanellope von Schweetz and has to find a way to get it back. But the real ending of the film isn't Ralph retrieving the medal, but having to make the better choice to help Vanellope and save their games before they get 'unplugged'. In the end, Ralph learns that there's nothing wrong with being a bad guy in a video game, but he gets better treatment and ends up being a hero and makes a good friend. It's got a great lesson and a really powerful ending, and don't even get me started on how incredible the credits are afterwards!
The characters are all very colorful and unique. Ralph is the villain but at the same time the main protagonist and a real nice guy at heart. Vanellope might seem like an annoying little kid at first but is actually quite sweet (no pun intended) and adorable. Felix is the nice guy (figuratively and literally speaking) with a magic hammer, and Sgt. Calhoun who is the badass female warrior out to protect everyone against evil. Then of course there's the real villain, King Candy, who is........well, more than who you think he is, let's just put it at that. All the protagonists come together in the end to help save the games and it's funny how all three games end up combining in some way.
I was also very impressed with the whole plot twist involving King Candy. Before seeing the film I had a feeling he was going to be the villain and I was right! But I never would have guessed that he was Turbo all along and he sure got an unexpected but epic upgrade at the end! The whole fight scene between him and Ralph on top of Vanellope's Coke and Mentos volcano thingy was very reminiscent of a final level against the final boss and felt like you were playing the whole time!
One thing that really made me laugh was the referencing of video games seen all over the place. We see real video game villains like Bowser (Super Mario), Dr. Eggman (Sonic the Hedgehog), Zangief and M. Bison (Street Fighter), Clyde (Pac-Man), and then some good guys like Sonic and Pac-Man themselves and probably a lot more I missed! I cracked up at the Lara Croft gag in the beginning and the whole talk about glitches and resetting and stuff was pretty cool. Too bad my poor mother didn't get half the jokes in it!
So yeah, fantastic movie all around! It's witty, it's adorable, and it's epic! It's like Toy Story but with video games. Gamer or not, you are going to love it so go watch it whenever you get the chance!!