Directed by Rich Moore
It has become something of a fact that Pixar is next to only thing you should know about modern-day animated films. Which is understandable: apart from the tedious Cars misfires, Pixar hasn’t really done much wrong. Last year’s unjustly maligned Brave, for instance, was actually quite good (despite that inane mother-bear plot line). Still, it’s Walt Disney Animation Studios, of all animation studios in the world, that made a 2012 film worthy of almost any Pixar you can think of.
Wreck-It Ralph was clearly the most inventive, imaginative cartoon of the year. They took a great idea (‘real’ life of video games’ characters) and explored it to the point where your brain might just go numb – particularly at the very end, when all hell breaks loose and you give in to your childish doubts about how on Earth they are going to resolve all that?!?
If there are similarities with Monsters Inc. (bulky and ‘scary’ main hero on a path to goodness; hilarious and fidgety girl; corporate culture of all sorts of monsters and freaks hanging out in their own non-video game world; even a certain amusing ball-shaped character), I’m willing to forgive them. Not because Monsters Inc. is only second to Toy Story 3 as the world’s greatest cartoon, but because Wreck-It Ralph really does take its story to completely different, no less exciting places. And does it with lots of charm, humour and amazing little ideas that will remind you why you are supposed to enjoy this kind of entertainment in the first place.
For instance, the moment Ralph says at the end that being thrown down has become his favourite part of day, is pure gold. Behind all the technological brilliance (not quite Pixar-level, but still) there is enough heart and joy to satisfy both children and adults. But above all, it’s the imagination of Wreck-It Ralph that makes it such an unforgettable experience.