This will be my 300th review on Amazon, and I saved it for something truly special, and that something special is Wreck-It Ralph. It is my new favorite movie, taking the crown from my last favorite movie, which reigned from 1995 until 2013. I was so awestruck by this movie that after we rented it, we bought the HD digital version from Amazon Instant Video before it was available on disc, and watched it over and over again, and I have now bought the movie on blu-ray as well (Disney is getting their money out of me) so I can watch it without having to wait for things to buffer :)
This movie resonated with me in ways that I haven't experienced in a long, long time. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING "clicked" perfectly for me with this movie. I realize that just because I love a movie, doesn't mean everyone else will, but I will try to explain below my reasons why I love it, in the hopes that people who may not have wanted to give this movie a chance, will do so.
First, the sound is just perfect. If you played video games in the 1980s, you will immediately recognize the sounds they use in the movie, and that will raise the nostalgia level for you. They also integrate those same types of sounds into the music, making the whole movie "feel" like a video game.
Second, the themes in the movie of the misunderstood "bad guy" and the underdog situations are very compelling to me. [Minor spoiler] And being the father of an adopted daughter, I empathized strongly with Ralph adopting Vanellope and looking after her, and putting her goals and needs above his. I think anyone who has cared for a child will resonate with that theme.[/END: Minor spoiler]
Third, the voice acting is superb. I love, LOVE Sarah Silverman, and having her voice Vanellope was just beyond genius. She has one of those voices that I would recognize anywhere, like James Earl Jones -- it is instantly recognizable. Even the supporting cast got great voice actors that fit their characters well. I especially loved Alan Tudyk's take on King Candy as a modified Mad Hatter-type character (he has stated himself that he based his character's performance on the Ed Wynn's Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland).
Fourth, I loved Calhoun (the tough female soldier). I love that she is a nail-biting no-nonsense soldier who also feels vulnerable on the inside when someone calls her a "dynamite gal." Her side story with Felix is very believable and very touching at times.
Fifth, I loved the idea of "Bad Anon" as a support group for "bad guys" in games, and seeing old favorites from Mortal Kombat, Mario, and even Pac-Man sitting around and sharing about how they "may be bad guys, but, that doesn't make them ... bad ... guys..." :)
Sixth, I really can't get enough of the "Toy Story" idea of what's-going-on-when-we're-not-looking? They said so themselves in the special features of the blu-ray that they were exploring that trope with this movie, and I am more than OK with that. I find it fascinating to think of video game characters living out separate lives from their games once the humans go away ... and they've barely scratched the surface of gaming! There are MMORPGs, console games, handheld games, phone games, Flash games, and more to still explore. I can see all kinds of possibilities for a sequel.
Finally, I loved the ending.
[Moderate Spoiler Warning]
There are certain kinds of human actions that I think most people will say captivate their attention, send shivers running up and down their spine, and invoke a certain kind of awe -- and I would say that self sacrifice for the greater good (a'la Spock) or for a loved one, tend to rank the highest in our admiration. The moment where Ralph makes the tough decision and realizes what the greater importance is, and what kind of honor and medals truly count, and then acts on it, is a fantastic one. The music of the moment is perfect, and the build-up to the moment is perfect, and the resolution to the action is perfect. (See, I didn't spoil it too badly ^_-)
[/END: Moderate Spoiler Warning]
In my opinion, Disney hit it out of the ballpark with this one. I was mildly surprised to see that Disney was behind the movie when it came out, and impressed. They have certainly come a long way from Home on the Range (widely considered to be not just one of the worst Disney movies of all time, but one of the worst animated movies of all time).
I own this movie, and I love it. It is a rare gem. It is heartwarming, family-friendly comedy/action/adventure with a video game twist. There is no swearing (although there is a bit of juvenile bathroom humor I could have done without), there is no serious violence (the only things that get truly hurt or killed in the movie are monster bugs, and Disney-villains, and they just vaporize when they die), and there are no serious dark elements to the movie. It is a movie you can put on when you want to feel better about the world, and it is my new favorite movie.