Don’t worry. You won’t be the only grownup seeing “Wreck-It Ralph.” And if you want to take your family, you will be laughing just as hard as the younger viewers.
“Wreck-It Ralph” is a clever roller-coaster of a Disney ride that pays homage to characters in video games. It is not a video game sprung to life, however: It’s about the inhabitants of the games and the environs in which they live.
Wreck-It Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) is the “bad guy” in a game that bears a resemblance to the classic “Donkey Kong.” Ralph destroys the high-rise building in which many people live, and Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer) is much like Mario: He climbs about the structure with his golden hammer and repairs the damage Ralph has wrought.
Ralph is so tired of being considered a bad guy by the other characters that he has begun to attend a bad-guy support group to share his woes.
He wants to be a hero, and for that he needs a medal. He decides to head off to another game, “Hero’s Duty,” in which he disguises himself as a cyber-soldier killing attacking “bugs.” He does obtain a medal, but then he stumbles into a different game. Inside the racing game “Sugar Rush,” he meets a talkative little girl named Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), who steals his “gold coin” so she can enter the race.
Back in Ralph’s original game, the characters are in a panic: Without him, the game’s plug could be pulled. In “Sugar Rush,” the powerful King Candy (based on a longtime Disney performer, the late Ed Wynn, whom many generations may recognize from his role in “Mary Poppins”) warns Ralph not to meddle in Vanellope’s situation.
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You’ll see familiar game “faces” such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Q-bert and Pac-Man. The games that are referenced span generations, which you can watch as they swiftly transition into contemporary times in a brilliant arcade setting. The 3-D in the movie is well-done, but it’s not necessary to see the film in 3-D to have a good time.
Grownups especially will enjoy the gorgeous, haunting “Paperman,” an animated short in (mostly) black and white about a young man who spots the girl of his dreams and then tries to communicate with her via paper airplanes. This film is a reflection of the old-fashioned Disney magic. Go early so you can enjoy it.