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.
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.