When it's over, this Disney film is a kid's dream come true, with a cherry on top. It is Toy Story meets Speed Racer in Candyland. Bad Guy Ralph (John C. Reilly) longs to be a Good Guy and be accepted among his peers, so he sets out to claim the Hero Metal from a nearby first person shooter game. But, not everything goes as planned, and Ralph ends up causing havoc in and among the games in the arcade he lives in. The film has a good mix of jokes, characters, and eye candy (literally) to satiate all ages and gaming skill levels. But, you don't have to be a gamer to enjoy this film. There are enough inferences and visuals to popular games, past and present, to draw you into the story and its characters. Disney has done something incredibly smart by telling a simple story about the true meaning of being a Good Guy in a setting where adults and kids know so well. I really like the way modern day issues of bullying and self-worth are highlighted in the film with Venellope (Sarah Silverman), a glitch in the game Sugar Rush, representing the outcast, and the townspeople of the game representing the bullies. Kids may not get this right off the first lick of their lollipop, but I think, subconsciously, they do. In addition, self-worth/self-image is such a common theme in children's films, that it's fresh to see it approached in this manner, where Ralph believes his self-worth lies in a military metal, but learns that it really lies within himself and the decisions he makes. Intelligently written and a treat for every age.
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