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The 52nd animated film from Disney's canon line-up, Wreck-It Ralph is about the antagonist of a 1980s eight-bit video game starring Fix-It Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer), as one of the many machines in an arcade center. Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the not-really-villainous villain who just wants a little friendship, a little respect, and a little recognition for making the game possible. When an attempt to socialize with the rest of the game's population catastrophically fails, resulting in a sarcastic challenge to prove himself a hero, Ralph "pulls a Turbo" in the parlance of the arcade population, and jumps from his game through their shared power strip to one of the newest ones in the arcade -- the sci-fi FPS Hero's Duty. There, he learns that the medal he needs to prove himself a hero to the inhabitants of his native game is at the top of a tower filled with "bugs" -- vicious, fast-breeding alien monsters.
Dodging both the monsters and the abrasive Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch), Ralph makes it to the top of the tower and gets the medal he needs -- only to accidentally awake all the aliens who are sleeping between plays of the game. Escaping the tower in a tiny fighter craft (and accidentally carrying along an alien egg), Ralph accidentally leaves Hero's Duty and crash lands in Sugar Rush, a Japanese Racing Game that's equal parts Mario Kart and Candyland. There he loses both the medal and the fighter, and encounters the supremely annoying Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) -- a "glitch" character despised by the other racers in the game and hunted by the forces of King Candy, Sugar Rush's beloved (?) ruler. Ralph ends up helping Vanellope build a race car of her own as part of a deal to get his medal back and in doing so runs afoul of King Candy as well.
Pursued by Felix, who wants him to come back to their game, and by Sergeant Calhoun, who rightfully fears for the consequences of a bug let loose outside of Hero's Duy, as well by King Candy's police force, Ralph must find not only his medal, but the proper balance between being a bad guy and a nice guy without accidentally causing the destruction of his native game in the process.
- Action Girl: Sergeant Calhoun.
- All-Star Cast
- Animated Actors: If you had to play the villain for thirty years, you'd be up for something different too.
- Being Evil Sucks: It can really suck to be a video game villain. Nobody appreciates the hard work you put into your villainy, you don't get any of the glory like the hero does, and in Ralph's case, he's constantly thrown off the edge of a tall building when Felix saves the day.
- The Cameo: Ralph's villain support group consists of Clyde, Kano, Scorpion, Neff, Bowser, Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik, Zangief and M. Bison, a Beholder and a zombie from House of the Dead. However, Zangief is not a villain in the games.
- Q*bert appears in the movie, and is the one to tell Felix where Ralph went. He also appears in the Game Central Station with numerous other characters from his game.
- Also in the station is the Paperboy from...well, Paperboy.
- And outside the game cameos, Tiny, the Tyrannosaurus Rex from Meet the Robinsons, makes a background appearance in Game Central Station.
- Catch Phrase: In the Fix-It Felix Jr. game, Ralph says "I'm gonna wreck it!" at the beginning of every level. Felix's is "I can fix it!"
- Constantly Curious: Vanellope when she first meets Ralph.
Why are your hands so freakishly big?
Are you a hobo?
- Deadpan Snarker: Ralph definitely is one. So is Vanellope.
- Deconstruction Crossover
- Defictionalization: Disney designed, programmed, and constructed a working arcade machine of Fix-It Felix Jr. for the 2011 D23 Expo (and yes, it does look like it was made in the 80's)! With this film being about original video games, expect more of these to come!
- You can play the game on the movie's official site.
- Dimensional Traveler: Ralph, by "game jumping."
- Does Not Like Shoes: Ralph is barefoot.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Calhoun is being voiced by Jane Lynch. 'Nuff said.
- The End of the World as We Know It: When a video game is unplugged. Fix-It Felix, Jr. is threatened with this when the game is marked as "out of order" because Ralph has gone missing. Happened to Q*Bert, leaving its inhabitants homeless in Game Central Station.
- Every Girl Is Cuter With Hair Decs: Vanelope wears a hair ribbon made of taffy and she has various types of candy stuck in her hair.
- Expy: All of the principle leads in this film are expies of video game characters in some way. Disney also got the rights to use actual videogame characters for cameos rather than just expies, a la Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Toy Story. Ralph himself is basically a human Donkey Kong. The hero of the game, Felix, is an imitation of Mario.
- In addition, Ralph has a similar motivation to Wario in that he wants the fame that Felix gets.
- Also, the names "Fix-It Felix" and "Wreck-It Ralph" are similar to that of obscure franchise Hammerin Harry complete with similar catchphrases. And indeed, the old trailer shows Ralph's house getting demolished to make place for a series of apartments, which is exactly what happens to Hammerin' Harry at the beginning of the game. Observe.
- Sgt. Calhoun could be based on Samus Aran. Her game Hero's Duty looks like a mix of Halo and Metroid Prime, while its title riffs off of Call of Duty. The title is also a signal to Ralph on where he can possibly learn heroism.
- She also resembles a female Commander Shepard, particularly her attitude.
- Food Porn: Sugar Rush, combining Level Ate with Pixar-esque visuals.
- Ralph is also shown eating cherries as big as watermelons liberated from Pac-Man.
- Gentle Giant: Ralph, when not playing the bad guy.
- Good Costume Switch: Implied with leaked art of Ralph in a familiar red and blue color scheme versus the orange and brown seen in the game art and official screens.
- Heel Face Turn: Ralph attempts to pull this off.
- Hundred-Percent Adoration Rating: Felix, from those he rescues in his game (i.e., everyone). This doesn't help Ralph's self-esteem.
- Ink Suit Actor: Ralph, Felix, Vanellope and Calhoun each bear at least a slight resemblance to their voice actors.
- Intelligible Unintelligible: Q*bert, with Felix having to translate.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: The trailer alone confirms cameos from characters created by Nintendo, Sega, Capcom, Namco, and Midway.
- Lampshade Hanging: "When did video games become so violent and scary?!"
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Surprisingly averted.
- Level Ate: The Sugar Rush world is made of candy.
- Magic Skirt: Vanellope hangs upside down from a tree branch and her skirt remains static. Justified in that it's made of paper candy cups.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: In his game, Ralph is a hulking, raging brute that fully intends to smash the building full of innocent tennants. When the game isn't being played, he is a Gentle Giant who wants to have a friendly relationship with the other characters in his game.
- Pac-Man Fever: Despite taking place in an arcade, they seem to be consciously averting it, presenting games from different eras (albeit fictional ones) and even having actual characters from different games a la Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Notably, Bowser and Eggman actually resemble their official artwork with stunning faithfulness.
- Palette Swap: All the racers in Sugar Rush are the same except for their colors, hairstyles and vehicles.
- Punch Clock Villain: How the video game baddies are portrayed.
- Retraux: The Wreck-It Ralph arcade game is made to look like it was made in the 80s.
- Shout-Out: Game Central Station, located in the powerstrip for all the arcade machines, is obviously one to Grand Central Station.
- Spit Take: When Ralph says he's tired of being the bad guy, Bowser breathes fire involuntarily.
- Stop Copying Me: Ralph gets into one of these with Vanellope.
- Sugar Bowl: Looking at Vanelope, the candy-coated world of Sugar Rush will probably be one of these.
- Take That: While the initial idea of the modern era of gaming being represented by a First-Person Shooter already had shades of this, Ralph's line "When did video games become so violent and scary?" further drives the point home.
- Tropaholics Anonymous: Ralph is part of a group that helps video-game villains deal with their problems and help cope with their lot in life.
- The Von Trope Family: Vanelope Von Schweetz.
- Villain Protagonist: Ralph (although he's trying to Invoke his own Heel Face Turn).
- Working Title: Was originally called Reboot Ralph and Joe Jump.
- X Meets Y: Disney and a few sources have called this "the video game equivalent of Toy Story".
- And since Disney has acquired lots of rights for many videogame character cameos = Videogames meet Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
- ↑ (used as a Racing Game setting, hence the "Rush")
- ↑ (To clarify, this isn't a Take That aimed at that genre per se, but rather, one aimed at the way FPSs are near-omnipresent in the gaming industry today. Nintendo systems aside, shooters are pretty much everywhere. In other words, if someone asked to define Video Games with one genre, the go-to one would have been, say, the platform genre in The Nineties, while today it's pretty much safe to say that grim 'n' gritty shooters are the first thing coming to mind when thinking of the medium. The parody-named FPS in the movie is named Hero's Duty, after the well-known sequel-spawning Cash Cow Franchise.)
- ↑ Though it should be noted that those versions of the film, other than involving video game characters, had somewhat different premises.