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'Wreck-It Ralph' a great treat for children of all ages

Nov. 09, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Walt Disney Animation and "The Simpsons" director Rich Moore bring us a new cartoon hit called "Wreck-It Ralph," a "Tron" for small children. Yet, for those who grew up in video arcades, it also gives off enough nostalgia to make it interesting.

The animation in this movie is fantastic, as it runs the gamut through various phases of the arcade gaming world. Even the 3-D stuff is not a diversion (I've given up on 3-D ever being an asset).

To say that "Wreck-It Ralph" is colorful is a major understatement. In the sugar rush sequences (especially) there is so much pastel and neon artwork, that you could happily go into a psychedelic coma at any time.

For the kiddies, it is fast-paced, with no slowdown in its storyline, as Ralph (and then, with Vanellope) races around trying to find his "hero" medal (i.e., himself).

For the adults, it brings back just enough memories to keep their attention, as they watch a game character come to life as a bigger "hero" than those portrayed on the video screens.

The characters are all voiced with wonderful actor/comedians like John C. Reilly ("Boogie Nights," "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story") as Ralph, and raunchy comedienne Sarah Silverman ("The Sarah Silverman Program," "The Muppets," "Rent") as the pure little Vanellope (talk about casting against type!).

Popular comedienne Jane Lynch ("Glee," "Two and a Half Men," "The L Word") comes in as Sgt. Tamora Calhoun, a soldier who brings a modern video gaming style to all of the old school stuff that makes up 90 percent of the movie.

Jack McBrayer ("30 Rock," "The Electric Company," "The Campaign") makes a great Felix the Fixer and a relatively unknown television actor Alan Tudyk ("Suburgatory," "V," "Good Vibes") takes up voice of King Candy, a modern version of Ed Gwynn as the Mad Hatter.

This movie is not on the level of "Toy Story," "Monsters, Inc." nor any of the other Pixar blockbusters (and truth be told, if this had debuted with other major movies coming out, it may not have been so highly rated), but still, those who go see it, whether as a destination or as an alternative, will enjoy it as a fine example of cartooning for the sake of cartooning, not as means to sell toys.

It's great fare for the children and a fantastic treat for the child inside of all adults. Enjoy it with your little ones, or with an older one who wants to visit Yesteryear.

Billy Summers is a freelance photographer who also reviews films for the Putnam Herald. He can be reached at summers855@yahoo.com.