Director: Rich Moore
Stars: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer
You don't need to have a nostalgic fondness for Q*bert to love Wreck-It Ralph, but it sure does help. On its surface, the video-game-minded Disney triumph appeals to all those '80s babies who grew up smacking the sides of their Nintendo Entertainment System consoles to make Castlevania work without freezing. And in that regard, Wreck-It Ralph doesn't disappoint, throwing as many gamer references and visual cues at viewers as is humanly possible over the span of 108 minutes.
The best animated movie of the year truly resonates, however, thanks to its endlessly beating heart. Voicing the eponymous Ralph, John C. Reilly is top-notch, giving the world's loneliest arcade game villain a disarming tenderness that's perfectly matched with Sarah Silverman's rambunctious Vanellope, a 9-year-old glitch who just wants someone to believe in her. Their unlikely yet genuine friendship carries Wreck-It Ralph through its energetic mixture of snappy humor, eye-popping animation, and familiar yet effective underdogs-get-their-due theme.