When my family and I first saw previews to Wreck It Ralph, my husband was excited—but my daughter and I sort of just shrugged. It didn’t look that great, Disney or not, and like Wall-E, the previews just didn’t hook me. Maybe it was targeted at boys—though the girlie previews don’t hook me any better—but it also wasn’t clear about what the plot really was, which always annoys me. Add that to putting the best moments in the trailer and you’ve got a flop on your hands.
But as more trailers were released, it started to look better—and after some friends finally saw it and proclaimed it amazing, we thought we’d give it a try. We were able to watch it during our local canned food film festival, so seeing it free was a bonus.
Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman—these two ladies made Wreck It Ralph worth watching even if it wasn’t a good movie already. Both characters were trope-y, sure, with the bad*** militant leader with a tragic back story and the silly, childish manic pixie girl before her teen stages. We’ve seen these characters before, and I don’t think that they together even help the movie pass the Bechdel Test—it does barely pass the test otherwise—but they are so much fun to watch and simply hilarious, giving a couple of rare memorable sidekick-female performances in a Disney movie, so yay! And both of the females are leaders in their own right, not just sidekicks, which is also quite nice.
Then there’s Ralph. I’m not a huge John C. Reilly fan but man, this may be my favorite of all of his roles. Ralph is such a good guy at heart, even though he’s a bad guy, and it takes him having to save a new friend to really discover that for himself. His quest starts out as a superficial one—trying to get a medal in order to prove he’s worth something more than a bad guy who lives at the dump—but as it evolves, so does he. It’s a real hero’s journey filled with sacrifice and character development, which is exactly the kind of media I love to consume.
My family all loved the movie (though we did enjoy Rise of the Guardians even more), and we can’t wait to own it and see it again. More please, Disney—and how about more female leads next time?