Wreck-It Ralph

2012, Walt Disney Studios

Somehow Disney managed to take an improbable premise and turn it into something quite enjoyable. Granted, the notion of computer game characters coming to life is hardly new; recall that Disney went down that road with Tron, twice, with mixed results. The trick here was to poke fun at the excesses of many of today's games—over-the-top violence, retina-searing saturated colors, and so on—while telling a surprisingly engaging story. Although the film does meander off course on occasion, one scene in particular really won me over: Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) confronts Ralph (John C. Reilly) about his "medal" by unleashing a continuous stream of potty jokes, and Ralph's wordless reaction is truly priceless. It's amazing to me how subtle, complex emotions can be conveyed so successfully in an animated character's face.

       

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