Opening this weekend, Disney's candy-colored Wreck-It Ralph is a wonderful ode to '80s gaming. The story concerns the titular Ralph (John C. Reilly), who is kind of like Donkey Kong, sans a captured princess. He's excellent at wrecking tall buildings—à la Rampage—but he'd rather be a hero earning gold coins. Though he's the game's bad guy, it doesn't mean he's a bad person! It's a must see for Pole Positioners who remember the byte-sized fun of sprites and 2-D side-scrollers.
What we really got our ones and zeroes bleeping and blooping was the appearances of so many 8-bit icons. Not to mention a few new characters who closely resemble some familiar faces. So who's who in Wreck-It Ralph? Read on to find out!
1. OMG "@!#?@!" Q*Bert Finally Gets His Due: Showing up homeless (his game is no longer at the arcade) the tube-nosed, language-impaired one is a highlight. In a story about underdogs, this is quite fitting since QB was the second fiddle of the arcade era: the game you played when too many quarters were lined up on Centipede.
2. Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun Never Loses the Lead: Jane Lynch is an ultra-macho Call of Duty super solider. She barks a lot, but her mega-blaster rifle would be the envy of any Halo all-nighters.
3. Baddies Admit They Have a Problem: The 12-step support group for video game villains is the perfect place for Ralph to share his true feelings. It also happens to be the perfect spot for cameos! Clyde, the orange ghost from Pac-Man turns all blue and scared, Bowser the giant turtle who hates that Italian plumber Mario breathes fire and Street Fighter's Russian wrestler Zangief just seems so sweet. Awww!
4. Glitch's Bad Code Is Badass: Ralph teams up with her to take down her snotty mean girl competitors in Sugar Rush, which is like the rainbow road level in Mario Kart. Glitch's (Sarah Silverman) impish angst makes her the racer we root for. Who didn't want a Toad or Peach racer that could zap forward unpredictably? One scene even had our cold synthetic eyes tearing up. Added Bonus: Silverman use of the word "duty" is as profane as she gets.
5. Fix-It Felix Is Flawless: The film opens in the game Fix-It Felix, Jr. From there, comparisons to Nintendo's Donkey Kong abound. Ralph's wreck-it nature as he pounds his fists into the apartment complex he demolishes reminds us of DK's stomping at the top of those girders. Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer) doesn't speak with an Italian accent, but his raising of his hammer ("I can fix it!") is total Mario hammer time. FYI: Mario is not seen at all but he's at least talked about. Mercifully, there's no mention of his dead-beat brother Luigi.