In 2006, Disney acquired Pixar and rebranded its own cobwebbed animation house as the Walt Disney Animation Co. Toy Story
creator John Lasseter runs both. But Disney Animation hadn't done much—Meet the Robinsons, Bolt, Tangled
—before Wreck-It Ralph
, which is a beautiful synthesis of Disney storytelling and Pixar imagination. Chronicling one video-game villain's journey to change his stripes and become a good guy, Wreck-It Ralph
stars John C. Reilly as an oafish bad guy who just wants to be loved. To really find himself, he jumps from his video game, Fix-it Felix Jr.
, to Sugar Rush
, a Japanese race-cart game. That's where the real fun, both in the story and in the animation, truly begins. Meshing looks from 30 years of video games, playing it for big laughs and succeeding, and pushing the envelope like its younger corporate cousin, Disney has really accomplished something here.