When Litwak’s arcade closes at night, the various video game characters leave their normal in-game roles and socialize in a power strip. Wreck-It Ralph, the antagonist of the game Fix-It Felix Jr., is ostracized by its other characters for being the game’s villain, while the titular hero Felix is praised and awarded medals. After the game’s inhabitants exclude Ralph from their thirtieth anniversary party, he sets out to earn a medal for himself to gain his neighbors’ respect. Felix worries that Ralph has “gone Turbo” – a term coined when notorious racing game character Turbo attempted to take over RoadBlasters, another racing game, which resulted in both of their games being unplugged.
Ralph learns he can obtain a medal from the first-person shooter, Hero’s Duty. After disrupting a game session, Ralph scales the game’s central beacon and obtains a medal, only to hatch a Cy-Bug, a dangerous insect-like creature. Ralph and the Cy-Bug stumble into an escape pod, which is launched out of the game, and crash land in Sugar Rush, a candy-themed kart racing game. With Ralph missing, his game is labelled as malfunctioning and faces being unplugged. Felix ventures to Hero’s Duty and allies with the game’s heroine, Sergeant Calhoun, to retrieve Ralph and the Cy-Bug.
A little girl, Vanellope von Schweetz, steals Ralph’s medal to buy her way into the nightly race that determines which characters are playable the next day, but King Candy, the ruler of Sugar Rush, forbids her from racing because she has glitches that cause her to teleport erratically. Ralph and Vanellope agree to work together to retrieve his medal and help her win a race. They build a kart and hide out at Diet Cola Mountain, an unfinished race track, where Ralph teaches her to drive. King Candy hacks the game’s code to obtain Ralph’s medal, and offers it to Ralph in exchange for preventing Vanellope from racing. He claims that if Vanellope wins and becomes playable, her glitches will lead to Sugar Rush being unplugged; unable to leave the game because of her glitch, Vanellope will be left in the unplugging while King Candy and his subjects become homeless in the arcade. Ralph reluctantly agrees and destroys Vanellope’s kart despite her pleas. Distraught over the remnants of her kart, she knows he “really is a bad guy” and runs off. Upon returning to his game, which has been evacuated in anticipation of it being unplugged the next morning, Ralph notices Vanellope’s image on the side of the Sugar Rush cabinet and realizes she was meant to be a playable character.
Meanwhile, Felix and Calhoun search Sugar Rush for Ralph. Felix falls in love with Calhoun, but she abandons him when he inadvertently reminds her of her late fiancé who was killed by a Cy-Bug on their wedding day. Felix is later imprisoned in King Candy’s castle, but Ralph frees him and Vanellope, and Felix fixes the kart. Calhoun discovers a swarm of Cy-Bug eggs underground, which hatch and start devouring the game.
Vanellope participates in the race, but is attacked by King Candy. Vanellope’s glitch causes him to be unmasked as Turbo, who took over Sugar Rush and displaced Vanellope as the main character. Vanellope glitches to escape Turbo, who is then eaten by a Cy-Bug. Ralph, Felix, and Calhoun evacuate the game, but Vanellope is trapped due to her glitches. When Calhoun points out that the Cy-Bugs can be attracted and destroyed by a beacon of light as in Hero’s Duty, Ralph decides to make Diet Cola Mountain erupt, replicating the beacon. Ralph is confronted by Turbo, now fused with the Cy-Bug that devoured him. Ralph makes the mountain erupt and falls into its depths to sacrifice himself, but Vanellope saves him using her glitching ability. The volcanic beacon lures and permanently destroys the Cy-Bugs and Turbo.
Vanellope crosses the finish line, rebooting Sugar Rush and restoring her status and memory as Princess Vanellope, the main character of the game, but keeps her glitching ability. Ralph and Felix return home and their game is spared. Felix and Calhoun marry. Vanellope gains popularity as a playable character, and a content Ralph gains respect from his fellow characters.
It came out in 2012 but I love this film. It honestly has a lot good lessons to learn. Felix learned that inclusion is important and you don’t choose who you fall in love with. Vanellope learned to be true to herself and continue fighting for what you believe in but as for help and Ralph learned that your job doesn’t define you and its who you are that matters. There are also a ton of Easter eggs to be found both linking Disney in our Disney Pixar Connection and to non Disney references.