This one’s not on any lists of classics for the simple, obvious reason that it’s too recent, but what praise it has received focuses mainly on its cuteness and its reverence for the videogame culture it draws on, not its beautifully executed twist. Here’s how it goes:
Ralph is an arcade game villain who wants to prove to the other characters that he can be something more. Such aspirations are frowned upon, ever since two early racing games were destroyed when the hero of the older one, Turbo, abandoned it and tried to take over the newer one. “Going Turbo,” has even become slang in Ralph’s arcade community for endangering a game by deviating from the assigned roles.
Ralph’s quest forces him to team up with Vanellope,
The race is on, King Candy does everything he can to stop Ralph and Vanellope, and in the struggle, he glitches up as well and reverts into Turbo,
The climactic sequence already has Ralph’s 2D fix-it game, the candy-themed racing game, and a nearby humans vs. aliens first person shooter colliding with all the awesomeness that combination demands, plus the Disney heartstring-tugging of Vanellope chasing the hell out of her dreams and Ralph making peace with who he is, AND one of the great Disney villain deaths involving man-eating insects, Mentos, and whole lot of Diet Coke.
Getting to see the mysterious pieces fit together is icing on the fresh baked racing cart.