The Movie: 7.75/10
What do I love about Wreck-It Ralph? My husband is a life-long gamer…need I say more? I mean, I have played a few games in my time, but not almost EVERY game ever made like some people…eh hemmm Ascully..cough cough. What made me interested in this movie was the fun I was pretty sure I would be having while digging around for those few video game memories and seeing them in a whole new way.
Wreck-It Ralph delivers some of the favorites, of course, and a few newish, and even brand new characters. I don’t usually watch a movie on it’s kitch value, but this might be an exception. I was truly watching for references to video games I have been familiar with in my life. There are some reference, funny, clever at times, and they come hot and heavy in the first part of the movie. As time goes those references trickle down and the newish and brand new characters come along. I enjoyed Ralph a lot. He’s got a very specific mission and attitude. He is the bad guy of his 30 year old game and just wants to be treated with a bit more kindness and care. He holds that desire throughout the entire story and the way he’s written and played makes him the best character in the movie for those and other reasons (hint hint, the art of him:)).
The ride I was going on with Ralph was good’n’plenty. He’s a big guy, physically and emotionally. He fills the screen a lot with just himself and with his body movements and his personality. I became a Ralph fan right away so the whole story was a bonus. Once we understand how Ralph was going to have to take his journey I was on for the whole thing. What happened was a bit unfortunate, when looking back on it. I wanted that journey to be full and crazy, which it was….however, I also wanted more of the hinted promise of more classic video game references. This didn’t happen quite as much as my brain was demanding. It did taint some sections of the movie, the longer stints in Sugar Rush, the new racing game in the arcade where most of the action and drama takes place.
What was great about the whole movie is the liveliness and heart. It’s a story of a mismatched pair, and hearts wanting acceptance, people needing friends and care, all this with some alien bugs and idiot violence. Yea, there it is. The almost throughout moments of mindless violence and apparently acceptable hateful snarky comments between characters. I’m not a prude. I’m not unfun. I’m not even very nice. So, why does it bother me when cute little cartoon characters punch and smack each other for laughs? I have no idea. Well, that’s not true. When your 5 year old punches your 3 year old and then you spank the 5 year old and say, “NO HITTING!” ….does that make you an insane person, or a product of this kind of dishing out of cutesy violence? Decide for yourself.
I really enjoyed Ralph, at about a 75% rate, if I were pushed to come up with a number.It has amazing animation, of course. I don’t think that’s something any reviewer person needs to talk about anymore. I mean, it’s gonna be good, it’s the 21st century.
Sugar Rush Land didn’t win me over as much as the individual bits of it, all candy, sugar, sweets. All looked so touchable it kept me hypnotized. I just wasn’t lost in the whole cutesy girl racer theme of that part of the video game character world. The main thing that kept me smiling and engaged was Ralph. I am not a big Sarah Silverman fan, so the voice of her character was one of those things I needed to just “get over” and even then the overly cutesy vibe was not something I respond to. Go figure, I am more drawn to the big gallute guy with huge hands and heart of gold.
If I were to recommend this movie to anyone it’s gonna be kids kids kids kids. Of course. I just don’t think that the promise of video games is enough to sustain someone who is going in with that as a reason to watch the movie. That being said, as they say, my husband loved it, loved everything about it (minus some love for the long term stint in Sugar Rush, and the lack of “more video game worlds”). Your kids will dig it, but remember that hitting and smacking is a feature of some of the longest and most allegedly endearing scenes, so get your parent hat on and maybe either distract them or explain the badness they are watching. I’m only saying this because if you have more than one kid, they WILL start hitting each other with a hammer at some point and if you are honest with yourself and Disney, there is a scene in this movie that might be to blame.
The memory of Wreck It Ralph is better for me than the experience of the movie itself. I can’t explain exactly why, but thinking back on the fantastic idea of going from inside an arcade to inside the actual machines where the video game people and their worlds exist is almost breathtaking…no joke. I was sitting there, mouth agape, eyes wide watching as the arcade closed for the night and the worlds inside the cabinets came to live with fully 3D folks. That lingers for me and if I watch it again I hope to enjoy that portion even more than I did the first time.
- Paperman Theatrical Short – This Oscar nominated short is as beautiful as it is poetic. I wish there was some kind of commentary on this short I would like to know what inspired the animation style.
- Bit By Bit Creating The World Of Wreck It Ralph – A 30 minute making of featurette that goes into almost all aspects of the production. Some great behind the scenes animation and a look around the Disney Animation Studios office.
- Disney intermission The Gamers Guide To Wreck It Ralph – If you pause the movie at any point you get that bloke from “The Talking Dead” telling you about the video-game easter eggs hidden in the movie. It’s great for watching while the little ones have a pee.
- Deleted & Alternate Scenes – Several deleted and alternate scenes that would have made the movie a much darker affair. As usual these are storyboards and not animated scenes. You can turn on commentary from the director as well.
- Video Game Commercials – Some awesome fake commercials for the arcade featured in the game. The one from the 80’s even has that VHS look to it.
- 2D, 3D, DVD & Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The cover is a bit so-so considering the fantastic images they had to work with. I wouldn’t have this as a poster, but I would have some of the other images in the movie on my wall at home, absolutely. The menu is themed of course, but not really much to talk about.
Audio & Video: 10/10
Wreck It Ralph sets a new high bar for Disney Animation on Blu-Ray, with a lush and stunning 1080P AVC transfer that looks better than the video-games it mimics. The main star of the show here are the vivid colors that the added color depth of Blu-Ray brings to your HD screen with superb results. The 3D version of the movie that is also included features the inward style 3D and has little in the way of pop out, still the added depth adds a little something to the film and makes Ralph and friends come alive.
Audio is handled with the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 codec to really make the room feel alive with sound. When Skrillex kicks in the Dubstep during the Heroes Duty (haha Duty) sequence your LFE channel really goes into overdrive. There are also lots of directional sound effects that as a video-gamer I appreciate.
Overall Wreck-It Ralph is a technical marvel that really shines in HD on the Blu-Ray format. Your kids will be spinning this disc over and over I assure you.
If you find Ralph in the store in a couple months for around 12 or 15 buckaroos, go for it. If you think your kids will watch it hundreds of times, go ahead and pay the full price. Either way you will be buying it, right? If you are reading this you are going to want it on your Disney shelf of precious movies, or if you are Mr. Ascully.com you will want it on your John C. Reilly shelf:)
Overall Score 7.5/10