Wreck-it-Ralph is a great animated-comedy-adventure the entire family will enjoy and, at least for the past couple of years, rivals some of Pixar’s own works. It’s a fresh and imaginative story and the animation is wonderful.
Genre(s): Animation, Comedy, Adventure, Family
Disney | PG – 101 min. – $49.99 | March 5, 2013
Directed by: Rich Moore
Writer(s): Rich Moore & Phil Johnston & Jim Reardon (story), Phil Johnston & Jennifer Lee (screenplay)
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling
Theatrical Release Date: November 2, 2012
Features: Featurette, Deleted/Alternate Scenes, Theatrical Short, Digital Copy, DVD Copy
Number of Discs: 4
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 35.8 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
Despite Pixar being under the Brand, Disney Animation Studios get their hands in the game again with this CG-animated comedy-adventure, Wreck-It Ralph, a semi-innovative and incredibly fun flick which kids will of course love but has a ton of in-jokes Gen-X-ers will appreciate.
The story opens at an arcade where we are introduced to the game, “Fix-It Felix Jr.”, in which it is Ralph’s (JOHN C. REILLY) job to tear an apartment complex down after which Felix, Jr. (JACK MCBRAYER), fixes the damage. The game is celebrating its 30th anniversary and after the arcade closes, the games come to life, and the residents of the Fix-It Felix game hold a party but because he’s a bad guy, Ralph isn’t invited. However, he kind of guilt’s his way inside where he makes a mess of things and the residents make it clear he isn’t welcome. In a sort of retaliation, Ralph promises to win a medal to prove he’s not bad.
Ralph leaves the party and seeks out to find that metal by entering other games via Game Central Station, the hub where the characters gather and go to their respective games. He first tries entering a game entitled “Heroes Duty”, headed up by a woman named Calhoun (JANE LYNCH), dressed like an oversized commando but he’s quickly out of his element.
However, he manages to get to the level with a precious gold medal which he claims as his own but sets of a motion of events from a space craft, a vicious alien creature and crash landing in “Sugar Land”, a racing game and kingdom ruled by neurotic King Candy (ALAN TUDYK). There he meets a precocious and ever-so-slightly obnoxious little girl named Vanellope (SARAH SILVERMAN) who manages to get the medal and uses it to enter the big race, much to the chagrin of the king and racing participants. Why? Well, apparently Vanellope is what they call a “glitch”, a leftover character by the creators who was never meant to be in the game, therefore she’s never been allowed to enter any races as others feared if she’s discovered the game would be placed out of commission and turned off leaving everyone in Sugar Land homeless.
After some back-and-forth bickering between Ralph and Vanellope, the two strike up a deal that if he teaches her how to race, she will in turn win and get him his gold medal back. Obvious obstacles stand in the way including, for some mysterious reason beyond what has been told, King Candy’s insistence Vanellope not be allowed to race. Meanwhile, buried underneath Sugar Land is the monster/alien that Ralph brought with him and it’s quickly replicating which is sure to doom the game. This part of the story is being handled by Calhoun and her new crush, Felix.
Wreck-it-Ralph is simply put, one of the funnest (still unsure if that’s a word, but I’m going with it) movies to come around perhaps since Toy Story 3. No, it doesn’t have quite the emotional punch as some Pixar movies do, but given it is from the same neighborhood, it does certainly have the magic of one.
What’s also special about this movie is the fact that rather than cast some recognizable famous actors who sometimes seemed out of place, the filmmakers instead chose people who could encompass the characters, breathing life into them and thus holding as close of an emotional bond as possible in animation. John C. Reilly was the perfect choice as Ralph showing a toughness in spots and yet tenderness and a childlike innocence in others. Jack McBrayer is fun as the spunky Felix and Jane Lynch is a riot as the strong yet somewhat sexy heroine of the movie. Sarah Silverman, given the character’s highly pitched voice isn’t recognizable but the attitude certainly is.
The movie was helmed by Rich Moore, handpicked by Disney Animated studio exec and Pixar-god John Lasseter, who marks his feature debut after supervising such shows as “Futurama” and “The Simpsons”.
Wreck-it-Ralph is a magical movie that deserved so much more attention than it got. At the box office it was only a modest success though as with any other animated project, it was mostly overshadowed by its Pixar counterpart, Brave both in terms of box office and, just last night, at the Oscars. In this writer’s opinion (worth a whopping 2¢), Wreck-it-Ralph was more deserving but the Pixar brand is hard to overcome.
Slighted or not, Wreck-it-Ralph is a fun and imaginative tale that the entire family will love. The story is a breath of fresh air, there’s more than a few in-jokes for some Gen-Xers to appreciate and even for those adults with little or no knowledge of gaming will still get a kick out of it. And of course, the kids will fall in love with Ralph and Vanellope.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5
As with other 3D Blu-ray combo packs, this one comes with a lenticular slip cover. The 4-discs are housed in a standard Blu-ray case, stacked on both sides. Personally I hate this method and not sure why Disney didn’t just employ a regular 4-disc case. Inside is a standard DVD Copy and a Digital Copy disc.
Paperman Theatrical Short (6:34; HD) – This amusing dialogue-free short ran before Wreck-It Ralph in theaters.
Bit by Bit: Creating the World of Wreck-It Ralph (16:40; HD) is a relatively short featurette about how the movie was made and features interviews with the crew. It’s pretty basic but at least you get a glimpse at the animation (for each environment) and story creation.
Alternate & Deleted Scenes (15:26; HD) allows you to see what didn’t make it into the final cut. This is accompanied by a commentary with Rich Moore and others as well as an introduction.
Intermission: The Gamer’s Guide to Wreck-It Ralph is an annoying feature where, upon pausing the movie, Jack McBrayer pops up and provides some trivia about the movie. This means every time you pause just to refill your drink or whatnot, this will turn on… I wish there was an option to turn this feature off.
Video Game Commercials (2:39; HD) are included for the different fictional games like “Fit-It Felix Jr.”, “Sugar Rush”, “Hero’s Duty” and “Fix It Felix Hammer”.
Preview – Monsters University
VIDEO – 5.0/5
Disney releases Wreck-It Ralph on Blu-ray with a gorgeous-looking 1080p high-definition transfer. The movie is presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio, and as one would expect from a high-budget animated film, this one has amazing detail levels and bright colors which pops off the screen. Although 2013 is still young, this is going to be one of the best video transfers to be released.
The 3D portion of the movie is also impressive showing some wonderful depth during many scenes, especially the commando portion where Ralph attempts to get the gold medal. Also, because the movie is already bright, it doesn’t get toned down too much. This is more or less a flawless 3D presentation as I didn’t notice much in terms of ghosting.
AUDIO – 5.0/5
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is robust showing off the various action sequences but also has discernible dialogue levels as well. Most of Disney’s releases come with a 7 channel lossless track and although I doubt kid viewers might not appreciate it the adults certainly do providing for as good of a home theatrical experience as possible.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, Wreck-it-Ralph is a great animated-comedy-adventure the entire family will enjoy and, at least for the past couple of years, rivals some of Pixar’s own works. It’s a fresh and imaginative story and the animation is wonderful. That being said, while the audio/video transfers are phenomenal, this unfortunately did not get the same treatment as most Pixar home releases do in terms of features. There’s a nice making-of featurette but its standard and the deleted scenes aren’t anything amazing. However, if solely buying based on the movie (who in the hell does that anymore?!?!), its well worth the purchase price.