Finally, Disney Animation tops Pixar in delivering an animated film that’s full of heart and jam-packed with enough video game references to please even the oldest of gamers. Rich Moore’s Wreck-It Ralph is an adventure for the whole family that makes good use of 3D, while also providing the audience with a well-written story that’ll go down as one of Disney Animation’s best films.
Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) is a video game bad guy. He spends most of his time destroying a building, only for the much loved Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer) to come in and claim all of the glory after repairing the building. Ralph lives this event on repeat, day-after-day until he finally decides that he’s sick of being the mistreated outcast.
He sets his sights on hopefully becoming the good guy in another video game or at least someone that’s well-respected in his own. By doing this he ventures out of his game and into several others, which lands him in a big load of trouble that could possibly lead to the arcade owners pulling the plug on his game and the games that he’s visited.
Wreck-It Ralph starts out a strong note, with director Rich Moore showing his clear appreciation of video games, both past and present. Ralph more than winks and nods at some arcade classics, while also touching up on what’s wrong with today’s modern first-person shooters. Moore’s not just a surface video game fan and he shows us that by revealing his knowledge and appreciation towards games as the film introduces and explores its many characters.
Leading the film is Wreck-It Ralph, voiced with a constant flow of energy by John C. Reilly. In the hands of Reilly the character can do no wrong, because Reilly’s got such a fantastic way of expressing a character’s inner-troubles, without ever coming off as too negative. Ralph is a good person with a giant streak of bad luck and Reilly does a marvelous job exploring that in a way that makes the comedic moments shine and the serious moments matter.
He’s joined by Sarah Silverman and a bunch of other notable performers that lend their voices for the film. Silverman stands out in her role as Vanellope, because the character introduces both Ralph and the audience to the film’s emotional core. Silverman handles the role quite well too, never making her squeaky and obnoxious voice a bad thing, but more of an added opportunity for more jokes between her and Ralph.
Silverman and Reilly’s ability to add layers to their characters and make them more than just pixels on a screen is a strong component to why this film achieves so much while still being classified as a family film.
Typically Disney Animation films include lots of cliches and over-used gags, but Wreck-It Ralph comes plump full with lots of creative and thoughtful writing, backed up even more by a colorful direction. Rich Moore makes great use of the film’s running time and not once stoops to the low level of other animated films in hopes of getting a cheap laugh, making Wreck-It Ralph an achievement for Disney Animation and a reminder to Pixar that they’re not the only ones that can make good quality animated films.
Wreck-It Ralph is one of the most enjoyable animated films of 2012, possibly ranking the best or second best on my personal list. Rich Moore’s direction/writing is full of surprises, never exchanging its originality for typical Disney jokes and almost always keeping things thrilling and exciting until the very end. Hopefully Pixar gets the hint and stops on their upcoming sequels to come up with some fresh content that has nothing to do with the Cars franchise.
Disney brings Wreck-It Ralph to Blu-Ray with 2D and 3D transfers that look absolutely magnificent. Both transfers are loaded with color, often making the film’s video game influences very well known. Like most animated films this one isn’t afraid to stretch the colors and give us worlds that are bright and vivid, while also dark and grimy. Luckily for us most of the film is popping with defined imagery.
The 3D transfer is just as strong as the 2D presentation. It adds some more depth to the film, mostly focusing on enhancing the inward viewing experience. I didn’t notice much of any cross-talk or banding, making this another home run for Disney.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is a thrilling experience that just goes to show you how important a good audio setup can be when it comes to viewing Blu-Ray’s at home. The back channels pump activity almost instantly after the film starts up, while the front channels even out with more effects and dialogue. The racing scenes highlight the film’s track, due to the constant shift in focus between various speakers. It’s an all-around blast.
Disney has loaded the combo pack with the following material:
- 2D & 3D versions of the film
- Paperman: Theatrical Short (HD)
- Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of Wreck-It Ralph (HD)
- Alternate & Deleted Scenes (HD)
- Video Game Commercials (HD)
- Disney Intermission (HD)
- Sneak Peeks (HD)
- DVD Copy
- Digital Copy
If you’re looking for an animated film that’s creative, full of energy and also has a heart-warming story to boot then you probably should pick up Wreck-It Ralph in the near future. It’s got all of the makings for an instant animated classic and yet it doesn’t bare the Pixar or DreamWorks name. Disney Animation has finally pulled themselves out of a slump with a film that’s not only one of their best, but also one of the best films to carry the Disney logo.
Director Rich Moore makes Wreck-It Ralph a thrilling adventure that’s visually stimulating (especially in 3D) and always entertaining on more levels than one. Wreck-It Ralph serves up something for everyone, with a story that’ll please most families, a great sense of knowledge towards video games and a leading voice worth investing into, thanks to John C. Reilly. The Blu-Ray combo pack contains a version of the film for every player, plus a fair share of assortments to pick over once you’ve finished the film. The video transfer is stellar and the audio track is full of aggressive activity. Highly recommended.