HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Wreck-It Ralph
HTS Overall Score:93
It seems the decision to make John Lasseter the executive producer for BOTH Disney and Pixar has created a rather unique melding of the studios. Pixar has gained a slightly more “classic Disney” feel to it (think the Disney princess theme that ran through “Brave”), and it appears that Disney has gained an almost “Pixarish” feel to its latest film. The animation, the heart touching storyline, the gags - it was so much so that I honestly had to remind myself that I wasn’t watching a Pixar film. Now that we have this melding, it’s about time Disney started branching out into a new genre. Instead of rehashing a million different tried and true stories, they finally plucked the ripe fruit of the video game industry, a genre that is literally rife with opportunity and the ability to explore a terrain grossly underutilized in the Disney world. Gaming has been on a major, major upswing in popularity in the general public, literally swollen with a cornucopia of fans and stereotypes ripe for the taking, I’m honestly surprised “Wreck-It Ralph” wasn’t made sooner.
Our film starts with the main hero, or should I say villain, Ralph (John C. Reilly), a hardworking bad guy in the video game “Wreck-It Ralph,” discussing with a villain support group (dubbed Bad-A-Non) his feelings of pain and frustration over BEING a villain. Ralph is sick and tired of being the bad guy all the time, tired of seeing the hero, Fix-it Felix (Jack McBrayer), getting all the glory and living it large in his penthouse while Ralph is stuck in the dump living a life devoid of most friendships. Ralph wants to MAKE something of his life, actually be the hero and win a shiny medal for once. After an encounter with a soldier from the futuristic game "Hero's Duty," Ralph gets the bright idea to game jump into “Hero’s Duty,” grab a medal, and gain some of the respect that he longingly desires. The plan, unfortunately, backfires in his face, and he ends up taking a voracious psy-bug from the game and crash lands an escape pod right in the middle of “Sugar Rush,” a brightly colored, childlike Candy Land, go-kart extravaganza, followed by militant beauty Calhoun and worried colleague Felix.
Enter Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), an annoying, back-talking, brat of a girl who decides to steal Ralph’s medal and use it to enter herself in a race. But not just any race. This is the race that determines the next day's Random Roster, the list of racers arcade patrons can select to be and the highest honor in "Sugar Rush." The other racers, however, have other plans. It appears that Vanellope is just like Ralph, an outcast, a glitch who no one likes and suffers from the same rejection that Ralph endures. Taking pity on the poor girl, Ralph lends his wrecking hands and strength to help Vanellope gain her entrance to the race in exchange for her helping him retrieve his medal. However, there lies more sinister schemes below the sugar-coated surface of the candy world. Not only does the King of “Sugar Rush” seem to have an ulterior motive, but that psy-bug that Ralph brought has been multiplying and gaining strength to wreak the same havoc that it creates in “Hero’s Duty” upon the unsuspecting and defenseless world of “Sugar Rush.”
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10995[/img]After watching the film both in the theater and in my home, “Wreck-It Ralph” gets better and better with subsequent viewings. Albeit a bit saccharin sweet at times, it is a touching story about loving yourself for who you are and the value that everyone has, whether they’re popular or not. Disney has been in kind of slump lately, only producing mediocre or just plain “ok” films, but with “Wreck-It Ralph," they knocked the proverbial ball completely out of the ballpark. Instead of making fun or exploiting the video game genre, it’s obvious the movie was lovingly created by people who have their own Atari 2600’s, NES systems, and the like. We see gags ranging from Qbert and Pacman all the way up to digs at Mario Kart. There are even some references to the obscure Power Glove that had me rolling on the floor.
While the good old hard core gamers from the 80’s and 90’s will get the MOST out of the film, the casual gamer who doesn’t know every character in the Street Fighter lineup won’t be left out in the dark. There’s plenty of relevant and casual humor combined with the hard core gamer style, blended into a mix that’s both sweet and funny at the same time. My only real complaint was that a little too much time was spent in the “Sugar Rush” world and not enough time exploring the other realms (although with the success of “Wreck-It Ralph,” I’m sure that my wish will come true in the obvious sequel). A little more game jumping would have helped to shake it up just a tad. While that is a downside, the third act of the film more than makes up for the overstayed welcome in “Sugar Rush,” puling itself out of the danger zone and popping it right back on top. I absolutely loved the characters, even the ones who seemed annoying at the beginning, and the animation is to die for. While it falls short of perfection, “Wreck-It Ralph” hits much more often than it misses and is something I would recommend for everyone to watch, whether they’re a kid or just a kid at heart.
Rated PG for some rude humor and mild action/violence
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10994[/img]“Wreck-It Ralph” is by the far the closest to perfection that I’ve ever seen an animated title reach. Pristine and glorious is an understatement. Colors abound EVERYWHERE, saturating every scene and literally popping out at you in every way possible. Disney did a fantastic job with the CGI: no jaggies or awkward lines, everything smooth and perfect as could be. The animation was so perfectly done that I actually would have sworn that it was a Pixar animated title rather than a Disney title. Black levels are fantastic and deep. Shadow detail is flawless, allowing every little bit of detail to be seen unobstructed. Detail is incredible, as to be expected, with every curve and line of the characters masterfully reproduced. I may sound like a gushing fool, but this release deserves it in spades. Artifacts are nonexistent to my carefully discerning eye. No haloing, aliasing or digital macroblocking ANYWHERE. Disney gave this disc plenty of breathing room and it really shows. They created an absolutely breathtaking presentation that needs to be seen to be appreciated.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10993[/img]Already setting the bar high with a perfect audio score, Disney upps the ante and pairs it up with an equally perfect audio score. Rich and dazzling, “Wreck-It Ralph’s” 7.1 DTS-HD MA track explodes into the scene with an aggressive mix that’s both engrossing and thunderous. Surrounds are used impeccably with the sounds of race cars flashing across the soundstage at breakneck speeds and the wild thunderous sounds of Ralph’s massive fists destroying everything in sight made my pant legs vibrate from the impact. Dialogue is well balanced and locked into the center. Dynamic range is wide, but not unbalanced. Nothing had to be turned up or down to understand the vocals or keep your ears from getting destroyed from sound effects recorded at too high of a volume. Showcasing a phenomenal track from beginning to end, it’s clear that Disney definitely put a lot of care and attention into all aspects of this release; very highly recommended for us audiophiles.
• Paperman: Theatrical Short
• Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of "Wreck-It Ralph"
• Alternate & Deleted Scenes
• Video Game Commercials
• Disney Intermission
Sweet and endearing (almost too sweet at times), “Wreck-It Ralph” should have won best animated film over “Brave,” in my personal opinion. Those of us who grew up in the older gaming generation will have a gas with all of the old school gaming references, from Pac-man to Street Fighter 2. The voice actors nailed it spot on (and I don’t like Sarah Silverman at all, so that surprised me to no end) and the story was just shy of perfect. With absolutely flawless video and audio scores, this is a release that I upgrade from must watch to a MUST BUY.
Starring: John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman
Directed by: Rich Moore
Written by: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 7.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Runtime: 101 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: March 5th, 2013
Buy Wreck-It Ralph Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Buy It!
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