Disney’s surprise critical hit, Wreck It Ralph comes home to Blu-ray and DVD in multiple formats including Blu-ray 3D. We take a look at the Blu-ray 3D combo pack.
Any kid who grew up playing video games in the late 80s and early 90s should feel giddy about Wreck It Ralph. As a child of the 80s, a lot of time and quarters were spent playing classics like Street Fighter, Ms. Pac Man, Rampage and other staples of the period. If you are a gamer from times gone by and the trailers and marketing campaign for Disney’s Wreck It Ralph didn’t make you laugh or touch something in you, then you have no soul or were not a real gamer.
Wreck It Ralph’s conceit is brilliant in its simplicity. Video game characters and the world they inhabit are real. Their workday starts when the arcade opens and ends when it closes. The premise is very similar to Toy Story, only with Video Games instead of childhood toys.
Life is fantastic when you are a hero like Felix Fix It (Jack McBrayer). Everyone loves you, you get to live in an actual apartment, and have friends. However, no one likes the bad guy Ralph (John C. Reilly). People hate him, he lives in a literal dump, and he gets no credit for helping make his game a success. Ralph wants a change; he wants to become the good guy.
Director Rich Moore does a great job on the set up and gets the most out of his cast. None of these actors have really well known, unique voices (thank god, no Billy Crystal or Chris Rock), so they all match their characters.
Screenwriters, Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee and John C. Reilly clearly love the gaming culture; there are some really nice in-jokes and references to the classic games. All the mentioning of going Turbo had a double meaning for classic gaming fans until they explained it within the context of the movie.
The Halo style game that Ralph leaps into doesn’t make much sense and it was hard to really connect with Jane Lynch’s tough Commander Calhoun character. Everything is this movie clicks until somehow it becomes a totally different film in the last 30 minutes. Ralph reaches Candyland a colorful world where people make carts out of various types of candy (think Mario Kart).All forward momentum basically halts as we get sucked into the story of a Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) a glitch who desperately wants to race. It would be fine if they didn’t spend so much time there and Vanellope wasn’t such an annoying character. The movie abandons the fun ‘sly’ humor from the beginning for silly, bland shots of the candy-coated wonderland and cheap kiddie humor.
We get 2 or 3 minutes joking about “Duty,” because it sounds like “Dodo” and at the end they say things like “Smell you later,” and the annoying “repeat what I said” gags. Really? The shift in tone felt jarring as if somewhere along the lines they got some really bad studio interference halfway through the production process. The producers of this movie went out of their way to secure the license to all of these great game characters and really don’t use them beyond what was shown in the original trailers.
Wreck It Ralph is a brilliant high-concept in search of a movie. Starts great but fades fast.
Video, Audio, Packaging
This is a nice transfer. I’ll admit I’m running out of things to say about how great the 3D is in these animated films. The level of detail is very rich, smooth with very little clipping. The character models all look very smooth without coming across as too sharp and of course the colors are very rich and vibrant: especially the red in Ralph’s shirt. Although Candyland, at times, looked too bright it gave me a little bit of a headache.
I found it it cute that Disney stuck with the 8-bit gimmick for the text and menus. The packaging is Disney’s standard over done multi-disc affair with Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and Disney File discs all in one package. The Audio sounds nice, but there was nothing unique about the audio mix or sound design that made me notice it was even there.
I’m officially sick of seeing the Monsters University trailer. I am looking forward to finally seeing Little Mermaid for the first time when it comes to Blu-ray. The Oscar winning animated short Paperman is the main highlight on this set. This beautiful, fluid little black and white film is a whimsical love story about chance encounters.
Bit-by-Bit is a 16-minute behind the scenes look at how the movie was created. A couple of deleted scenes and some 30-second trailers for the games in the movie round out the limited extras.
Wreck It Ralph works better on Blu-ray 3D at home for me than it did in the theater. I still think the last 30-minutes ruin an otherwise fun movie. We have 4 discs for a 90-minute movie that is very light on extras. I love most Disney Blu-rays but it feels like they put the bare minimum effort into this.
- Movie – B-
- Video – B
- 3D Quality – B
- Audio – B
- Extras – D