DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Wreck-It Ralph, Blu-ray 3D (2013)

Another hilarious 3D animated feature, but one probably most appreciated by video gamers.

Published on March 3, 2013

Wreck-It Ralph, Blu-ray 3D (2013)

Voice actors: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman
Directors: Rich Moore
Studio: Disney Animation Studios/Buena Vista 110814 [3/5/13] (4-disc 3D combo pack)
Video: 2.39:1 anamorphic/enhanced 1080p HD color
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 7.1, French or Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Extras: Oscar-winning Paperman theatrical short, “Creating the Worlds of Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Gamer’s Guide to Wreck-It Ralph,” Deleted and alternate scenes, Video game commercials, Bunches of previews to slog thru
Length: 108 minutes
Rating: ****

John Lassiter of Pixar was involved in the production of this Disney animated feature, so it’s very well done. But it obviously is designed to appeal to video gamers of all ages, and that‘s definitely not me. The oversized main character, played hilariously by John C. Reilly, is tired of playing the “bad guy” in his video arcade game and wants to reinvent himself as a “good guy” by getting a hero’s medal which he finds out is available in another arcade game, “Hero’s Duty,” which pits over-armed futuristic soldiers against multiplying cybugs. He’s also mad at Fix-It Felix, who can magically repair all the things Ralph wrecks in the video game.

After he grabs the medal, he ends up in the “Sugar Rush” game and involved with the at-first annoying “glitch” named Vanellope—voiced by Sarah Silverman. Ralph is unaware he has accidentally brought one of the cybugs to Sugar Rush, and it is multiplying to eventually destroy all the arcade games. Beautiful but hard-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (from “Hero’s Duty”) follows with a plan to eradicate the pesky bugs.  A race of little cars is involved in the plot to have the glitch win the race (against the evil King Candy) and gain her rights in the game.

Veteran gamers will probably love this due to the many references to past early arcade games such as Pac Man and Pong as well as to the latest creations. It should be a nostalgia-inducing joy for them. The various creatures in Sugar Rush were a kick too, including the Oreo cookie soldiers and devil-dog policemen. There’s even a repeated bit about creating volcanic eruptions using Mentos and diet cola—at least that’s one I knew about. True, you don’t need to know anything about video games to appreciate Wreck-It Ralph, but I’m sure it helps. It’s a world that is awfully fast-moving and full of “Easter eggs” that the non-gamer would probably miss. The 3D effects are great, by the way. They also play up the often ridiculous contrast between the size of the characters as well as the differing styles of video game animation that are mixed together. The mostly-monotone short in the extras which won the recent Oscar is also well worth viewing.

—John Sunier




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