"Ralph, you are bad guy...that doesn't mean you are bad....guy...."
Disney’s 52nd feature has finally reached the shores of the UK having hit America in November last year.
Wreck-It-Ralph tells the story of Ralph, the villain in a 16-bit arcade game, somewhat similar to Donkey Kong. Everyday he destroys a large apartment building and it’s up to the game’s hero Fix-It-Felix to save the day and rebuild it.
After being the villain in the game for 30 years Ralph tires of always being the bad guy “game jumps” to other modern day games to attempt to be a hero.
The cast are brilliant with John C. Reilly delivering a great performance as the glum, anger prone Ralph. SaraH Silverman is perfect as the sickly sweet, annoying yet loveable Venelope. 30 rock’s Jack McBrayer gives a fun, awkward performance as the jolly 80’s working class hero Felix while Jane Lynch…well she does what she always does, as well as she always does it.
The story contains it’s fair share of the expected Disney mushiness and there are a few moments that’ll tease a tear from your eye but for the most part this is just fun. The mix of different game genres lend the film a great variety of locations which have pushed the Disney artists to create a stunning set of worlds, from the blocky 80’s felling Fix-It-Felix Jnr to the realistic next-gen graphics of Hero’s Duty.
Were this a regular Disney film I could pretty much sum it up by telling you it’s great and letting that be it, but it’s impossible to talk about Wreck-It-Ralph without discussing the games.
Disney have spared no expense (well, aside from their refusal to pay the supposedly massive fee from Nintendo to include Mario) in licensing characters from real world games and throughout the films viewers are treated to cameos from the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog, Pacman, Streetfighter’s Zangeif and Q*Bert. Eagle eyed viewers will also notice blink and you’ll miss it background antics from characters like Paperboy, Dig-Dug and Frogger. These cameos help place the film in a real world setting and add a great level of fan service to a title which could have easily been a series cheap knockoffs and look-a-likes of famous games.
And they’ve managed to implement these games wonderfully, Ralph attends villain support groups and goes out for a drink in the bar from the game Tapper. Classic game hero Q*Bert is homeless, his game cabinet long since unplugged.
These references may go over the heads of some younger viewers but will sate the parents as they see their childhood played out in glorious HD. I can attest to this as I almost squealed with joy seeing Sonic knocked over, rings spilling in every direction.
In the style of Roger Rabbit this is a film that brings a multitude of different continuities together seamlessly and creates a believable, entertaining world that is a delight to watch. Young or old, gamer or not, there’s something for you. What could have been a risky film to try and pull off has made another great addition to the Disney canon and shouldn’t be missed.
In a move reminiscent of a new Pixar release, Wreck-It-Ralph is preceded by a short B-movie Paperman. The film tells the tale of an office worker attempting to grab a woman’s attention by launching paper planes at her window.
Disney are obviously proud of the film and are boldly claiming it is a revolution in animation, a seamless blend of 2D and 3D animation and frankly it’s hard to argue with them, it’s a beautiful film, visually stunning with a sweet well thought out story.
The animation looks great and the new rendering technique gives the film a lovely pencil drawn look. Hopefully Disney continue to develop the technique as a whole feature done in this style would be a thing to behold.
As it stands now though, Paperman is a beautiful short, frankly it’s worth the price of admission on it’s own.