When I saw the first trailers for "Wreck-It Ralph" last year, I was instantly enamored with the concept. Here was a heartfelt love letter to classic arcade games, the kind of which I have spent countless hours and dimes on during my youth. How could I not love it? When the film finally arrived on Blu-Ray, I was eager to take a closer look at it.
Ralph (John C. Reilly) is the bad guy in a classic arcade game called "Fix-It Felix" - which itself is a wonderful homage to games like Crazy Climber and Donkey Kong - but the game is beginning to show its age. After years and years of being the bad guy in this game and being shunned after hours, while the game's hero, Felix, and the game's extras celebrate every night. He wants more out of life and after being kicked in the teeth one time too many, Ralph decides he's had enough.
He leaves the game and ventures out into the world of other arcade games, trying to earn himself the respect he feels he deserves. But he soon realizes that being a video game hero can be dangerous stuff, especially when you wander into a mutant bug infested scifi action shooter. But it is his change to win his medal of honor and since he's used to wrecking things, he puts his skills to use right away. By accident and unbeknownst to him, however, he unleashes the mutant bugs onto other games in the Arcade. When he meets Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), an energetic "glitch" from a sweet cart racing game called "Sugar Rush," he feels helping her might give him the hero reputation he so desires, but once again, things do not turn out as he had hoped, dashing his hopes for good. It is only when the swarm of mutant bugs surfaces that he realizes he is destined for bigger things. That only he can save the video arcade.
Thoroughly charming and filled with little - and not so little - references to various arcade and video games, Wreck-It Ralph" is a wonderful homage to the games we have come to love and cherish over the years. You will find countless tidbits in there that will make your heart warm and the film is thoroughly heartfelt, created by people who understand the subject matter and quite evidently love it.
I enjoyed the film quite a bit, though I have to admit that the character of Vanellope was a bit too much for my taste, taking the movie from arcade game joyride squarely into Disney entertainment territory, where cutsy, obnoxious little girls have become a mainstay, it appears. But that aside, the film definitely lives up to expectations and makes for a wonderfully, almost nostalgic, look back on the coin operated arcade games of old. The story has enough angles and twists to keep you interested and pulling for Ralph throughout, though for many like myself, it will be the subject matter that is the real draw of the film.
PResented in a wonderful 1080p high definition transfer on his Blu-Ray Disc, the release is without blemishes or flaws. Highly detailed and with mesmerizing colors, the movie not only conjures up the feel of classic arcade games but also that of modern day games with their polished graphics.
The release is jam packed with bonus materials, including the animated short "Paperman" as well as a series of featurettes taking a look at the making of "Wreck-It Ralph" and the games it draws inspiration from.
Whenever you pause the movie, the disc goes into an intermission mode, in which director Chris Hardwick will appear on the screen and point out various little tidbits about the movie. It is a nice little gimmick.
Deleted and alternate scenes are also included on the disc, as well as fake commercials for "Fix-It Felix," "Hero's Duty" and "Sugar Rush."
The DVD version and a Digital Copy of the movie is also included in the release.
"Wreck-It Ralph" may not have turned out exactly the way I had expected, but it was a fun and highly entertaining movie nonetheless. Filled with references and clues to existing games make this a true gem for fans to explore over and over again.