Wreck-It Ralph Blu-ray

In this modern age of console, p.c., and mobile video games it’s easy to forget the days of my youth when the video arcade was king. This is not to say that we didn’t have gaming systems of our own but an Atari 2600 and PlayStation 3 are about as similar as one of Henry Ford’s model T’s to a fully loaded Mercedes.

Suffice it to say I remember very clearly when video games were only a quarter, and how timeless classics ranging from Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and countless other arcade treasures became cultural icons as well as school yard conversation topics in the pre-Internet days.

Walt Disney Studios have crafted an amazing visual spectacle that combines numerous references to gaming greats old and new with their new movie “Wreck-it Ralph”. The film stars John C. Reilly as Ralph, the villain of a very popular arcade game called Fix it Felix. When the arcade closes for the evening Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer), and the other residents the game enjoy carefree life of companionship and socialization while Ralph is relegated to a pile of bricks in the town dump and forced to watch the frivolity enjoyed by his workmates from a distance.

His only relief comes when he travels to a central gaming hub and enjoys the company of other gaming villains in a support group. During one such group, Ralph drops the shocking revelation that he wishes to become a hero. Not only does this disclosure shock his fellow gaming villains but the cast of his game, one of whom taunts Ralph to go off and win a hero’s medal elsewhere.

Undaunted, Ralph sets off and finds himself in a brand-new 3-D shooter called Heroes Duty. It is here that Jack meets Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch), a grizzled and bitter veteran who’s been programmed to have the most tragic back story ever developed for gaming persona. Despite his bumbling actions, Ralph achieves his medal and plans to returns to his own game in triumph. Unfortunately in the time that he is been away, the arcade owner believes that his game is defective since Ralph is missing from it and labels the game out of order.

This is a terrible situation especially for older game, as once a game is un-plugged, all of the characters contained within are lost forever. On his way back to his game, Ralph finds himself in a colorfully festooned sugar and treat filled racing game as he attempts to retrieve his medal and set things right unaware that an even bigger threat is looming that threatens all the game characters in the arcade.

Assisting Ralph is Vanellope von Schweetz, (Sarah Silverman), who is an impish glitch that Ralph views as a kindred spirit as she is also ostracized by her fellow game cast. With the gigantic race looming, and the loony King Candy (Alan Tudyk), making things difficult Ralph must rise up and become more than he ever thought he could be to save the day.

The 3-D animation the film the spectacular but what really makes the movie is fine performances by Riley, Lynch, and Silverman, as well as the amazing supporting work by Tudyk, McBrayer, and the rest of the cast. The jokes are extremely clever and come at you at a fairly steady pace. The film was nearly 2 hours in length so parents be warned that this and the PG rating might make things a little harder than usual for extremely young viewers.

There were several fantastic jokes that clearly went over the heads of many of the younger viewers during our test screening as they were geared at those who grew up with arcades and the original Nintendo console.

The film did have a few pacing issues but they were minor and did not as a whole take away from my overall enjoyment of the film. While it falls just short of being considered a modern classic, the movie is definitely one of the more enjoyable films of the year and one that I hope spawns several follow-ups as it was pure Disney magic and gaming nostalgia blended to perfection.

4 stars out of 5

Blu-ray details

The 4 disc combo pack includes both a standard and 3D Blu-ray disc as well as a DVD and digital copy for those who wish to enjoy Ralph on the go.

Aside from the very sharp picture and sound quality that was provided the bonus features are worth the cost alone.

It includes the award winning “Paperman” short, a gamers guide to Wreck-It Ralph, Features, and of course, the deleted and alternate scenes.
During their panel at Comic con, the creative talent had said how many ideas they had that did not make the final film, one can only hope the deleted scenes are a sign of a pending sequel. Either way, run, do not walk and own this impressive release.