Missed your chance to catch Wreck-It Ralph in cinemas? Just didn’t get around to it? No problem! Disney brings us Ralph in a fantastic fully HD Blu-ray release and now there’s no excuse to not see one of Disney’s most memorable recent releases.
Wreck-It Ralph is a heart-warming and quirky tale about a video game underdog who tries to transcend his own role as an unfulfilled villain in the popular Fix-It Felix Jr. video game. He leaves the game in search of a token which may disprove his role as a villain and lift him to protagonist status but finds his eponymous name is well-fitted when he begins to wreck other game worlds and their characters during his quest for true heroism.
Wreck-It Ralph is an extremely fun and clever animation which arrived with perfect timing. The first generation of video gamers, brought up on Atari; Neo-Geo; Nintendo; Sega etc, are now taking care of their own kids who are themselves the tech-savvy target-market of one of the world’s most successful industries: video games. For 90s kids, parents saw very little benefit in video games and often shrugged them off as a phase but now, as many of those 90s kids have children of their own or contact with much younger nieces; nephews etc. there is a lot of potential for closing a generational gap.
Video games are slowly becoming a universal experience that no longer knows age limits and is something that can be shared in a nostalgic and contemporary way. Wreck-It Ralph speaks to this directly and is a perfect film to bring kids and adults together in a pixelated universe in which both have experience, albeit a large difference in pixels. In some ways, Wreck-It Ralph is a testament to the power that cinema and video games encompass and that video games have become a past-time as accessible and universal as going to see a movie. Boy, I wish my parents had played Super Mario Bros. or Battle City with me and I can’t wait to see what games I’ll be playing when I’m a toppie with grand kids!
It comes as a surprise that Hollywood took this long to realise the potential of an animation-video game cross-over. We’ve seen it on Saturday mornings on Captain N: The Game Master; the 1989 film with Fred Savage – The Wizard and most recently, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Nostalgia is one of the most difficult and powerful emotions to invoke in a film and, more than often, when pulled off, sends us to a cloud-nine of longing and happiness. Wreck-It Ralph is definitely one of those films, and pulls it off in a fun and non-soppy way. It is an absolute joy to watch this film and Disney can definitely be commended this time on a fantastic feature!
Like most animations on high-def, Wreck-It Ralph completely dazzles with its 1080p/AVC encoding. It’s an eye-popping feast of pixels and colours and is without a doubt a reference title for your blu-ray collection. The picture is stable and the edges polished with no signs of aliasing and all the textures and details leap off the screen.
The audio is equally impressive and is given carte blanche with a flawless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 Track. Despite the film’s retro treatment, the sound design is commendable and can only be fully appreciated on a surround sound system. Wreck-It Ralph is an immersive sound experience that never disappoints. All the audio is stable with pitch-perfect levels and nothing is ever audibly drowned or over-powered – every sound, from loud bangs to 8-bit blips to the masterful soundtrack, stands on its own and further enhances the experience of the film.
For the average fan, this Wreck-It Ralph release presents a few satisfactory extra features. The theatrical short, Paperman, presented before the film in cinema is included in this release and has an equal HD treatment and a 17 minute featurette, Bit by Bit, also gives a sneak peek into the making of the film. Some alternate and deleted scenes are included as well as four commercials for video games mentioned in the film. Nothing more is presented for the avid Disney collector and if you’re searching for an in-depth look into the making of this feature, you’ll find the special features to be slightly stingy.
Wreck-It Ralph’s target audience is extremely universal and can be enjoyed by entire families. Even the parents that never fully understood what a childhood spent in video arcades meant, will find some sort of emotional anchor and will easily feel the nostalgia of this film. I can’t make it any clearer that this film is for the ENTIRE family.
The Bottom Line
This is a great film to add to any blu-ray collection – it has character; style; quirks and charms and this high-def release treats the film with the extreme visual care that it deserves. Despite lacking some extras for the die-hard collector, Wreck-It Ralph shines on blu-ray and is highly recommended.
Overall Score (not an average)
About Martin Rutkowski
Martin Rutkowski is a recent graduate from AFDA Film School with an Honours degree in Directing and Screen-writing. He has two ears and one mouth and listens twice as much as he speaks. For him, home is wherever there is a darkened room, a projector and a good film playing and finds nothing more spiritual than cinema. Martin would love nothing more than to spread his passion for films (and maybe give an opinion or two) whilst pursuing several screen-writing projects.