J.D. Lafrance
Wreck-It Ralph: Ultimate Collector’s Edition DVD Review

Wreck-It Ralph: Ultimate Collector’s Edition

March 5, 2013

Director: Rich Moore,
Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, Joe Lo Truglio, Ed O’Neill,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

Video games are a thriving and incredibly lucrative industry, grossing as much if not more than the film industry so it makes sense that someone would make an animated film about the games themselves. And what better studio to do it than Disney who attempted to cash in on the first video game boom with Tron (1982). Whereas that film took the audience inside a computer, the animated film Wreck-It Ralph (2012) goes one step further and takes us inside the world of video games. The result is an entertaining and engaging tribute to classic and contemporary video games.

Ralph (Reilly) is the villain in the 30-year-old game Fix-It Felix, Jr. He’s grown tired of the gig and commiserates with other video game baddies at Bad-Anon, a support group for his kind. In a clever bit, they all leave the group, which is located in the Pac-Man game maze. Ralph is feeling lonely and unwanted. What he really wants is to be the hero. So, while drowning his sorrows at Tapper’s bar (remember that game?), he ends up stealing the outfit from and assuming the identity of a character from Hero’s Duty, a sci-fi first-person shooter game.

Ralph ends up escaping from the game with one of its villains accidentally tagging along and they crash into another game called Sugar Rush where he meets a little girl named Vanellope (Silverman). In pursuit is Sergeant Calhoun (Lynch), the lead character from Hero’s Duty, and Felix (McBrayer) as they look for Ralph and capture the baddie. What exactly is at stake? Well, the worst fate for any video game and its inhabitants is for it to break down, be slapped with an out of order sign and finally be unplugged.

The attention to detail is fantastic with all sorts of cameos from characters from numerous famous video games (Super Mario Bros.) and not so well-known (BurgerTime) while the made up ones acting as obvious stand-ins for other actual video games. For example, the landscape of Sugar Rush is a cross between Candyland and MarioKart. This allows the filmmakers to adopt a wondrously vibrant color scheme that is a visual feast.

The voice casting is spot-on with John C. Reilly playing the oafish Ralph, Jack McBrayer playing the upstanding Felix and Sarah Silverman playing the bratty Vanellope. Wreck-It Ralph examines what happens to the characters in a video game when it’s not being played. The attention paid to video game clichés and conventions is very well done. The people who made this film are obviously hardcore gamers. Wreck-It Ralph is a fun and wildly entertaining film with plenty of action and silly jokes for kids and tons of references to classic video games for those old enough to remember them.

Special Features:

Wreck-It Ralph’s predominantly vibrant primary color scheme looks fantastic on this Blu-Ray. The incredible care and detail that went into every frame looks amazing and you will spend plenty of time pausing certain shots to catch all the background Easter eggs.

While watching the film you can activate the “Disney Intermission” feature whenever you hit pause. Hosted by geek extraordinaire, Chris Hardwick, he offers a gamer’s guide to the many references to video games and Disney characters throughout the film.

Also included is the animated “Paperman: Theatrical Short” that was nominated for an Academy Award. It is an endearing story about an office drone that develops a crush on a woman applying for a job in the building across from his.

“Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of Wreck-It Ralph” features the creative team behind the film as they talk about its origins. It then takes us through the film’s look – the characters and the worlds they inhabit.

Also included are four deleted and alternate scenes with optional commentary by director Rich Moore and screenwriters Phil Johnston and Jim Reardon. They put this footage in context and explain why they were cut.

Finally, there are three video game commercials from the ones created for the film that are done in the vintage style of the era in which they would have debuted. There is also a fake product placement ad as well. All are well done with great attention to period details.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 90%



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