Wreck-it Ralph

Film, Animation
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Wreck-it Ralph

Perhaps the best reason to go and see ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, Disney’s spangly attempt to beat daughter company Pixar at their own high-level game, isn’t in the film itself: rather, it’s ‘Paperman’, the Oscar-nominated seven-minute short that precedes it. A wordless black-and-white romance combining hand-drawn and computer animation techniques, it’s a graceful fusion of twenty-first-century wizardry and old-school Disney warmth. By contrast, the Mouse House manages only half that equation in ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, a fluorescent funride through an imagined arcade game universe that bludgeons the viewer with cleverness and state-of-the-art nostalgia, but is found rather wanting in the charm department.

The premise might seem alien to anyone younger than Sonic the Hedgehog. Ralph (John C Reilly) is the building-demolishing antagonist of a rudimentary 8-bit video game in the ‘Donkey Kong’ vein. Yearning to be a hero, he sets forth into the complex inner universe of the arcade to find an alternative game that can cast him differently. But he finds himself mired in the hot-pink purgatory of girly go-kart race Sugar Rush Speedway, where he joins forces with fellow outcast Vanellope (the delightful Sarah Silverman) to play the system at its own game, as it were. There’s a lot more than that to this rule-ridden story world, but the initial excitement of the film’s zigzagging between artificial environments soon becomes exhausting, particularly with so little human feeling to underpin the dazzling spectacle. Disney’s found a lot to play with here, but you may find yourself itching to take the controls.

By: Guy Lodge


Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday February 8 2013
Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rich Moore
Screenwriter: Rich Moore

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 1 star:0
3 people listening

Good idea but somehow feel short of magic in the execution, more loud and expected than creative, emotional and multi-layered. Maybe for childen mainly?

This film was pure excellence I saw it the other day and it blew me away, it has lots of copyright things that make it better but it wasn't as good as I was told it was. Sonic is in it for 5 seconds and so is bowser and PAC-MAN so don't get excited about that part but overall it is a very good film and touching in one or two parts, it is definitely a great family film. If you are not sure about watching it in the cinema or buying it when It comes out on DVD I will leave it up to you because its is a 50/50. 3.5 stars

Being a student animator I look forward to seeing just about every new animated feature film (with the exception of Hotel Transylvania) and the fact that games have had quite a heavy bearing on my life would assume that this movie should have ticked, crossed and dotted all my boxes. It does however fall a bit flat. There is an enormous amount of potential (managing to aquire all the rights for games characters must've been no mean feat) but it's focus on a somewhat shallow relationship between a (good) bad guy and his quirky side kick pulls the movie away from area's that would have been better explored. Again the animation is top drawer as is the rendering and their new techniques into subsurface scattering and transluscent shaders are there for all to see. It is just a shame that in their attempt to stay away from using the game characters to sell the movie and focus on characters that don't have much weight as they could've help create a story that is at time uninteresting. It lacks the wit that we've come to expect from the writers and developers at Pixar. Were so used to seeing quirky yet believable worlds that when it's easy to get dissapointed when it isn't done as well as it should be, especially with a movie of such potential. It felt as though these characters lived in this world, but never belonged there. This may have been counter balanced by the story but unfortunately that left a lot to be desired. As it never played on the characters or the world as much as it could've it was up to the narrative to make amends but it never really gets going. There is a few times when you know there is supposed to be a connection between the two main characters, but it never fully materialises and it ends before you ever get a chance to bond with them. Paperman alone was worth the price of a ticket. Wreck it Ralph for me was just a welcome bonus.

Agree with the review virtually word for word. Paper man is excellent the main film not so good. Perhaps I am being a bit cynical but it does have the feel of a corporate promo about it. In days gone by Disney would have done so much more with this. Enough to keep the kids happy but for me it seems to ladle on the schmaltz and cliches just a little too much.

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The first time EVER I've agreed with a TIME OUT review of a film! Wreck it Ralph has some great ideas - what impressed me a lot was the 8 bit type animation of some of the characters, I loved that. Some of the animation and effects were also very well done. However Time Out hits the main problem with the film here - the complete lack of emotional engagement between us and the characters. It just doesn't get you the way something like Pixar's incredible 'Ratatouille' does. After a while all the bright colours and explosions just tend to bore and the formulaic ending and final attempt at pulling the heartstrings just doesn't get it right. Not bad but not really one of the greats. And yes, the short film at the beginning is magical.