The Review is laden with *SPOILERS*. If you want a spoiler free review please check out my Wreck-It Ralph Sneak Preview Review from back in October. But know this the Ultimate Collectors Edition 3D Blu-ray collection is awesome and comes out this tuesday March 5th. Read on if you want my full review that is full of *SPOLIERS*
Oscar nominated Wreck-It Ralph was one of my favorite movies of 2012. I’ve now seen Wreck-It Ralph four times. Twice in the theaters, once on my iPad on Digital copy and once on our 3D Blu-ray player and I’ve loved it more and more with each viewing. I loved seeing all the old video games make cameos and even more be seen off in the distance in game central station. I loved how different games and characters moved in certain ways according to the kind of games they were, like the little hopping from the nicelanders. I loved the Oreo guards. I loved the donuts named Wynchell and Dunkin after popular donut franchises. There were so many fun and cool things happening in in this visually stunning movie.
The video game references and worlds that are explored in Wreck-It Ralph are amazing but that isn’t the only reason I love this movie. My main reason for loving this movie so much is how much Eva loves it and how, deep down, there is a father daughter type relationship at the heart of the movie.
I loved the relationship between Ralph and Vanellope and it reminded me of the love that a father has for his daughter. Each time I watch the movie I tear up at the very end as Ralph is saying the Bad-Anon Affirmation. But it is more than that, there are so many scenes where Ralph is a father figure to this lonely little girl. Despite being a bad guy he really isn’t a “bad guy” as Zangif would say. Ralph is trying to look out for Vanellope and when he learns that she may perish if she races he does what he thinks is right and destroys the racer that they made together in order to prevent Vanellope from racing. There is a tremendous amount of pain in Ralph’s face as he destroys the car. We, and Ralph, later find out that King Candy was trying to prevent her from racing because if she crosses the finish line she will reset the game. When Ralph tries everything to get Vanellope to leave the game only to realize that she will be trapped he sets out to find a way to save her and in the end becomes a real hero as he selflessly resolves himself to make the ultimate sacrifice.
On our last viewing of the movie I took a bunch of notes on things that I observed and also the reactions of my daughter, Eva (5). When Ralph and Vanellope were making the racer and it comes out all covered in goo and looks terrible Vanellope is so excited and it made me realize that in the eyes of our children we are like super heroes when we spend time with them. Despite the car not looking as polished as the other racers it was something that Ralph and Vanellope made together and she loved it so much. In the eyes of children parents can do so much. Creating the race car together and having it come out terrible disappointed Ralph but delighted Vanellope.
Even though Ralph is the “Bad Guy” of his game he does many selfless things like helping out Q*bert and those homeless game characters or stopping the other racers from bullying Vanellope. When Ralph observes Vanellope being bullied by the other racers he can’t abide by what is happening and he scares them away. As a father I have felt the urge to Ralph out in defense if my child.
Film Clip: Game Central Station – Ralph makes his way through Game Central Station.
Film Clip: Lickety-Split – Vanellope shows off her new go-cart, Lickety-Split.
The most touching part of the movie was at the end where Ralph is hurtling toward Diet Cola Mountain after he has fought with King Candy. It was during this fight that Eva got scared and ran over to me. She lost it and came to hug me. I explained that it was the climax of the movie and the hero needs to come to the realization of who he is and that Ralph was protecting Vanellope because he loves her. Eva snuggled in tighter to my neck and said, “just like you love me”. The child is so insightful. Just one more reason that I love this movie more with each viewing.
I read a review called teh Tao of Wreck-It Ralph and it was a long but very good one. I personally observed that even beyond the relationship between Vanellope and Ralph there is the acceptance of one’s own self that is truly at the heart of this movie. What makes Ralph’s sacrifice and intoning the Bad-Anon affirmation so moving is that he now understands the importance of those words. Ralph fights so hard to get back the medal he won in Hero’s Duty only to throw it away. He later realizes that the medal that Vanellope made him has more meaning and he truly earned the title if her hero. Vanellope discovers that her greatest weakness, the glitching is actually her greatest strength. The same goes for Ralph’s Wrecking. Even when Vanellope becomes a princess she tells Ralph that she knows who she really is. That is truly the heart of the movie, knowing who you are, knowing your weaknesses, seeing them for what they are, accepting them and loving yourself. There is an excellent message in this movie.
We watched all of the bonus features including the special pause enabled Intermission hosted by Chris Hardwick. There were a bunch of short little messages from Chris Hardwick that had many great insights into the game, Disney Easter eggs in the movie and video game references in the movie.
One of my favorite bonus features was the Bit by Bit featurette that gave tremendous insight into the movie. Here we learned how the worlds within the movie were created as well as the themes and design elements in each one. Learning more about how the 8 bit world was created and how certain characters moved and and why they moved certain ways was something I noticed but it was great to hear the explanation of why. I have a few of those clips here for you to check out.
Bonus Clip: Sugar Rush – The animators share the original inspiration for Sugar Rush- the architecture of Antoni Gaudi and how concept models of the game’s landscape were made out of actual candy and cookies!
Bonus Clip: Creating the 8 Bit World – The animators discuss creating the different worlds within Wreck-It Ralph and what it was like asking some of the best animators in the business to ignore years of training to go back to linear worlds and pixelated characters.
Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Wreck-It Ralph Ultimate Collectors Edition on 3D Blu-ray to watch and review. Opinions about the movie are 100% my own.
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