movies: wreck-it ralph

wreck-it ralph - the story of a regular guy just looking for a little wreck-ognition
Before I talk about the main feature I need to say a few words about the short that precedes it...

Both Disney and Pixar do their best work in any of their short features that include no dialogue. Paperman is, without doubt, the best example of this, and unquestionably the best Disney short I've ever seen.

It's the story of love at first sight and a missed connection, and presented almost entirely in black and white (with a very small amount of red that represents a plot point).

And it just got to me... it's so lovely and so sweet and so artfully presented and so surprising that it really touched me.

Which brings us to Wreck-It Ralph.

One of the things I love about the way the movie was put together is that they contacted a range of video game companies and actually have real game characters featured. There's Sonic, Pac Man, Bowser from Super Mario Brothers, even all the way back to Pong. It makes the world of Ralph and his friends feel much more real.

And each of the game worlds, no matter how simple or 8-Bit their video games might be, are all wonderfully rendered. I do kind of wish we'd seem a little more of the second game world, the Starship Troopers/Halo style game, Hero's Duty... it's only really featured long enough to be a plot point before the story moves on, but I suppose spending too much time there would have made the game feel a lot darker.

The location of the majority of the movie, the descriptively titled Sugar Rush, features exactly what you would expect from a game with a title like that... everything is chocolate and cream and sugar and every manner of sweet treat you can imagine. It's a great world that doesn't feel confined though... there's a range of locations, all of which are wonderfully detailed.

What I also enjoyed was some of the really subtle animations, especially with the people in Ralph's game... because they're 8-Bit characters their animation is jerky and while both Felix and Ralph (the hero and villain) have fluid animation, the other characters have had their "in between" animation removed, so even though they're beautifully rendered they still have this great rapid, jerky movement that actually works really well.

The story is about what you would expect... but I think almost all animated movies follow a fairly standard pattern, but that's okay, it's an archetypal story that is given an interesting interpretation here.

The four main cast members, John C. Reilly as Ralph, Jack McBrayer as Felix, Jane Lynch as Calhoun and Sarah Silverman as Vanellope all do an excellent job... of course Lynch will probably always be typecast as that gruff acerbic character she plays in Glee and other things... but her voice suits the Hero's Duty character perfectly. Plus it's nice to see a main character from a game like that be a woman.

Reilly has the perfect gruff tone to his voice for this giant, ham handed character and while I'm aware of Silverman and McBrayer I'm not really familiar with their work, but their voices seemed to fit their respective characters.

I also enjoyed the credit sequence, which is all presented as though its 8-Bit graphics and works perfectly. There's also a great "glitch" over the Disney end logo screen that surprised both me and the woman who was waiting to clean the cinema.

yani's rating: 3 first person shooters out of 5

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