Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wreck It Ralph – Early Thoughts

Let’s take a look at Disney’s newest full length animated feature; spoilers as always.

First off we have another company like Pixar and the DC animated line that is using short subjects before their feature movies again and I really liked this one, called Paperman.  The story was cute, the character design was great, and the greyscale colour scheme was quite vivid.  If Disney wanted to back a whole movie in that style I’d totally watch it; now onto the feature presentation.

On the technical side of things the animation was very good and I enjoyed the styles used for the different eras and types of games.  Felix and Ralph seen in 8-bit graphics in the beginning, the Sugar Rush game has some nice angles that makes a great homage to the old 90s racing games like Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing.  In fact I actually would have liked to have seen more of the arcade than what we got.  In the beginning we got to see different areas and games in the arcade and it all looked really cool, with a lot of nice video game in jokes, and then after Ralph gets his medal the second half of the film spends pretty much all its time in the one game and it gets a little bit boring.

One thing that isn’t boring though is the characters.  They have a lot of variety both in personality and design and they’re a lot of fun to watch.  Ralph as the protagonist was likable and sympathetic in his desire to want to have some recognition for what he does.  Having spent time in customer service jobs I know the feeling of hating your job because no one likes you for doing it.   The voice acting was also good with the only exception being Sarah Silverman as Vanellope.  It’s not that she does a bad job, I just don’t think her voice fits for a little girl character.

Despite not liking her voice I did think the situation Vanellope was in was nicely developed and had some interesting twists in it, especially the reveal of the villain at the end.  I was actually surprised by that ending because I was expecting her being an un-lockable character in the unfinished bonus level that she found in Diet Cola Mountain.  Since the level wasn’t finished she ended up being a glitch, the actual explanation was really good and tied back nicely to the backstory mentioned earlier in the film.

I really don’t have much to say on the music because there are only two songs in it, one if you don’t count the credits, and they’re both modern pop songs.  Since this isn’t a musical I can see why they didn’t write their own original songs, but I still think using Rihanna’s ‘Shut up and Drive’ is going to date this film hard.  Other than that the only other negative thing I have to say about this film is that there is a lot of low brow humour in it, especially revolving around the Heroes’ Duty game that I just didn’t care for at all and I wish had been left out.

Over all it’s certainly not a bad picture.  It has good characters, nice animation, and some good creative ideas that I wish had been explored a bit more.  Still I’d recommend seeing it as it is bright and fun, and a good film to takes kids to.

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