Blu-ray/DVD review: “Wreck-It Ralph” is 8-bit fun that’s second to none

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Whether you call them classic, vintage, or retro, video games from the days when you had to actually go to an arcade, wait in line, and then deal with trash talking in-person are back and in huge demand. And with most consoles today churning out remarkably rendered worlds full of pristine graphic action, who knew an 8-bit throwback named, "Wreck-It Ralph" could lead to such an entertaining experience.

Part toddler fare, part travelogue through the passage of 80’s arcade brilliance, Ralph succeeds in pairing family-friendly storytelling with joystick nostalgia, making its wholesome message; cut and dry as it is, rivaled only by the splendored conveyance of a dazzling eye-popping palette. And while the plot tends to pinball around faster than a Sugar Rush racer tanked up with Pixie Sticks, the film banks every bonus round point for sheer fun and expected replays. Simple enough for kids, yet smart enough for adults, Ralph blurs the lines between contemporary and classic, firing off round after round of hi-def hilarity with references that date back to the days of Q-bert, Pac-Man, Centipede and Donkey Kong… lots of Donkey Kong. Ralph may be the first full-blown homage to this largely untapped animation slant, but if the love for this era and entertainment is any indication, its niche death screen won’t be seen anytime soon. The pinball pacing doesn’t stop with the feature, but rather careens on through into the disc extras. So much so that the Blu-ray even prevents the pause button from stopping the fun, and this is where our highlights begin. Pressing pause initiates the always chipper, always informative Chris Hardwick or “The Nerdist” as many may know him, interrupting your intermission to point out 10 hidden tidbits for the insider obsessed. And though Hardwick’s tips may only be of interest to the truly astute viewer, there are a few generalities sprinkled in. The fun continues with the discs core extras, including “Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of “Wreck-It Ralph,” a grouping of the film heads covering the film’s transportation attraction ‘Game Central Station’ and what it took to bring the nostalgic hub to the screen, and “Video Game Commercials,” a menu of faux-mmercials for some of the film’s most popular games. Director Rich Moore extends 4 alternate and deleted scenes with his optional commentary, and coming in off an impressive Oscar win, the short film “Paperman” adds to the already impressive bonus round roster. Even if you pass by every other supplement on the extras menu, this charming seven minute short earns every bit of its Oscar gold. As always, Disney also includes the trailers for such upcoming films as the “Monsters, Inc.” sequel “Monsters University” coming to theaters June 21st, the highly anticipated release “Planes” coming to theaters August 9th, and the upcoming March 12th Blu-ray release of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit: 25th Anniversary Edition.” So whether you’ve ever experienced the thrill of putting your quarter on the glass, or you simply want to pass on that memory to the next gamer class, “Wreck-It Ralph” proves that whether you’re good or bad, in this instance, everyone’s a winner.

Studio Synopsis: From Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Wreck-It Ralph” takes viewers on a hilarious journey.  For decades, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) has played the bad guy in his popular video game. In a bold move, he embarks on an action-packed adventure and sets out to prove to everyone that he is a true hero with a big heart. As he explores exciting new worlds, he teams up with some unlikely new friends including feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz. Featuring an all-star voice cast including Jack McBrayer as the voice of Fix It Felix, Jr. and Jane Lynch as the voice of Sgt. Calhoun.

wreck it ralph 4 disc blu ray combo 300x366 Blu ray/DVD review: “Wreck It Ralph” is 8 bit fun thats second to none Studio: Disney
Running Time: 101 minutes
Rating: PG
Number of Disks: 4

Special Features:

  • Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of “Wreck-It Ralph”: Fans of the film will get a look at five new worlds created for “Wreck-It Ralph.” The short takes viewers into Game Central Station with the artists who brought Sugar Rush, Hero’s Duty and Fix It Felix Jr. to life.
  • Alternate & Deleted Scenes:
    • Ralph in Hero’s Duty Prison
    • The Maize Maze
    • Vanellope’s Volcano
    • Extreme EZ Livin’ 2
  • Four separate scenes are highlighted with an introduction and optional audio commentary from director Rich Moore.
  • Video Game Commercials: Viewers can check out the commercials created for the video games featured in the film – Fix It Felix Jr., Sugar Rush, Hero’s Duty and Fix It Felix Hammer.
  • Paperman: This animated short film played in theaters before “Wreck It Ralph.” It tells the story of a young man in an office who sees the girl of his dreams in a skyscraper window across the street. But how can he get her attention?

Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Materials:

  • Disney Intermission: The Gamer’s Guide to “Wreck-It-Ralph”: When the film is paused, host Chris Hardwick appears on screen to guide viewers through a series of 10 video segments offering an inside look at the many video game references, Disney references and other hidden surprises featured in the film.

Additional Resources:
Central Voice Cast: John C. Reilly | Sarah Silverman | Jack McBrayer | Jane Lynch | Alan Tudyk | Mindy Kaling | Ed O’Neill
Director: Rich Moore
Central Writers: Rich Moore | Phil Johnston
Theatrical Release: November 2, 2012
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: March 5, 2013
Genre: Animation | Adventure | Comedy
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE

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