I’m going to be quite critical of this film but beforehand you need to know that my opinions here are largely irrelevant – even more so than usual. Wreck It Ralph is clearly intended for an audience a lot younger than me.
That said I do think it is hoping to appeal to older viewers as well. It strongly references arcade games such as Donkey Kong and Q*Bert that would be unknown to anyone under 20, and while there is some appeal to this, the sophistication of the story is roughly equivalent to that of the Tinkerbell movies.
For all the modernity of the setting, this is a very conventional film. It has none of the charm we have come to expect from executive producer John Lasseter’s Pixar and is predictable throughout. I’ve had a quick look down the list of Disney’s 52 animated features and reflecting on this hall of fame, I have to say that if I were to put them in order of preference this would be pretty near the bottom. It certainly isn’t comparable to anything that came out of the studio’s classic period (starting with Cinderella in 1950 running through to Robin Hood in 1973) or their Jeffrey Katzenberg lead renaissance (The Little Mermaid in 1989 to The Lion King in 1994) and I don’t think Disney have put out anything this schmaltzy since Dumbo. There is very little here to surprise an adult audience and any good ideas there are surrounding computer games were pretty much done two years ago by Scott Pilgrim. Also, considering that this is a film designed to celebrate computer animation, it is unfortunate that the final villain (or big boss) is strongly reminiscent of the worst piece of CGI ever to be shown on a cinema screen (yes, I mean you Scorpion King).
Wreck It Ralph’s most unforgivable crime though is the 3D which isn’t going to be a problem on home video. Most of the action takes place in a game environment resplendent in bright candy colours, and clearly the animators and production designers have gone to great lengths to create this vibrant world. It is a shame then that some audiences paid extra to wear a pair of dark glasses that totally nullifies this effect. It’s like turning your TV to monochrome the second Dorothy steps out of her crashed house in The Wizard of Oz.
Is this one for the kids?
Clearly yes, it just isn’t one for parents.
The film is a PG but I am not sure that the language is entirely appropriate. Their isn’t any swearing but I think swearing is alluded to on a few occasions. A squad of Space Marines are referred to as ‘Pussy Willows’ and when someone says they are going to accompany someone else on a mission, the response is, ‘Like fun you are!’ Also, this might just be me, but isn’t there also something a little suggestive about the character name Taffyta Muttonfudge?