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“Wreck-It Ralph” and “Paperman” talkback

After several months of monster/horror animated features, it feels down-right refreshing to see a simply funny new “cartoon” from Disney. Wreck-It Ralph (along with the innovative cg/hand drawn hybrid short Paperman) opens today – and just in time.

I dare say, between Tangled and Ralph, the Disney Feature team has found their footing – and personally I was much more satisfied with this high-concept comedy than I was with Pixar’s most-recent original. Could this be the year Disney’s SoCal home-team beats its upstate sibling? Wreck-It Ralph is executed with as much entertainment and humor, visually and verbally – and a healthy dose of “Disney magic” – as one could expect. It has an obvious appeal to adults, and even more so to kids, which bodes well for its box office results.

I’m not the only one to feel this way. A.O. Scott in The New York Times calls Ralph a big “success”, managing “to be touching as well as silly, thrilling and just a bit exhausting”. Betsy Sharky in The Los Angeles Times says, “the movie’s subversive sensibility and old-school/new-school feel are a total kick”.

“Old-school/new-school” might also describe John Kahrs sublime new short Paperman, which is attached to all showings of Wreck-It Ralph. We’ve been anticipating this short for several months and it plays like icing on the cake. A sumptuous boy-meets-girl story told in an exciting new/retro way – crossing my fingers this begins a transition back to the hand drawn craft of animation, in the classic Disney tradition, at the Disney studio.

So, what about you? If you’ve seen Wreck-It Ralph and/or Paperman, let’s have the discussion. Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • To start off, Paperman was a beautiful opening. Ok…Wreck It Ralph. HIGHLY enjoyable film. The story of a bad guy turning good is not an entirely new idea, but Disney sure knew how to mix it up a bit to still make it interesting. There were some definite surprises in the film , so that in itself gives you something to look forward to in terms of not knowing exactly what will play out. This visuals were excellent, and there were some really great moments with Ralph and Vanellope…(if you’re the teary eyes type)! Unlike the trailers, the video game cameos did NOT steal the show, which is a good thing. It balanced the nostalgia of the older games with the new cast of characters just right. The movie itself is not groundbreaking, but there were some big smiles and some good laughs! The only thing that people may mention is the pacing? Some parts may have been a little rushed, but not a big enough scar to wreck anything (yeah yeah..) If we remember correctly, the movie is a little longer (?)…2 hours? Might be wrong. But you know when a movie is good (for the particluar viewer), when 2 hours feels like it goes by too quickly! Entertaining, inventive, funny, and charming, Wreck it Ralph is a must see! You may like it, love it, or just hate it…but it is hard to hate this film!

  • Want to add on and say congrats to all who have worked on the film! You guys are the ones who inspire many :)

  • GernBlanston

    Paperman was wonderful. Wreck-It Ralph was highly enjoyable. The Vanellope character was very close to being one of those worrisome characters that’s supposed to grate Ralph but grates on the audience a bit too much. Fortunately, she grows more likable as the movie wears on, although I do think the character will be too big a sticking point for some. That said, it ultimately worked for me, and I found the whole movie to be just a highly entertaining time at the movies and a much welcome diversion from everything going on right now.

  • Sarah J

    I LOVED Wreck-it-Ralph! They took some older ideas and worked them in a way that makes them feel new and refreshing. Though I have to say… Does anyone else feel that the movie was also pretty depressing? Yeah, it’s a fun, cartoony comedy, but certain aspects of the plot and the story universe were just so dark. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I’ve yet to see many people bring up the darker and sadder aspects of the film.

    Paperman was really nice. I was pretty riled up when I went into the movie theater so it took me a few minutes to settle down and really enjoy Paperman, but I did like it. The animation was nice, and it was a cute story.

  • David

    Did anyone else feel that the major plot “twist” was a shout-out to “Roger Rabbit’s bad-guy revel?

    • VC

      Yes, I felt a little bit of the 1998 “Lost in Space” movie as well.

    • Funkybat

      That similarity didn’t occur to me as I watched the film, or even in retrospect, but now that you mention it, I definitely see it.

      I think it works, because I was still surprised, despite mulling the vague possibility of something similar happening even as I watched the movie, and because it didn’t scream “Roger Rabbit” to me consciously when it did happen.

    • Sarah J

      Well, both of the true forms do work quite well as nightmare fuel…

    • Ivan

      Parts of the film actually reminded me of Shrek… from the living alone in the dump/swamp, to the wedding at the end between Felix and Calhoun/Donkey and Dragon.

      This movie was a lot of fun. I would watch a Wreck-it Ralph 2.

      • Funkybat

        For once, I’m really hoping for a sequel or two. Now that the rules and relationships for this arcade universe have been established, there is sooo much potential for fun having real “crossover” stories, making some classic characters actual primary or secondary characters rather than just a bunch of fun, brief cameos. Considering how much time we spent in “Sugar Rush” it would be great to visit a half dozen or so other games and meet their characters in future films.

    • dbenson

      Just very, very sharp writing. The original reference was about some of the clear and logical rules/stakes; it felt like useful exposition, period. The idea that it would have other importance was genuinely surprising but perfectly legitimate. (Nice change from the too-frequent custom of presenting a really unwieldly magic spell with obvious loopholes, tacking up some weird arbitrary rules, or planting a Scooby-Doo-level clue).

    • MIke

      I did notice the similarity to ROGER RABBIT’s twist– in fact I was hearing a little Charles Fleischer in King Candy’s voice– and surprised that Alan Tudyk did that awesome voice job!

  • Miles

    I had the privilege of going to an advanced screening last weekend, and I was pretty amazed by both Paperman and Wreck-It Ralph. Both were incredibly beautiful and inventive.

  • “Wreck It Ralph” was fun but pretty forgettable – halfway thru the movie you could see the ending coming. Which isn’t all bad I guess – I mean it is a kids’ movie – but I was hoping for something more sophisticated or a little deeper (yeah I don’t know what I was thinking either). It looked fantastic and they nailed the different eras of video game graphics (and the TMNT fan in me loved the brief glimpse of a Ninja Turtles arcade cabinet).

    I got the impression from the trailers and from reading stuff online that the movie was going to be more of a “romp thru different video games” than it was, which was disappointing. And far fewer cameos (or maybe shorter cameos) than I was expecting. Overall, not bad, but not a movie I’ll ever watch again.

    Paperman was indeed nice to look at animation-wise but I still wonder why not just hand draw it, if you’re gonna go to all the trouble of making the CG look like drawn animation. Also I thought the character designs were pretty pedestrian – much less fun than the Wreck It Ralph designs.

    • I agree with your thoughts on Wreck it Ralph, I was entertained, but I also felt the story was lacking. Paperman; however, gets me every time. I am absolutely in love with this short right now and the technology explored to create it is a refreshing take on CG.

  • Topher

    I know everyone is saying this but I got to pipe in too, paperman was gorgeous, I really want to see a feature done this way. As for Ralph, I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting just a ton of retro gaming references, but most of what I saw were only few winks and nods instead of just a cavalcade of forced nostalgia. There were quite a few laugh out loud moments for me but I think where Ralph succeeds is that it is a relatively simple and focused story. And it tells this story better than it otherwise would if it was always paying lip service to those 8 bit warriors out there. Wall-E it is not, but it is fun, well made movie, with a simple but well told story.

    • Funkybat

      I too was surprised at the relative dearth of videogame crossovers or more prominent cameos. In light of how little time was spent focused on “real” retro video games, the absence of Mario and Luigi turned out to be hardly an issue. (I do wish they had used Jaleel White for Sonic, when I see Sonic I can imagine no other voice.)

      For this film, it was best to focus on the main characters and their story, and establish the world and its rules. If there are ever any sequels, I can see the possibility of opening it up to more cameos, or maybe even having a couple of classic game characters serve as main or prominent secondary characters.

      For a movie nearly 2 hours long, it felt like every minute was used effectively, so in essence there was really no room for more cameos or in-jokes unless they wanted to take it up to 120 minutes or more.

    • M. Danby

      “Wall-E it is not” and thank god for that. ‘Wall-E’ was abyssmal and virtually incomparable to Ralph. Ralph on the hand was charming and fun. The story was simple and effective and the movie had an unexpected visual depth. The textures were fantastic and the background jokes delightful to spot. Much like Tangled I went in hoping to kind of like it and left wanting to see it again.

      As for ‘Paperman,’ it had great visuals but the story was stale and to my mind bordered on student film (boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy miraculously reunited with girl… *yawn*). Though there is nothing particularly remarkable about the story it was still fun to watch and will undoubtedly find its way onto the Oscar short-list.

      Congrats to all involved in making ‘Wreck-It Ralph.’

  • purin

    I had a blast watching Wreck-it Ralph.
    While some of the cameos DID seem a little forced (Exposition Poster Sonic), I wound up loving how they were used. I think the movie’s original games were strong enough (and their references clear enough) to hold up the movie on their own without any of the cameos. But, the cameos worked, because they pretty much were there to set up the world of the arcade before letting the movie’s real main characters take over.

    Coming back to cameos that made me feel a little odd, I’m guessing Sugar Rush is the kind of video game with a lot of product placement? That part of the movie did start to feel like product placement central. At least now I know why the Beard Papa’s had a picture of Ralph, Vanellope, and Beard Papa posing with a box of cream puffs. Either way, I need to get a copy of that adorable song.

    Paperman was so charming and sweet, as well as funny. I’m so caught between marveling at the visuals and feeling something is terribly “off” about them. Sometimes I felt it was different in an amazing way, and other times I just found it a little surreal (an uncanny valley of 2D animation?). I’m still on the fence about whether or not that je ne sais quoi added or detracted, if it really did anything that 2D or 3D alone couldn’t accomplish just fine, and if I really want to see a lot more character animation with that “something is off here…” quality.

  • Toonio

    I had an awesome movie night out with Wreck It Ralph.

    Paperman: Was technically outstanding and the animation was very impressive. Some parts of the story feel odd but it will be one for the books.

    Wreck it Ralph: Has some ass kicking appealing characters and great shots here and there. The princess take was way unnecessary but it was easy to forget within the overall awesomeness.

    Good job guys!

  • BAM

    I for one would LOVE to see an entire animated movie done in the style of Paperman. The (albeit simulated) pencil texture reminds me of the charming grit of 101 Dalmations and Sword in the Stone era Disney animation. Funny how with computers making animation so infinitely clean and sharp that now we’re using them to make things look more “intentionally messy” and “rough”.

    Wreck It Ralph was solid and hilarious. It was like “Toy Story” meets video games in the best way. You knew where it was going, but the ride was so much fun that I not only want to see it again, but also am interested in merchandise (which I’m sure makes Disney happy).

    Go see it!

  • Funkybat

    Just wanted to comment specifically on Paperman; I felt the visual style was beautiful, unusual but not creepy at all. While I still feel like straight-up 2D is the most beautiful form of character animation, this blended technique has it’s own charm, and I look forward to seeing it used elsewhere. I also wonder if it can be adapted to next-generation videogame consoles, I would love to play a game that looked and felt like that. Cel-shading is OK, but this takes things to an entirely new level.

    As for the story; without giving away any big spoilers (for those reading this forum who have yet to see it) I feel like the first 2/3rds of the film were pitch-perfect, but that the resolution felt a little out of left field for the universe that had been established. It was indeed a very “Disney” ending, and leaves the audience on a high note, but I can’t help but wonder what other ideas were bandied about during development. There’s “Magical,” and then there’s “What?!”

    • Not sure if I can reply here since I didn’t saw the movie, but for your question of adaption of the style, most of the charm from the tech comes from the possibility to add hand made drawings to the surface of the CG.
      So unless they ignore this part since it is complicated to do it in automaticaly generated frames, I doubt this tech will be much usefull in games that you can’t just swap a hand draw sprite

      More explanation on the tech :

      • Funkybat

        I guess I’m the last nostalgic fool out there hoping to see video games return to the technique of the Sega “Aladdin” game, or Earthworm Jim. i.e. hand-drawn character animation used as “sprites” for games. I can easily imagine the “Paperman” technique being used in such a manner, but instead of flat sprites on a side-scroller, it would be a 3D world along the lines of most modern games.

        Here’s hoping, anyway!

    • dbenson

      There was a moment when a paper plane seemingly came to rest; its surroundings suggested a natural “this has happened before” ending.

  • I enjoyed “Wreck it Ralph,” but not enough for it to be in my top five favorite disney animated movies. I found the premise to be solid enough, and the pacing for the first two acts of the film to be fast. However nearing the end of the film, the movie seemed to slow down. Candy puns… lots of Candy puns….

    As for characters, Ralph plays a great protagonist. Very appropriate voice acting on John C. Reily’s part. I’m split on Vanellope. On one hand I love how she’s designed like a Chuck Jones character (specifically the eyes) and essentially feels like Daffy Duck. My problem was that I was never really emotionally invested in her story, and the character relies heavily on that.

    It’s a solid film, and i’ll even go on to say it’s the new generations “Aladdin.” People say it’s like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” because of the large ensemble of licensed characters and “Toy Story” because video game characters have their own secret lives. However like “Aladdin” we have a story with traditional disney values and a mix of modern pop-culture references. It’s a little less like Shrek since it still feels like a very by-the-books Disney film.

    I also liked “Paperman,” however I never saw it as a mix of hand-drawn animation. In the end it felt like computer animation in disguise, so in essence feels more like an homage to traditional animation and less mixed media.

  • Steve M.

    For Paperman, Not bad, though not my cup of tea.

    For Wreck-it Ralph, I loved it. Though I agree with some of the comments that it could of been more like Raplh jumping through various different games, but whatever. I did also feel in the middle that the outcome was perdictable, though the villain reveal caught me off gaurd.

    So over-all, good movie.

  • joe

    Paperman was really excellent, although the magical and sentimental ending was a little too ridiculous for me. I’ve got the right personality to enjoy a love story, but not the deus ex machina just made it too sappy.

    Wreck-It Ralph was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. Sarah Silverman was kind of annoying, maybe moreso to the audience than intended. In a strange way I think this made the character feel more genuine, as a lot of kids really are that obnoxious. I was hoping they might have gone to more video games than that and do sort of an updated Book Revue, with much more interaction between characters and different worlds throughout, but then, Futurama’s Anthology of Interest II already covered that ground excellently in about 8 minutes. There’s still lots of jokes and references for those who pay attention, including the appearance of a Michael Day (King of Kong) lookalike.

  • Adam

    I enjoyed Paperman. It definitley had the feeling of the classic 1950-1970 era of Disney animation. The main character seemed to almost echo the feeling Milt Khal’s animation had. Storywise, a bit old hat.

    Wreck it Ralph, I loved it. It was fresh, fun and unpredictable. Some of the best CGI character animation I’ve seen, especially King Candy (Ed Wynn lives on!). I was also pleased that there wasn’t any potty humor. The jokes and gags were all clever and witty gags. I really enjoyed the video game references and cameo’s, it’s one of the rare times where constant referencing works. Overall, I give it 5/5. I hope they do more with it.

    Did anyone catch the one Three Stooges reference?

  • Had a great time, which was the main thing.

    Paperman was beautiful and super touching and charming, loved it immensely. There’s moments when it almost suffers from a sort of “toon shading/vector” feel, but I think it’s definitely the start of great things to come.

    Wreck-it-Ralph was lots of fun and manages to hit the right notes, and my GOD was it beautiful. Moreso the “references” to existing games which didn’t bother me so much, there were times when you really feel like this was done by people who really loves video games, particularly mario kart moments :). The dialogue could have done with some editing, and unless there’s lots of code related things I didn’t quite “catch”, I felt that there were a lot of rules of the video game world that the characters simply say, and it’s all so hazy you gotta just go along with it. Buut a minor complaint when one is having fun :)

  • Chuck

    No potty humor? Maybe you went for popcorn for the four minute long tirade on ” doody/duty” jokes .

    • Adam

      I should have been more clear. I meant to say, “potty humor” in the sense of visual gags, like constant flatulence for example. I gave that exchange a pass because in truth when you think about it, Vanelope is supposed to be 8 years old, so the immature joke made sense. I know the whole “kid outwits the adult with immature jokes” has been done before I know, but it didn’t bother me in this movie.

      • Chuck

        A poo joke is a poo joke, and a fart joke is a fart joke. Nothing wrong with it, but dont try to defend their potty joke (literally) as being above anyone else’s. (I cant beleive were having this conversation;))

  • Richard

    Paperman would have played better if shown as a short before a live action rom com or something. As good as it was, it was wasted showing before an action comedy kids’ movie. Both were terrific, but they didn’t compliment one another at all.

    The Sugar Rush sequences were spot on and gorgeous. The whole film really evoked the feeling of the games they referenced. Just really funny and beautiful all around.

    • Funkybat

      You know, it’s not too late for Disney to do just that. they could easily reissue “Paperman” before some other Disney/Touchstone release. I have often wished that latter-day theatrical shorts would be attached to two or three different movies over a period of a year or so, instead of “one-and-done” such as “Partysaurus Rex” (which was attached the the Nemo 3D rerelease,) or The Simpsons short with Maggie “The Longest Daycare.”

      I wanted to see that Simpsons short, but there was no way I was going to pay for a ticket to Ice Age 4 just to see a 6 minute short. I did that with “Thumbelina” just to see an Animanaics short, and then it showed up on TV a few months later anyway.

      Maybe if these shorts would go before a couple of films, aimed at different audiences, they would get more exposure and help promote the idea of animated theatrical shorts in the general populace.

  • I liked Paperman. I thought it was very sweet, and I liked the animation both for its animation style and its use of a sepia tone. However, I found that I couldn’t exactly love it, because to me the climax seemed too similar to a scene in “Spirited Away” and it wasn’t done as well as in Miyazaki’s classic. Still, it was good.

    I found myself enjoying Wreck-It Ralph a lot more. As an avid video game player, I thoroughly enjoyed the video game references and got a kick at how the electronic data world was designed. I was more impressed by how they crafted together a thrilling and touching story that doesn’t require extensive knowledge on video game history. While that would have been appealing to gamers like me it would have alienated far too many viewers. This way there’s enough thrills to satisfy the gamers and non-gamers. I was also impressed how the film managed to juggle several different storylines. Yes, the ending was a little too sweet and wrapped up too conveniently, but it left me with a high mood. Apparently it did for the other people in the theater because I don’t think I’ve ever heard the amount of applause at the end of the film as I did on the showing I went to.

    I was also pleasantly surprised at the JPop Sugar Rush theme in the middle of the credits. After the Arrietty credits debacle where they interrupted the beautiful theme by Cecile Corbel with a cacophonous pop song, I didn’t think Disney would be so receptive for a Japanese song. So that was an added bonus.

  • My wife took one of the kids to on showing and I took the other to another and both audiences applauded Paperman, which I’ve never seen happen for a short.

    Ralph hit on all cylinders. It exceeded my expectations. It pleased all ages and although there was quite a bit of familiarity with the basic story, there was still enough twists to make this a fresh film.

    There have been so many good animated films this year – Oscar race should be exciting.

  • Dave O.

    To watch a Disney movie is to buy into the sugary narrative that they have been selling and re-selling at least since John Lassater has been at the helm. Misfits who find each other -then get angry with one another only to be brought together again and realize a lesson about love, family or something along those lines. WRECK-IT-RALPH certainly falls in line and does so in surprising unoriginal ways. The video game cameos (Q-Bert aside) were not well-utilized and game-jumping was not an exciting concept ultimately, especially with all the rules set in place immediately to clearly lay out what Ralph’s limits will be once he starts doing it. For me, this half-baked premise becomes totally flat once I realized most of the film was to take place in the “Sugar Rush” game complete with Sarah Silverman’s really annoying character and a host of bad visual gags and puns. That the saving of the universe is actually at the service of one desperate (and by this point, tired) gag in particular. The structure is so clearly in the service of building up to a giant action set piece and the visuals are so overwhelming that I wished for a pause button so that Ralph could go back to his 8-bit life for a while, at least to give my eyeballs a break. I actually thought that the movie’s truest moments of wit were within the Wreck-It-Ralph world with the herky-jerky character movements and simpler art direction (sorry, are we supposed to refer to Art Direction as “Look” now as seen in the closing credits?)

    “Paperman” was cute but only so far as Disney/Lassater narratives go. A nice, slick nostalgic “look” paired with a simple -if overplayed- premise leading to a satisfying end.

  • Truly amazing film. I can’t remember the last time I got misty-eyed that many times at a film(animated or otherwise). Complete triumph for Disney!

    In any universe Luthor is Luthor and Disney is Disney. I’m shocked people are complaining about how “overly sweet and predictable” it was. First time seeing a Disney film?

    Disney(W-I R) vs Dreamworks(Dragon, KFP), Marvel(Avengers) vs DC(The Dark Knight, Justice League). Finally, the Heavyweights are swingin’ for the fences again!

    It was awesome to see Street Fighter get some good screen time! On that note:
    Ryu: Hey can I borrow some money?
    Ken: Shoryuken!

    Q. What’s a Street Fighter’s favorite car?
    A. A ’91 Honda.

    Q. How did Sagat cure Ryu from the measles?
    A. By giving him a Tiger Shot.

    Q. Why can’t Eliza ever get another child?
    A. Because Ken kept shooting Blankas.

    In conclusion The Croods trailer was awesome and the $50 talking Wreck-It Ralph toy is rad.

  • Jasmine Rossetto

    I am devastated that I have to wait until Dec 26 to see this movie, even more so for Paperman. One of the cons of living outside of the USA. This is the first time I’ve been pissed off about living in Australia.

    • Confusion

      Hey, at least it’s only one month. Us UK folk have to wait until February! That’s 4 months of spoiler dodging!

      And as you can see, I’m already failing miserably by entering a talkback section.

  • Ralph was pure entertainment the entire time! My kids loved it and so did my wife and I. I would say that the film’s only weakness is that the explanation of what a “glitch” was was a little late in the story. I couldn’t figure out it Vanellope was supposed to be in the game, or was bad code, or someone escaped from another game.
    Great movie though, I want to see it a second time!

  • Tobias

    Paperman – I’ll firmly admit I was more excited to see this film over Wreck-It Ralph, and it didn’t dissapoint. I loved the visual style and animation, and it had enough genuine humor and whimsy to keep a smile on my face.

    Wreck-It Ralph – While I was interested in this film, I was a little concerned that the video game cameos would overshadow the film. Thankfully the film showed I had nothing to be concerned about, it’s a solid film with the cameo’s being icing on the cake.

    I love all the little creative touches/details in the film, such as the jerky stop-motion movements from the older game characters, to the cake frosting splatters looking pixalated.

    As for Vanellope, I personally didn’t find her annoying. She’s not even close to characters in other films I’d love to throttle.

    Reading the comments of those who wished there was more going into other games, while I do think that would be amusing…it could have easily been taken/used as a gimmick and possibly drag the film down, so I’m glad they didn’t go that route.

    Overall, I really enjoyed both Wreck-It Ralph and Paperman. An’ I do feel this is Disney’s strongest animated film this year. (Sorry Brave, but I don’t think Scottish Brother Bear was the best choice to follow-up after Cars 2.)

  • Skip

    Loved Paperman. Strong contender for the best short oscar. I would love to see more of this type of 2D CG hybrid in the future.

    I also really liked Wreck it Ralph. I was entertained the whole time. Definitely unlike any other feature in the Disney Cannon. Animation, Character design, Voice acting, and Story were all well done. I saw the film with a theatre full of adults and children, all of whom seemed to be engaged. I’m excited to see what Disney comes out with next.

    Paperman was cute. Wreck-it Ralph…I thought the story was problematic. Forgive me if anyone has already mentioned this, but I thought there was a glaringly obvious plot hole. If Penelope is the star of the Sugar Rush Game, and King Candy made her a glitch so she would be dethroned…um…wouldn’t the kids in the arcade notice right away the star of the game wasn’t there? Some kid/video game fan would have pointed it out. I think almost immediately the arcade owner would consider the machine was defective and sent the game back to have a new one replaced. I know someone on here is going to give the “it’s just a cartoon, get over it” lecture, but I don’t think I’m reaching that far in pointing this out. Unless somebody wants to correct me if there’s a part I missed in the story that explains that.

    I mean, the movie had its moments of fun, and I enjoyed a lot of the nostalgic video game gags. But the tone of the film just seems all over the place. At first the movie is all video game gags. Then it turns into all Candy land gags. The feeling of this being a world of video games seems to fade in the background when we find out most of the plot takes place in the Sugar Rush game. The side plots don’t really feel like they connect that well to the overall film. Things happen that remind us that their in a video game, but the concept fades into the background, unlike a film like Toy Story, where the theme of the film being about toys and the rules and logic of that world play out to construct the entire story. Here, the bugs monsters from Hero’s Duty are introduced as threat that could destroy the entire video game world, but they play absolutely no part in the film until the very end, where it just becomes a contrived way of turning King Candy into a giant spider monster thing to create a threat. But the video-game world getting destroyed concept gets lost. There’s also the “Judge Doom” twist where Candy winds up being the rogue video game character with a vendetta. But it doesn’t work here. It worked in Roger Rabbit because the “toon that killed his brother” is personal…it’s tied to Eddie Valient. The reveal at the end is his worst nightmare come true and he has to face the very thing he’s feared for the last 10 years of his life. The rogue video game character…we have no emotional connection to him as a villain. I guess he’s supposed to be “like Ralph” in that he’s furious about his game being replaced. But Ralph has no personal connection to him. The rogue game character sort of keeps the King Candy persona after the reveal, but since the King Candy persona is fake, who is this guy? Why should we be afraid of the guy?

    Also another thing that bothered me…the film wasn’t really about Ralph. Ralph manages to help the Penelope achieve her rightful status in the game. But at the end of the movie Ralph never really gets what he wants. He just goes back to doing his job. Okay, I get that all the characters in his game accept him now, but he wanted to raise his status in life and be more than what he was. I kind of wondered how the nostalgia for video games should have played into all of this. What if Ralph wanted to be more than what he was…like somehow getting an upgrade. Like Donkey Kong for example…there’s a real life video game character that started out as a villain, and progressively in newer games that came out, he’s turned into a hero. You watch at first as Ralph is traveling through different games trying to find his place in the world, but once he reaches Sugar Rush, his quest suddenly becomes something else entirely. He forgets what he was after.

    So, in a nutshell, it was fun, but story wise the movie did nothing for me. I’m surprised there were no gags about 1-ups…or “Continued?”…I mean, a character that gets an extra life…kind of a cool metaphor right there.

    • Rose

      Her name is Vanellope.

    • brubis

      Re: “wouldn’t the kids in the arcade notice right away the star of the game wasn’t there?”
      If memory serves, they addressed this by including the brief exchange where the kids playing the Sugar Rush game make a comment about wanting to play all of the avatars that are available that day, since they change. Unless those kids were going to the arcade literally every day, they probably wouldn’t know she was permanently removed from the roster.
      Re: “You watch at first as Ralph is traveling through different games trying to find his place in the world, but once he reaches Sugar Rush, his quest suddenly becomes something else entirely. He forgets what he was after.”
      I think that was kind of the point: Ralph learned the lesson that some things are more important than getting a medal. I think it was his first time feeling empathy for another character and, yes, he was able to put his own goals aside to help her out, not realizing this would end up leading to him being a hero as he always wanted to be.

      • RE: “I think that was kind of the point: Ralph learned the lesson that some things are more important than getting a medal. I think it was his first time feeling empathy for another character and, yes, he was able to put his own goals aside to help her out, not realizing this would end up leading to him being a hero as he always wanted to be.”

        I get that. But what I’m saying is that his status in life never changes. It’s like anyone in real life who may have gotten bored with their job and decided they want to do something else with their life. But when the person can’t find what they’re looking for, what other choice is there but for them to go back to their old job? The one thing that might have changed is that Ralph’s co workers accept him now for who he is, but he still goes back to his old job playing the villain when he really wanted to be something else. I’m not surprised the story was constructed for him to learn a lesson, but I don’t think having empathy for someone else was really his problem. If it was, he wouldn’t be at a villains support group where he could already feel empathy for all the other villains there. Ralph is essentially put back in his place at the end of the movie, which I don’t think is fair to him. It’s not like he asked to be a video game villain. And also, his video game is 30 years old. It’s passed its prime. Why should Ralph be asked to go back a job in a game that’s going to die off anyway? The only people who will still play it are going to be those who are nostalgic for the game. So if Ralph’s been doing the same job for 30 years, a job that’s outdated and no longer relevant, and he decides he wants to move on, why does he deserve that chance? He was right to leave in the first place. All he’s really doing in keeping his job is keeping nostalgia alive for other people. This is where I made the comparison to a real life game like Donkey Kong, a character that was created to be a villain, but in later versions of the game he became a hero, giving him his own series of games. Why couldn’t the same have happened for Ralph? Once Ralph meets Vanellope, he gets completely sidetracked and loses his way. You can tell especially when the film goes from being about video game to being about candy gags, it’s like the whole intent of the film gets lost.

        • brubis

          Lucy: You can see lots of things in the cloud formations. What do you think you see, Linus?
          Linus: Well, those clouds up there look to me like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean. That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor. And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the Stoning of Stephen. I can see the Apostle Paul standing there to one side.
          Lucy: Uh huh. That’s very good. What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?
          Charlie Brown: Well, I was going to say I saw a duckie and a horsie, but I changed my mind.

        • T.D.

          I guess you’re right. Your amazing detective skills have unraveled this movie, rendering it unenjoyable for all. Good job!

          • Thanks for that. Now here’s a scene I made up from Star Trek The Next Generation:

            Data: “Thank you T.D. and burbis. I will now analyze your comments. Searching….. ……………
            Ah, yes. Those comments were known as sarcasm, defined as the use of irony to mock or convey contempt. Please, feel free to click on the name Mike Caracappa above if you wish to go to his blog and comment on his Wreck-it Ralph review that he just posted. You are welcome to comment there if you have anything that’s actually honest and constructive to say about the film. This will be my last word on the subject. Thank you. Signing off.”

          • I was just trying to offer a different viewpoint. You’re welcome to enjoy the film if you like, but I don’t appreciate you guys trying to shut me down with sarcasm. If you have something honest and constructive to say, I would welcome the discussion. If you want to continue the discussion elsewhere, feel free visit my blog. Thanks.

        • (SPOILERS) I would say that was part of Disney’s way of introducing a moral lesson. I can see where you’re getting at. Disney is placing Ralph in the middle of a caste system where he has no chance of rising out of. But his entire being okay with becoming the villain fits in with the Disney lesson of “See? It’s bad to be selfish. You have to learn to be considerate of others. Sharing is caring.” While he was portrayed as being pretty selfish in his goal, he did show kindness to the homeless Q*Bert characters whose game was unplugged. He came to realize that if he did not return to the game then everybody else in Fix-It Felix Jr. would be homeless like the Q*Bert guys. So going back to his old way of life is an example of his learning the lesson of being selfless.

          Plus I guess that’s just the nature of being an arcade game. Donkey Kong may have become a hero in future games, but he’s still the big bad villain in any old Donkey Kong arcade cabinets.

          I guess Disney was pretty heavy-handed in their moralizing, which was one thing that bothered me about Pixar. I can understand why it’s bothering you, but I still like the movie.

          • First off, ajnrules, thank you for offering your opinion. And I think it’s great you enjoyed the film. I didn’t hate the movie at all, I loved the concept and the idea of what life is like for video game characters from the get go, I just thought the execution of it could have been a much deeper metaphor for life using video games. For the moment, I’ll concede to the idea that maybe Ralph needed a little push so that he could see in himself that he isn’t the role he plays, that deep down he is a selfless person who wants to help others…and that he needed to learn that lesson. That’s cool, I can agree with that. But the plot of the film is about averting the threat of having your game unplugged, and when that happens, it means all the game characters in that particular game will be out of a job. Ralph works in a video game that’s 30 years old, which by today’s standards would be archaic. Occasionally, yeah, a little girl or boy might pop a quarter in and try it out. But other than that, the only other people who will play will be those nostalgic for the game. It’s already not long before the plug will be pulled on Ralph’s game. This idea is addressed in the movie with the villain, who becomes angry and vengeful that his game became archaic, and he’s out for revenge because he’s been hurt by life. Ralph has the same problem as the villain, but at the end of the movie, that issue is never addressed. And it’s a serious issue for him! He goes back to his old job, but he and his coworkers are still in danger of winding up homeless like Q-bert. What are him and Felix and all the other characters in the game going to do about it? They’re either turning a blind eye to the problem, or they haven’t picked up on the fact that their job may not exist in the next year or two. Which is kinda like real life! And unless somehow they find a way to get an upgrade, like Donkey Kong, they’re screwed. So you’re right, if there is a metaphor for Disney creating a caste system using their characters, then yeah it’s right there in the film!

          • The fact the arcade cabinet is still present in the arcade is a good question, but I know my local arcade still has Donkey Kong and Centepede; has had them for over 15 years. Why are they still there and kids and adults still play them? Granted,they aren’t as popular as some of the other games on the floor, but they are getting some play.

            And from what I remember, actually they do address why Ralph didn’t end up homeless at the end of the game: By adding Q-Bert and other characters who are ‘homeless’, Fix It Felix Jr features neat and cool bonus rounds that combines multi-old school arcarde games. By the sound of it, the level could change constantly featuring not just Q-bert or his foes but other ‘out of work’ arcade characters. It is why the game becomes popular again: now this may be however brief, but Ralph and Felix’s game becomes a modest interesting old-school hit with the kids.

            The suggestion that the arcade for Sugar Rush features a new set of characters every game works and clearly explains why Princess Venelope(sp?) is not missed by the kids, as it changes daily, only the hardcore fans might notice it, but it is driven by code as per the fans, or a server or something like that from the developer.

            I think the idea you were wanting the film to tackle sounds like a good idea for a sequel, but for a film that was all about accepting yourself for who you are,I thought the film got the point across well and could have drudged up the film into convolution-territory. The film already has a lot of ideas to try to cram in there….

            And honestly, the idea of the bad guy being a Judge Doom-like character, I didn’t have any problem with. Again, it took me as a complete utter and total shock. And the idea of a final boss battle was quite interesting. Was it wrapped up too nice and neat? Perhaps, in regards to the baddie. I would have liked to see more of a fight, but then again, it didn’t bother me at all. Ralphs film hit all the right notes, that the film ending the way it did, did not bother me in the slightest.

  • Seth

    To be honest, I haven’t been impressed with Disney since 1999’s Tarzan. Disney had been the leader of inspiring creative world-class animation for decades. It almost died around the early 80’s until they came up with classics like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and several others. Beautifully moving pictures full of drama, humor, and adventure, pushing the animation art form like never before. Now, they seem content with doing simple-minded pictures with loads of humor and action and no soul. Today, when you hear of animation you first think Pixar or Dreamworks, maybe Blue Sky. Disney is no longer number one and I still feel that way. The’ve had some minor victories since Tarzan (Atlantis, The Emperor’s New Groove, maybe Bolt, and now Wreck-it Ralph). I had been waiting for Rapunzel (AKA the horribly titled Tangled) for 5 years, hoping for the next Beauty and the Beast, pushing computer-animation to a new level in the fairy tale universe. Instead, I got a cliche-ridden buddy-comedy concerned with pleasing modern times instead of defining them (something Pixar never does).
    Now don’t get me wrong. Disney has done plain good pictures recently (case in point, Wreck-It Ralph). They just don’t make history or any sort of impact anymore.
    I miss Disney…

    • hotdogface

      Hate to burst your bubble but Disney has always been full of cliches and flat storytellling. Even the “classic” they made in the 90s. Take off the nostalgia goggles.

      • Seth

        It may have to do with nostalgia, Mr. Hotdogface (it’s not an insult, it’s your username), but time has held these ¨classic jewels in animation¨ to be outstanding in its storytelling power, something I have not yet witnessed in the newer films. I am not condemning the new Disney films; I’m only pointing out their inability to break new ground. The classics had some cliches, I’ll admit, but not enough to make them utterly unpredictable. In the end, time will tell if these new Disney movies will actually become masterpieces like 40’s Disney and 90’s Disney. If they do, I’ll have to come back to this site and apologize hehe

    • “Instead, I got a cliche-ridden buddy-comedy concerned with pleasing modern times instead of defining them (something Pixar never does).”

      Did you see Cars 2?

      • Seth

        Cars 2 was clearly an homage to the spy genre, full of humor, intrigue, action and drama. It may not be Pixar’s greatest work but it was certainly original and enjoyable. On thing: Pixar didn’t make a sequel to Cars based on financial success (the first one was not their biggest moneymakers); they did it because it they had a story, because it was very personal to Mr. Lasseter, and because they could push the Cars storyline to other situations. To me, that’s success.

  • Nipplenuts McGurk

    I really enjoyed it! As a kid of the 80’s, the arcade was a magical place, and they did such a good job using that setting creatively to create the world of Ralph and the other game characters. I loved the little touches like sometimes showing them in their 8-bit forms – like when leaving Bad-Anon…they were all hanging out in the Pac-Man ghost box…lol. I love that Q*Bert had a decent role! It’s one of my favorite 80’s games that has mostly been forgotten…now every kid will know who Q*Bert is! :)

    The only thing that felt strange was once the movie became grounded in Sugar Rush, many of the gags were food product placement gags – Oreos, Laffy Taffy, Nesquick, Beard Papa, etc …that stuff honestly felt like jokes from an entirely different movie…I’m not sure why that game would have so much product placement. Also things become a bit convenient and expositiony (Felix knowing how to lure the Laffy Taffy, King Candy becoming a bug monster) Still, I thought it was pretty fun all the way through, and the animation was just gorgeous. Paperman was amazing as well! After being bored out of my skull with Paranorman & Frankenweenie, it was a great experience at the theater! Recommended!

  • Steve Gattuso

    I enjoyed both the short and the feature, and was glad to get to see them on the big screen. Now what do we have to do to get the three central locales made into actual video games?

    • wever

      All 3 are playable in some form, mostly online and on mobile devices. Fix-It Felix, Jr. is the only one of them that exists as a real arcade cabinet but they’re rare and used in promotional events.

  • Just call me freckles…

    Being a huge hand drawn animation fan I had way too high expectations for Paperman. The story did nothing for me and the new technology didn’t really make a huge impression. It still shows that no matter how you dress up the visuals, a good story makes all the difference. A strong hand drawn feature with a great story should be made by Disney. The talent is there.

    Ralph was really fun and that’s what I expected. I wanted a great escape and the game world delivered. The visuals were amazing and the characters were enjoyable. I like the relationship between Ralph and Venellope. Each original game was well conceived (I could have stayed in Hero’s Duty a little longer…) It seems that the studios keep pushing the quality of their work. Thanks Disney for an exciting ride!

  • eeteed

    i want to give a big thumbs up to all the people who worked on the “sugar rush” scenes.

    for me, seeing all those colorful candy people come to life harkened back to disney’s “cookie carinval” from the 1930’s …


    i loved seeing the screen come alive with colors and motion. it must have taken an incredible amount of work to do all that, and i just want the people who did it to know that their work was truly appreciated!

  • loved the animation style of paperman, the story line reminds me a bit of the short I made. Wreck-It Ralph was very enjoyable, some of the puns and jokes fell flat, but other movies could learn from the amount of motivation within the main characters, side characters, and villians. Bravo.

  • Nathan Strum

    I just saw Paperman and Wreck-It Ralph last evening, and thoroughly enjoyed both. I’ll admit, being a true old-school gamer I may be biased, but I think I also went into Wreck-It Ralph being particularly skeptical that Disney could take a subject I’m so familiar with and fond of, and turn it into a film where I could find something new and interesting with it. But I was delighted with the results – the film is a treat visually, the characters were likable and had good interplay between them, and I was especially pleased that, at least from my perspective, the story was different from what I expected, based on the trailers I had seen. I had a lot of fun watching it, and plan to see it again.

    I also really enjoyed Paperman, and I hope it signals a return by Disney to doing more shorts that are just neat, well-executed stories, done simply for the sake of making a good film.

  • Anthony

    I’m surprised at all the positive reviews for this film. I was bored the whole time. It seemed like a great concept but overall the execution on almost everything was pretty sloppy and cliché. Actually, I even thought that the animation of the facial expressions was way over done. It was like they we’re animating the mugging. I really got sick of the humor in the first 15 minutes and I think that Sarah Silverman’s character was one of the most annoying animated characters I’ve ever witnessed and by the time the big emotional scene happened of Ralph smashing her car, I was hoping he’d smash her too. I thought the premise was frail and forgettable. The “candy land” thing has been done a thousand times and the twist by making them all brand name jokes made it seem like a giant commercial. I also thought that the main antagonist was underdeveloped and I didn’t care about him or pretty much any of the characters in the film. The “arcade game world” seemed like a clever idea but it didn’t seem finished at all. Come on, I mean their hub was a power strip… that’s not clever it’s just dumb. There were so many plot devices that were completely arbitrary and really showed a lack of good writing. For example, she couldn’t leave the game because she was a glitch. And also, why did the game reset when she won. That stuff seemed like it had nothing to back it up and was just put on there to make it an easier story to tell. Also, why did she stay a glitch after the game reset? Huh? No one knows… I disliked this movie personally, and I think it fails overall. The hokey pop music added nothing for me as well.

    Overall, In my opinion I think that it’s basically a relatively clever, yet underdeveloped premise wrapped around a cliche kids movie that almost no adult can enjoy.

  • I came back home from this movie exactly a week ago this moment (and I’m surprised at myself for letting it slip my mind to post about it here sooner!). My older brother, his partner, his roommate (all of whom came down for Thanksgiving weekend), and my two nephews brought me along to see this film at a late-night showing. There was a 3-D showing at 10:25 PM that Friday night, and since we were pretty much given a private showing, we were the only five in the theater! When we came out (about 10 minutes after midnight), the lobbies were rather dim and creepy (because the theater was closing, and many of the employees were already heading home). But it was all worth it. :)

    PAPERMAN, the short that preceded the feature, was absolutely beautiful. It was just about how I had envisioned it! (Especially the music.) A great way to kick things off.

    WRECK-IT RALPH is a great movie! I loved it! It’s become one of my favorites, and is easily Disney’s best non-Pixar CG-animated film since BOLT (Disney; 2008). The video game references are spot-on, and surprisingly very, very respectable! Pixar did a great job translating them onto the screen. But definitely, all four of the main characters, Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly), Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer), and Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) are all memorable characters! Like the characters of THE INCREDIBLES, they’re not a bunch of empty ciphers who allow a marketable ancillary character to steal the show, they steal their own show, as it should be. And they really do so as a team! (And don’t you think they all have marketing value, anyway?) I kind of saw Wreck-It Ralph himself as a humanized version of the Incredible Hulk (even though he’s supposed to be a stand-in for Donkey Kong to Fix-It Felix’s Mario), and as such, he was absolutely appealing and lovable. And I thought Vanellope was funny and very adorable at the same time. (And I like Sarah Silverman, so I didn’t mind the “doodie” references and such.) Fix-It Felix and Sergeant Calhoun are also very well-conceived characters that you really root for their eventual romance. And King Candy is a wonderful villain! He definitely hearkens back to similarly wacky characters from classic Disney films, even in a 3-D setting.

    The 8-bit emulation for the FIX-IT FELIX, JR. characters (and other classic 8-bit games in the movie), even in their 3-D forms, is very clever. The extreme world of HERO’S DUTY is an apt parody of all the dark ‘n gritty shoot-em games up to this day. And the colorful world of SUGAR RUSH is very delicious-looking! The dream world from the Little Audrey cartoon TARTS AND FLOWERS (Famous Studios/Paramount; 1950) came to mind, at least to me. Henry Jackman’s score, and the songs written for the movie (particularly the ones by Buckner & Garcia and J-Pop group AKB48) fit the movie like a glove.

    I’m glad it’s doing very well at the box-office, and is getting rave reviews. I highly recommend it to those who haven’t seen it yet! I can hardly wait for the Blu-Ray release. It’s astonishing that this movie would get better reviews than Pixar’s BRAVE (which left a lot of people I know rather disappointed). Could this be a contender for the Oscar for Best Animated Picture? It is to me!

  • Caz

    Enjoyed great film daughter loved it &. That’s all that matters it is for kids