Sunday 21 April 2013

Wreck-It Ralph Blu-ray Review - Did the Bonus Features Go Turbo?

The most recent film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, Wreck-It Ralph, was a winner in every sense of the word. It was a hit at the box-office, so much so that a sequel could very well see the light in only a few years - director Rich Moore even mentioned some possible plot points for the likely follow up.
It was a hit critically too. People embraced the characters and their unique world. Many even called Wreck-It Ralph the best animated film of 2012. Including this very blog and its readers (yes, you!).
And that shouldn't be a surprise, as the film is very funny, entertaining, and, as an added bonus, riddled with clever video game nods.
But it's also full of heart and moving; full of amazing twists that you won't see coming - a pretty rare treat these days. And it's a delight to see how every little thing that we were introduced to, throughout the whole movie, pays off in a breathtaking ending.

The movie looks truly beautiful in this HD release: the video game worlds are stunning, and full of vibrant colours - particularly in the Sugar Rush scenes. This candy-filled kart-racing game appears so real and yummy that you're probably going to want to lick your TV (Editor's note: A113Animation does not recommend the licking of TVs). Nothing seems retro in the picture quality; if you see pixels popping in a weird way on your screen, it's because that was the filmmakers' intention.
As you could expect from a Disney release, the sound is equally stunning, sporting a very convincing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. A delight for your ears.

So, clearly, Disney has a winner here. A must-buy. And indeed it is, because if you love animated movies (heck, if you love movies), you should own it. But it's not a perfect Blu-ray release from Disney - not the release this film deserved. What troubled me was the special features. Or rather, the lack of them.
They're good - very good even - but there are just far too few of them. The one special feature that can't be missed is the short that played before Wreck-It Ralph in theatres, the now Academy Award-winning Paperman. The next special feature is called Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of Wreck-It Ralph. As you would expect, this explains why the video game worlds were designed the way they were. You'll learn quite a few interesting things here, including which film was the main inspiration for the Hero's Duty sequence. Then there are four Alternate & Deleted Scenes. This will give you a hint at what the story could have been, and is well worth the two viewings (with and without filmmakers' commentary). And finally, Video Game Commercials. While they are funny, they're hardly the highlight of the Blu-ray.
So that's it. No feature audio commentary, no extras on the characters or the voice actors. No real making-of. You will be done with all the special features in under an hour, and left wanting for more. This compares really badly to Pixar's Brave Blu-ray, which was filled with diverse and good quality extra content.

I'll close by saying that Disney came really close to an excellent Blu-ray release, but the lack of extras is a pretty big let-down. I'd still recommend buying this Blu-ray though, because the film is worth it, and the picture and audio quality are top-notch.

Movie: 9/10
Picture Quality: 9.5/10
Sound Quality:  9.5/10
Bonus Features: 6/10
Overall Blu-ray package: 8/10

You can pre-order Wreck-It Ralph on Blu-ray through our link on the left (UK release date, 3rd June), or order one of the two US versions on the right. All purchases help support A113Animation.

William will also review the Wreck-It Ralph Blu-ray when it is released in the UK. For more good Disney Blu-rays with disappointingly dire quantities of bonus features, check out our reviews of the Aladdin and The Hunchback of Notre Dame Blu-ray sets.

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