Wow, I was surprised to learn this wasn’t a Pixar film. That’s crazy! Though, John Lasseter is pretty much Pixar, and you could tell his influence in this movie is probably what brought it up to that level of quality. In my opinion, this flick could hold up to any movie Pixar has put out.
The voice acting was very much top notch here. The entire movie I was trying to place King Candy’s voice because it sounded so familiar. First of all, Alan Tudyk was amazing, I had no idea that was him. And thanks to your review, I now know that it was so familiar because it was basically Disney’s Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland! That was driving me crazy, thank you. The only voice that really took me out of the film was Jane Lynch, because I kept picturing her as opposed to being lost in the character, which wasn’t a problem with the other actors. I felt like they probably should have cast another voice actor who wasn’t as iconic in that role, especially since she was essentially a “love interest” in the movie. For some reason, aging butch lesbians just don’t help with the immersion factor for a love interest, lol.
I’d have to agree with your top criticisms of the film, though. First of all, I was really hoping for more game jumping. The first act of the film where we got to see Pac Man and Q-Bert and Street Fighter were great. It would have been nice to get into some more games, but I guess the licensing issue would have made it too cost prohibitive? But yeah, I felt like we spent way too much time in Sugar Rush.
And once we got into Sugar Rush, the pace did seem to slow down, which made the middle act a bit boring. The relationship between Ralph and Vanellope was well developed, and I never felt like there was any “filler” there – each scene had a purpose to the over-all story and the gags were still enjoyable. I think after such a strong first act though, being stuck in Sugar Rush was a bit of a let down. The opening scene with the villain support group seemed to promise much more game diversity. I think the candyland background of Sugar Rush just made it feel like the movie was dragging because we weren’t getting much in the way of what made act 1 so much fun.
But the animation was awesome, the characters were likable, the story was well written, the mystery was extremely well done, and the climax was great. It hit all the right emotional notes, and in the end we got a movie both kids and adults could enjoy. I’d also like to point out that the short at the beginning – the Paperman – looked incredible. I felt like Superman should have shown up at some point in that little movie, lol. I’d love to see an entire movie done in that style.
My one issue with the film plot-wise were the bugs from Hero’s Duty. It seemed like in every other game the bad guys were sentient and weren’t really bad, just working stiffs who played a role in their jobs. But with the bugs, they made it clear that they were just mindless creatures. They’d hatch, then fly into the beacon and die, and new bugs would hatch when the next game began, and the cycle would repeat itself. However, they also made it clear that if you died in your own game, you could be resurrected. So why were the bugs mindless? If they flew into the beacon and died, would they not “rehatch” with memory of their prior experience? And if that’s the case, wouldn’t they be on the same level mentally as the other bad guys from the other games? I guess you could explain this away with the idea that Hero’s Duty is the newest game and the code is so modern that the character of the bugs was lost, but it seemed to go against the logic that was set up in the film, at least to me. This is a minor nit-pick because I did think the bugs were a good set-up for the final climax of the film, but it was still an issue that registered with my brain while watching the film.
Anyway, though the Vlogs are fun, when’s the next review come out? I’m dying to see another episode of CE!