Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rise of the Guardians v. Wreck-It Ralph

So I've taken WildChild to three different movies since we moved to Darwin. This is a reflection of my lack of real human friends to hang out with.

Two of the movies are mentioned just above up there and the third was Life of Pi, which was awe-inspiring and thought-provoking and I loved it, but it wasn't a children's movie so I'm not going to write about it today.

So anyway Rise of the Guardians and Wreck-It Ralph. Let's compare. Just in case one time aliens abduct you and say you can watch one movie before they eat your brain and these two are the only choices. Or something.

There are some things that really make me love or hate movies: characters.
(Example: I don't really like Toy Story, even though I love the music and the concept and the visuals. Why? Because Woody is an inconsiderate jerk, Buzz is an egotistical idiot, and the only female toy Bo Peep is a terrible role model for girls. Really. Re-watch it, you'll see)

Rise of the Guardians

I liked:
The quirky twists on the traditional characters. Santa is a giant Eastern European with tattoos and a certain intimidating aspect, the Easter Bunny is an awesomely fierce fighter and also Australian (why? No idea, the bunny thing originally started in Nordic countries. Rabbits are actually a foreign pest in Aus that destroy habitats of native animals) and Jack Frost is a playful young man instead of a crotchety old one.

I didn't like:
The female representations. The tooth fairy starts gushing over Jack the second they meet, and is pretty useless overall in fighting the boogeyman. And the human girl child characters are basically ignored, except for one, whose name I think was Muffin, and is a giant scary bully child.
I also *really* didn't like the way the movie completely ignores anything other than typical western cultural beliefs. Every child in the ENTIRE WORLD believes in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, the Easter Bunny and Jack Frost? Um, no. This one aspect of the movie pissed me off so much that I found it difficult to enjoy even the parts I liked. The reasons why it annoyed me so will have to be left for another post.

And now for...

Wreck-It Ralph

I liked:
Basically everything. I love the basic premise, of the "bad guy" in the game wishing he could be a hero for a change. I thought the idea of arcade video game characters meeting, interacting and travelling through power cords was really original and fun.
All of the characters are appealing and relatable and so human in their faults. The main female characters are awesome! One is kick-arse, a save-the-day hero and the other is completely unique, confident and bubbly, and both are extremely determined to achieve their goals.
I loved Ralph, and really sympathised with his quest and challenges. Even Fix-It Felix Jnr is a goody-two-shoes in such a way that he stays likeable and entertaining.
And the actors who did the voices are some of my favourites! I just can't be bothered to look up names, but you'll recognise them by voice I promise.

I didn't like:
The only minor bone I could pick with this movie is the body shape of the Sergeant. She's just a little over the top in that regard, although at least she's still in full body armour....even if it is perfectly, anatomically, form fitting.
And maybe the minimal racial diversity, although I suspect that is reflective of video games in general (anyone know?)

So overall...
If the aliens get you and you have to choose, choose Wreck-It Ralph. It is much more inclusive, much more original and imaginative, and much more fun.
WildChild (emphatically) liked it better, and so did I.

The end.


  1. I prefer Rise of the Guardians. I found the characters more relatable. Wreck it Ralph was great though.

  2. I honestly think you're looking into Rise of the Guardians. way too much. Your negative points are kind of unreasonable. Okay, the Tooth Fairy doesn't have special fighting abilities like Jack Frost, Easter Bunny and Santa but she's still a main character that serves a good purpose and a good symbol of childhood. Almost like a mother figure which is a good representation of any female character. Every country aronud the world has their own perspective on each of these childhood guardians and as you said, not everyone does believe in them but so what? That side of the story shouldn’t be taken so seriously. It focuses on Western because it was made by an AMERICAN company.
    If you thought the story was confusing or too vague or far fetched, that would have been a totally understandable negative aspect, but apart from I agree with you that there should have been stronger female characters, I can't agree with anything else. Wreck it Ralph, I'm glad you enjoyed that. There were a few minor flaws with that too but most of it was fleshed out.I'd love to see your review on How To Train Your Dragon and possibly the sequel once it comes out.