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Soundtrack Review: Wreck-It Ralph

November 28, 2012

By Erin V.

A compilation score and song soundtrack, the CD for Wreck-It Ralph opens with the Owl City song written for the film ‘When Can I See You Again.’  This song plays over the end credits, really fits the film, and is fun to listen to on its own as well.  Next up is the song ‘Wreck-It, Wreck-It-Ralph’ which is actually written by Buckner & Garcia, the duo who wrote the famous ‘Pac-Man Fever’ song back in the ‘80’s, and their song here for the film’s titular game is just spot on.

Also included on the CD is ‘Celebration’ by Kool & The Gang, ‘Sugar Rush’ performed by Japanese singing group AKB48, a song called ‘Bug Hunt’ by Skillrex, and ‘Shut Up & Drive’ by Rihanna.  The whole song portion of the soundtrack runs for just over 24 minutes.

Then we get just over 46 minutes of score from the film, written by Henry Jackman.  This is an example of music fitting the film it was written for like a glove.  The electronic and 8-bit game style of the main themes of Wreck-It Ralph as we hear in the first few score tracks on the soundtrack, set the mood perfectly as this is Ralph’s world.

But the whole score is not just ‘80’s video game style music, because – as those who’ve seen the film know, the arcade has many games from the past 30 years to present, and so it is that the score is written with a distinct sound for each of the game worlds Ralph travels to.

We move from the ‘heroic’ sounds of Hero’s Duty, to the upbeat modern electronic video game theme of Sugar Rush (such as in Track 12).  Track 16 – ‘Laffy Taffies’ – is quite amusing if you’ve seen the film.  But the portions in Sugar Rush also have a lot more emotional variation to them, since this is where the majority of the film takes place.  The other game’s themes come in at times as well which works well as the characters all ‘game jump’ around in order to try to set things right.  Various characters have themes as well, which are also used throughout.

What starts out as a looser soundtrack, like the film becomes really touching by the end.  In this way it mirrors the emotions of the movie and that is exactly what you’d want.  The music seems to be pretty much in order here as well which is good.  The last three tracks are exciting, touching, and perfect to close out a really fun soundtrack.

Listening to the soundtrack a couple weeks after seeing the film, I am instantly transported back to the scenes, can picture them in my mind, and can’t wait to see the movie again.  Is this a mark of a great film or a great score?  I’d say both.

Overall, this is a fun score to listen to, and was no doubt a fun one for composer Henry Jackman to write.  He uses a wide variety of instruments here, both real and electronic.  The CD also includes Bonus Content, including an Owl City music video of ‘When Can I See You Again?,’ as well as a Wreck-It Ralph wallpaper for your computer or iPad screen (available in various sizes).

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About the disc and packaging:  

The insert in the CD case includes images of the characters, as well as the lyrics to ‘When Can I See You Again?,’ and ‘Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph.’  It also includes credits for the album, the rest of the songs, and for the orchestra that played on the score.  The disc itself features an 8-bit drawing of Wreck-It Ralph.

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The soundtrack for Wreck-It Ralph was released by Universal Music Canada on October 30th, 2012.

The soundtrack runs for 1 hour, 10 minutes, and 47 seconds, and has 25 tracks (6 songs by various artists, and 19 score tracks composed by Henry Jackman).

You can read our full theatrical reviews of the film here.

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