We’re back with another Disney+ battle. And, this week we’ve got quite the disparity in films. “Melody Time” is a package film from Disney’s Wartime Era of animation released back in 1948. “Wreck-It Ralph” is my personal favorite film of Disney’s Revival Era of animation released in 2012. But, which one wins this battle? Let’s find out.
“Wreck-It Ralph” is a different kind of film, because it picks the villain of a popular video game and tries to make him a hero because Ralph doesn’t want to be the bad guy anymore. We see his journey as he tries to secure a medal so the people of his game will accept him, but instead learns about self-sacrifice and helping his friends as he becomes a true hero. In contrast, “Melody Time” is a series of seven shorts set to the popular music of the 1940s. There’s several different protagonists throughout the shorts. There are some we recognize from Disney’s history like Donald Duck, some we see from American mythology like Johnny Appleseed and Pecos Bill and some that were created for this film. That gives “Melody Time” more options, but at the same time makes it harder to choose. While Donald Duck is the most famous protagonist in either film, Ralph is more important to his story. Point to “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Melody Time 0 | Wreck-It Ralph 1
Again, it’s easy to tell the antagonist of “Wreck-It Ralph” due to its feature length narrative. King Candy turns out to be Turbo who left his game and took over Candy Rush causing Vanellope to become a glitch. Meanwhile, “Melody Time” doesn’t have a real villain. There’s very limited drama as most of the shorts are animated pieces set to music. It was intended to be a 1940s popular music version of “Fantasia” and that hurts it in this category. Point to “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Melody Time 0 | Wreck-It Ralph 2
3. SUPPORTING CHARACTERS
“Melody Time” is filled with supporting characters, but unfortunately the only one who stands out is Jose Carioca and that’s mostly due to his connection with Donald Duck from “Saludos Amigos” and “The Three Caballeros.” Meanwhile, “Wreck-It Ralph” is filled with memorable supporting characters including Vanellope, Fix-It Felix Jr., Sgt. Calhoun, the candy crush racers and all the people from the Fix-It Felix Jr. game. It’s another easy point for “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Melody Time 0 | Wreck-It Ralph 3
“Wreck-It Ralph” has an excellent score that could work well with any video game. Plus, Rihanna’s hit song “Shut Up and Drive” fits perfectly with the racing game theme of the film. Meanwhile, I found it hard to recognize most of the music from “Melody Time.” The point was to make a 1940s popular music version of “Fantasia,” but it doesn’t really work well. Most of the songs didn’t stand the test of time like the ones from “Fantasia” did. That being said, it’s still an amazing achievement in both animation and music. Point to “Melody Time.”
Melody Time 1 | Wreck-It Ralph 3
5. MEMORABLE MOMENTS
“Wreck-It Ralph” is filled with memorable moments. Ralph declaring he doesn’t want to be a bad guy, Ralph freaking out during Sgt. Calhoun’s game, Ralph getting the medal and flying to Candy Rush with a bug on his ship, Vanellope using the medal to enter the race, Ralph helping Vanellope win and offering to sacrifice himself to save her are some that stand out. The only part of “Melody Time” that stands out to me is Donald Duck and Jose Carioca doing the Samba. “Wreck-It Ralph” is just a more memorable movie. Point to “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Melody Time 1 | Wreck-It Ralph 4
This was an easy win for “Wreck-It Ralph this week. I kind of expected this, but wanted to see how they matched up. There are better films from the Wartime Era that would be more interesting. I’ll see what happens when the randomizer I use selects the next films for the battle.
But what do you think? Which is better: “Melody Time” or “Wreck-It Ralph?”