Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph was originally said by the company to be the first in a movement to attract more young male audiences. Disney made the announcement in 2010 when it released what was said to be its last princess movie for the foreseeable future in Tangled. Ironically enough, Wreck-It Ralph proves to be a movie that will appeal to both young male and female audiences as well as parents. Kids will enjoy the movie thanks to the backdrop of the video game world. Parents will appreciate the movie for its multi-pronged moral story placed against the video-game based world.
Wreck-It Ralph is an interesting story. On the surface, some might argue that it’s just a blatant advertisement for the video game industry. That is true, but only partially. It’s more than that. It pays homage to both the video game industry’s golden era and its more modern era. It’s more than that though. Anyone that remembers Pixar’s groundbreaking movie, Toy Story will almost instantly recognize something a similarity between that movie and this work. It is basically Toy Story set against the world of video games. Just as the toys in Toy Story had their own secret world and life, so do the video game characters in Wreck-It Ralph. And just as Woody was worried about being replaced, the characters in Wreck-It Ralph worry about their game being permanently unplugged. The lesson of friendship is also present in both stories. As can be seen, there are quite a number of similarities between Pixar’s groundbreaking CG based story and this latest release from Disney. For all the similarities between the two works, Wreck-It Ralph does manage to establish its own identity. It does this through its multi-pronged moral story.
The primary moral of Wreck-It Ralph is one of self-acceptance. Ralph—voiced by veteran actor John C. Reily (Cyrus, Talladega Nights, A Prairie Home Companion) learns to accept himself and be comfortable with himself despite the labels placed on him by the social structure of the video game world. But it isn’t until he develops a friendship with young Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) that he reaches this epiphany. He realizes that he should be happy with himself because he sees in Vanellope someone just like himself. And just as he sees a kindred spirit in Vanellope, she sees a hero in him, thus leading to the revelation that he doesn’t need a medal to be a hero. As long as he is a hero to one person, that’s all that matters. This is something to which any child and adult can relate, thus giving the story part of its heart. The other part of the heart behind Wreck-It Ralph lies in the topic of social acceptance.
Ralph learns in this story that regardless of the labels put on him by the video game world’s standards, he can be a hero to at least one other, thus leading to his epiphany of self acceptance. He isn’t the only one that learns a valuable lesson though. Those around him learn to be more accepting of him, too. That’s thanks to him uncovering a “royal” sized secret that could have had a major impact on the video game world in his journey of self-discovery. He ends up being a hero and saving the day. How he does won’t be revealed here for the sake of those who have yet to see this movie. But because word spread to his fellow video game characters, everyone’s view of Ralph changed. And sure he was still the “bad guy” in Fix It Felix, Jr., but he was much more accepted than at the movie’s outset. This lesson of social acceptance is one from which the entire family can benefit. And it’s one more positive to what is another fun and family friendly story from Disney. It may not be Disney’s finest. But it is still an enjoyable work. Wreck-It Ralph is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via the Disney DVD store at http://www.disneystore.com/wreck-it-ralph-blu-ray-and-dvd-combo-pack/mp/1326674/1000316/.
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