Wreck It Ralph opens in theaters November 2nd.
The more I blog and share about my own self identity quest, the more I find that self identity is a complex but universal issue … even for Wreck It Ralph, a bad guy who wants to be good.
Ralph is the bad guy in the video game Fix It Felix. Ralph breaks windows in the building and Felix rescues the townspeople by fixing everything with his magical hammer. At the end of each game, Felix is awarded with a gold medal and Ralph is thrown off the top of the building and sent to live in the dump. It’s the video game’s 30th Anniversary and the townspeople offend Ralph by not inviting him to the party even. Ralph crashes the party and then literally crashes the party. In order to prove to them that he can win medals too, he goes rogue in search of his own medal.
After the arcade closes, the characters of each game can visit other characters via a portal that reminds me of Grand Central. He ends up in Hero’s Duty, a high-definition combat game where the object is to kill the invading Cy-bugs with guns and climb a tower in order to grab the winning gold medal. With much disruption, Ralph is able to get that medal but it comes at a price of risking the ruin of more than one video game.
In an unexpected adventure, Ralph ends up in Sugar Rush, a go-kart racer game, where he meets Vanellope von Schweetz. She steals his medal and the audience’s heart. This sweet and spunky race-car-driver wannabe has a plan to enter the race to get back in her own video game. Initially, Ralph just wants his medal back (and frankly can’t believe she just stole it). However, after realizing that he and Vanellope are more alike than different, he decides to stick around and help her out. If she wins the race, she gets the in the game and he gets his medal.
Ralph is an outcast in his game because he is the bad guy. He lives in a dump and wrecks everything he touches. He’s the only bad guy in Fix It Felix and he is questioning his purpose. Vanellope is an outcast because she is technically a glitch in the Sugar Rush. Her digital glitch not only causes others to push her away and ban her from the race that is the game. No one can convince her that she doesn’t belong and that she isn’t a racer to the core or as she puts it “feels it in her code.”
After a turn of events, the real bad guy is revealed. See, Ralph learns the lesson of the the bad guy mantra, “I’m bad, and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me.” He realizes his purpose and tries ‘fix’ what he has wrecked. Will he do it in time and will he help Vanellope win her race and discover her unique identity?
Thanks to Disney, my family was able to see the movie and we gave it 8 thumbs up. The boys laughed, my husband even enjoyed it and at one point I thought I was going to cry. What can I say? I’m a wreck sometimes.
What I liked: revisiting all the video games, the humor and the action. We watched it in 3-D and that’s the way to watch a movie about video games!
What I wasn’t crazy about: a scene in the Hero’s Duty where Sergeant Calhoun uses a, a-hem, colorful word to refer to the solders. My boys didn’t ask about it but parents just beware. I’d prefer the word just be removed all together.
Disclaimer: ¿Qué Means What? did receive complementary tickets for an advance screening. This post was not required. All opinions are my own.