Wreck-it Ralph (2012)

PG-13. Our ratings: V -2; L -4; S/N -3. Running time: 1 hour 41 min.

Two are better than one, because they have a
good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will
lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and
falls and does not haveanother to help. Again,
if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can
one keep warm alone? And though one might
prevail against another, two will withstand one.
A threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’?
Isaiah 45:9b

Ralph at his 12 Step Bad-Anon meeting

2012 Walt Disney Motion Pictures

I cannot remember when I have seen an audience laugh so often or so raucously as they did for this animated fea ture, directed Richard Moore. I almost passed it by because of it’s video game themed plot, and yet even though I am sure I missed many of the film’s references I was able to understand most of them and join in the merriment. Writers Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston have come up with a witty script that children and adults will enjoy. And the themes of envy and rebellion, as well as cooperation, were well handled, making the film a good one for children, youth, or adults to discuss.

In this video game fantasy set in Litwak’s Fun Center the game characters are real and sometimes visit other games after the arcade is closed. Ralph (voice of John C.Reilly) is envious of Fix-it Felix, Jr (Jack McBrayer). because in his game he is the villain who wrecks everything, whereas Felix comes along and fixes up what Ralph has torn down. Felix is celebrated at the victory parties, but Ralph is not even invited, even thouh outsiders such as Pac-man are. As he says, “It’s hard to love your job, when no one else seems to like you for doing it…” Ralph becomes so depressed that he attends ‘Bad-anon,” a support group of video game bad guys. These scenes are a hilarious take off on 12 Step programs. Realizing that everyone loves a hero, Ralph sneaks into another game, but true to his name he wrecks almost everything, his misadventure creating chaos and releasing a threat that could shut down every game in the aecade. Next he enters a candy-coated game named “Sugar Rush,” obviously intended for younger children where he hooks up with Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman), also considered a loser because she is a glitch. How their mutual hostility changes so that she can achieve her dream of becoming a go-cart winner in the big race and Ralph comes to an understanding and acceptance of his role add up to hilarious and heart-warming climax.

The above is an extremely brief synopsis of the complicated tale. Nor can it do justice to the wonderful animation filled with eye-popping wonders. Its moral points, even a pitch for democracy verses royal rule in Candy Land, are imparted with no trace of didactive preaching. Rallph sums up what he has learned in his revealing statement, “I’m bad, and that’s good, and that’s not bad, there’s no one I’d rather be then me.” And in his final statement that involves Vanellope, :” Because if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be?” And oh yes, this is one of those films that rewards those who sit through the long end credits, so stay in your seat when “The End” comes on the screen.

For Reflection/Discussion

1. What is Ralph’s problem? Have you felt that way about yourself, perhaps forced into a role that you did not like.

2. Ralph sets out to change things: how is this good and bad? How is this taking responsibility for one’s life? But does he think of the consequences of his actions? What are the results of this?

3. If you have a favorite character, besides Ralph, what is it> What qualities did you like about him or her?

3. How do you think the two Scripture passages apply to the film?