Wreck-It Ralph Parent Guide
While this storyline isn't Disney's strongest animation to date, "Wreck-It Ralph" will still offer plenty of entertainment value for most older children and young teens.
Parent Movie Review
Wreck-It Ralph (voice by John C. Reilly) is the big-fisted demolitionist in the arcade video game Fix-It Felix Jr. But he’s tired of being the bad guy. He wants some positive recognition. He wants appreciation. He wants a medal.
However the only person who wins a medal in this game code is Fix-It Felix (voice by Jack McBrayer), the eternally upbeat hero with the golden hammer that cheerfully repairs every broken window and dislodged brick left behind by Ralph.
When the other characters celebrate the game’s 30th anniversary without even inviting Wreck-It Ralph to the penthouse party, the bushy-haired antagonist decides it is time to prove he really has a heart of gold. While the arcade is closed, Ralph ventures into another game called Hero’s Duty. Inside the program, he dons armor and joins forces with the brash and tough-as-nails female commander Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch) in order to win a shiny gold medallion. But when the battle becomes more violent than he anticipated, Ralph panics and unknowingly releases a virus that travels through the surge protector threatening to infect every other amusement in the arcade, including the candy-coated car racing game Sugar Rush.
Pixar’s touch is evident in this creative story where, like Toy Story, seemingly inanimate objects come to life after the humans disappear. The power bar the arcade units are plugged into mimics New York City’s Grand Central Station. It allows characters to travel between game consoles for events like the Bad-Anon meeting where villains of every ilk reaffirm that they’re bad and that’s good. It’s a subtle comment from characters that recognize their role in the gaming world. But their mantra may give a few young viewers, who seek attention by destructive means, an excuse to continue. The film also carries an anti-bullying message along with one about the importance of teamwork—two themes repeatedly promoted in children’s movies.
Like other Pixar-influenced films, this Disney production contains numerous jokes only adults are likely to appreciate. Many kids in the audience may not even be familiar with arcade characters like Ghost Clyde from Pac-Man, M. Bison and Zangief from Street Fighter and Bowser from Super Mario—or even notice Pong playing in the background. Some potty humor, rude name-calling and belittling remarks (most meant in a humorous vein) may also be disappointing for parents who bring their children to this animation. And while bullets and blasts are to be expected in Hero’s Duty, Felix is repeatedly punched and slapped (for laughs) in the more benign Sugar Rush when he goes in search of the missing Ralph.
While this storyline isn’t Disney’s strongest animation to date, Wreck-It Ralph will still offer plenty of entertainment value for most older children and young teens. However game console developers like Nintendo (that recently reported the company’s first annual loss in history) may be the ones crossing their fingers in hopes that Wreck-It Ralph can jumpstart a resurgence in video game sales.Directed by Rich Moore. Starring John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch. Running time: 101 minutes. Theatrical release November 2, 2012. Updated July 10, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is Wreck-It Ralph rated PG? Wreck-It Ralph is rated PG by the MPAA for some rude humor and mild action/violence.
Violence: A character confesses to having a temper and using it as an excuse to throw people and things. A character is repeatedly thrown from the top of a tall building and lands on the ground below. A man pulls out a zombie’s beating heart and holds it up in front of numerous other characters. A female soldier brutally hits another character numerous times in order to get laughs. Characters bully others. A man tampers with a game’s program causing the characters to lose their memories. He also introduces a virus meant to destroy other games. A character is electrocuted. Cars crash on a racecourse. A character’s life is threatened. Another character is forced to watch a person’s death. A character falls from the sky knowing he will likely die. Characters engage in video game shooting and martial arts fighting. A man tortures another character.
Sexual Content: A character makes a joke about a man’s pair of missing underwear. A couple kisses on their wedding day.
Language: The script contains frequent rude name-calling and some crude humor.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters hang out at a bar after the workday is over. A man goes there to drown his sorrows after his fellow game characters reject him. Other characters are shown drinking at home or at social events on several occasions.
Other: Jokes are repeatedly made about urination.
Page last updated July 10, 2016
Wreck-It Ralph Parents' Guide
What sacrifices does Wreck-It Ralph make that demonstrate what kind of person he really is inside? What does Ralph want from the other characters in his game? What does he do to get attention?
Why are the other “bad guys” worried that Wreck-It Ralph is going “turbo”? What role do these villains play in the program code?
Do you believe that people can’t change who they are inside?
The most recent home video release of Wreck-It Ralph movie is March 4, 2013. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Wreck-it Ralph
Release Date: 5 March 2013
Wreck-it Ralph releases to home video In Blu-ray 3D (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) or Blu-ray (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following extras:
- Disney Intermission: The Gamer’s Guide to Wreck-It Ralph
- Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of Wreck-It Ralph
- Deleted & Alternate Scenes
- Video Game Commercials
- Paperman Animated Short
Related home video titles:
The script of Tron and Tron Legacy also takes viewers inside the imaginary world of computers and video games. The stigma of being overlooked causes a character to become a bad guy in Meet the Robinsons. And a TV personality from a show called Bolt who believes he’s a hero finds his super stunts a little difficult to replicate in the real world.