Wreck-It Ralph (Disney) – 2012

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Wreck-It Ralph
wreck-it-ralph

Summary:

Wreck-It-Ralph attends his first Bad-Anon meeting, where all of the arcade bad guy characters who find difficulty coping with the label, “bad guy”, meet together to support each other. Ralph confesses that he no longer wants to be a bad guy. He is tired of the scorn he receives from the other characters in his game, Fix-It-Felix Jr, and wants to become a good guy. The other bad guys try to convince him to simply be who he is, and there is nothing wrong with the label “bad guy” because it doesn’t mean that he is a bad guy in his heart. Ralph doesn’t feel any better by the end of the meeting, and feels even worse when he returns to his own game: they are having an anniversary party in Felix’s apartment without having invited him. He knocks on Felix’s door, and it becomes very apparent that he is not wanted there. He angrily storms off, determined to prove to everyone that he can be a good guy by winning a medal, just like Felix has. He eventually hears about another game called Hero’s Duty, where soldiers kill cy-bugs and win a gold medal with the word “Hero” on it. Not being familiar with cy-bugs, and just how scary and dangerous they are, he impersonates a soldier and goes to the game in order to win one. Once the cy-bugs begin to attack, however, he realizes that he doesn’t have any desire to participate in the violence, and sneaks off to where the medals are kept, at the top of a tower. Once he climbs up, a hologram of a military awards ceremony appears, and Ralph gets caught up in the glory of his “heroism”. The next thing he knows, a newly hatched cy-bug is after him, and he and the bug end up in an escape pod, blasting out of the game. Meanwhile, Felix and the other characters of their game go through their usual game routine until a gamer tries to play their game and Ralph is missing. The game is deemed “Out of Order”, causing widespread panic. Felix goes in search of him, and eventually makes it to Hero’s Duty. But as he is explaining his mission to Sergeant Calhoun, and falling in love with her more modern hi-def look, Ralph and the cy-bug shoot by into yet another game called Sugar Rush. Upon crashing the ship, the cy-bug is expelled into a taffy swamp, and Ralph realizes that his medal is missing. He soon meets Vanellope, a little girl who snags the medal for her own purposes. The two of them begin a desperate struggle to gain the article that they each believe will buy them acceptance in their respective worlds. In another part of the game Calhoun and Felix desperately search for Ralph before Fix-It-Felix is permanently unplugged, and also for the cy-bug before it multiplies and destroys the Sugar Rush game.

Lessons:

Ralph begins the movie depressed because everyone sees him as the bad guy. But that was a role that was thrust upon him – he didn’t have a choice in the role he played in the game. He did, however have a choice of the type of person he wanted to be inside, and he chose to be a good guy. This is a good film for introducing the idea of stereotypes, and how people are often judged to be something very different than the person they are at heart. We also see how difficult it is for someone to change their viewpoint of an individual, and how this judgment will even cloud their views so much that they cannot see the pain and torment that they are causing. Vanellope was in a similar situation in Sugar Rush. The pair of misfits were different in many ways, but their common pain is what eventually bonds them in friendship. As they struggle for acceptance together, they show that heroes are born from sheer necessity, not a need to prove oneself. It doesn’t arrive in the form of a medal or a trophy, it can only be found in the depths of one’s heart.

(If you have additional ideas on how this film can be used for educational purposes, please let us know in the comments below.)

Quotes:

(first lines)
Wreck-It-Ralph: My name’s Ralph, and I’m a bad guy. Uh, let’s see… I’m nine feet tall, I weigh six hundred and forty-three pounds. Got a bit of a temper on me. My passion bubbles very near the surface, I guess, not gonna lie. Anyhoo, what else? Uh… I’m a wrecker. I wreck things, professionally. I mean, I’m very good at what I do. Probably the best I know. Thing is, fixing’s the name of the game. Literally. “Fix-It Felix, Jr.” So yeah, naturally, the guy with the name Fix-It Felix is the good guy. He’s nice enough as good guys go. Definitely fixes stuff really well. But, uh, if you got a magic hammer from your father, how hard can it be? If he was a regular contractor, carpenter guy, I guarantee you, you will not be able to fix the damage that I do as quickly. When Felix does a good job, he gets a medal. But, are there medals for wrecking stuff really well? To that, I say, ha! And no, there aren’t. For thirty years I have been doing this, and I have seen a lot of other games come and go, it’s sad. Think about those guys at Asteroids? Boom, gone. Centipede? Who knows where that guy is, you know? Look, a steady arcade gig is nothing to sneeze at, I’m very lucky. It’s just, I gotta say, it becomes kinda hard to love your job… when no one else seems to like you for doing it.

**********

Fix-It-Felix: Do you have any idea what you put me through? Higgeldy-piggeldy, I ran all over creation looking for you! I almost drowned in chocolate milk mix! And then… I met the most dynamite gal. Oh, she gives me the honey glow something awful! But, she rebuffed my affections. And then, I GOT THROWN IN JAIL!
Wreck-It-Ralph: Felix, pull yourself together!
Fix-It-Felix: No, Ralph! You don’t know what it’s like to be rejected and treated like a criminal.
Wreck-It-Ralph: Yes I do… That’s every day of my life.
Fix-It-Felix: It is?
Wreck-It-Ralph: Which is why I tried to run away and be a good guy. But I’m not! I’m just a bad guy. And I need your help. There’s a little girl who’s only hope is this cart. Please, Felix, fix it. And I promise, I will never try to be good again.

**********

(Ralph hurtles down towards Diet Cola Mountain, preparing to sacrifice himself to save Vanellope and the rest of the game)
Wreck-It-Ralph: I’m bad, and that’s good! I will never be good, and that’s not bad!
(He looks at the cookie medal Vanellope gave him: “YOU’RE MY HERO”)
There’s no-one I’d rather be… than me.

**********

Wreck-It-Ralph: Because if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be?

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