Have you seen Wreck It Ralph yet with your kids?
About Wreck It Ralph
From Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy®-winning director Rich Moore comes “Wreck-It Ralph,” a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping adventure. For decades, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) has been overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, Jr. (voice of Jack McBrayer), the good-guy star of their game who always gets to save the day. Tired of playing the role of a bad guy, Ralph takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a journey across the arcade through multiple generations of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.
On his quest, Ralph meets tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty, and feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, who may just be his first real friend. But everything changes when a deadly enemy is unleashed, threatening the entire arcade and Vanellope herself. Ralph finally gets his chance to save the day—but can he do it in time?
We rented Wreck it Ralph this past weekend. It had been on our list to see and I thought the idea of a bad guy wanting to be good would be a great message for my kids.
Unfortunately, Wreck It Ralph left me frustrated and bothered. Here was a movie with some great messages, about how you can always change who you are, and how it feels when you are the kid who is different from the crowd. But like I said the movie disappointed me.
- At several points in the movie characters are very mean in their treatment of each other. There is a lot of name calling by ‘bullies’ to the characters Ralph and Vanellope. There is also a scene where the bully girls destroy Vanellope’s race car to prevent her from being in the race.
- The name calling was not limited to the bullies, even in scenes that perhaps should have been humorous, Ralph and Vanellope would mock each other with cruel names.
- At one point in the movie, when Ralph is teaching Vanellope, there is a song to emphasize the action. The song title is “Shut up and drive!” Those words are repeated often in the song.
- While in the Hero’s Duty game, there are scenes that are especially violent. At one point we see Sergeant Calhoun’s wedding and her husband-to-be eaten by a cyberbug. The cyberbugs and emphasis on heavy artillery can be scary for young children and conflict against the other imagery in the movie. The emotional baggage that Sergeant Calhoun then carries is not needed in a children’s movie.
- Much of the movie takes place in the video game Sugar Rush. Think of it as if someone took the game Candy Land pumped it with steroids and made it into a video game.
It’s rare that I cringe during a movie for my kids but this one did it. One moment the movie is violent and potentially scare and another candy and sweets are over glorified. Those things would be enough to upset me but what pushed me over the edge were the behaviors that this movie seemed to say were okay. In my house, it’s not okay to say shut up. If my kids are especially wound up, I may want to say it, but I restrain myself, and choose better words. I don’t want my kids thinking this is an acceptable way to talk to each other, nor do I think it’s okay to call anyone names, friends or bullies. While I realize the occasional ‘idiot’ does slip into a good kid’s movie, Wreck it Ralph let too much slip in. It’s a shame too because with the messages it could have sent it would have made for a great movie for children.
Need more help selecting family friendly movies? Visit Jersey Family Fun’s Family Movie Reviews series.
In full disclosure, this post was not sponsored. We rented this movie at our own expense.