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I saw this movie a few weeks ago with some friends, and I just never got around to talking about it. I truly loved it though!
I’m going to skip to the main point of the movie, the big “moral of the story.” This is going to have the main movie spoiler, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read on!
Alright, here we go. Ralph and Vanellope (I’m going to call her V) go to the Internet to try to buy a steering wheel for V’s racing game. They need 200 dollars to buy it on eBay. Then, when they win the auction, Ralph and V are in shock to learn that they need real money to pay for the bids. 27,001 dollars of real money in fact. Ralph and V must go on a crazy 24-hour adventure to try to pay for the wheel and save V’s game.
The journey leads them to go to a game called Slaughter Race to try to win the prized car of the lead NPC gang. This car will give them all the money that they need if they sell it to a shady internet in-game item seller. V and Ralph manage to befriend the leader of the gang, named Shank, and she decides to help them make money through BuzzTube (Youtube) videos.
This is where the true morals start to reveal themselves. Vanellope wants to stay in Slaughter Race. She really looks up to Shank and the gang, and the game is far more fun than Sugar Rush. But Ralph is different. He has been in his game for many years, and he is happy with his life. After finding Vanellope and becoming her friend, he isn’t even lonely anymore! He’s happy with having his daily routine of working until the arcade closes, and then hanging out with his friends from the other games. When Ralph accidentally overhears a conversation between V and Shank where V talks about how she might not want to go back to the arcade, he decides to take drastic measures. He goes back to the shady dealer and asks for a virus that will slow down the cars in Slaughter Race so that V will be bored and decide to return to the arcade.
This insecurity virus is going to find an insecurity in the game and copy it over and over, thus slowing down the game. Ralph is happy that he found a nice, harmless virus that should slow down the cars. What Ralph doesn’t think about is how Vanellope herself is an insecurity. Her glitch never disappeared after Wreck it Ralph 1. So the virus finds her and repeats her glitch throughout the game, completely breaking it. This makes the game reset, which is a race against time for Vanellope to be able to escape the game. A reset would mean that she would get deleted, as her character isn’t native to the game’s backup files. After Ralph saves her, he admits to putting the virus in the game, which causes the pair to fight. Vanellope takes off Ralph’s Best Friend cookie medal and throws it into the depths of the internet. The two part ways as the insecurity virus breaks out of Slaughter Race. When the virus sees Ralph, it copies his insecurities, causing a bunch of Ralph clones to take over the internet, all looking for their best friend Vanellope.
The Wreck it Ralph series has honestly become one of my favorite Disney movie series after this film. There is no romance, just two best friends hanging out and having fun together outside of their own video games. This storyline is one that is relatable to kids, and can honestly teach an important lesson.
We all had that one friend when we were a kid. That one friend who didn’t like it when we hung out with our other friends, or who got upset when you said that you had more than one best friend. They were so scared of losing you that they drove the two of you apart by being so possessive, and hurting the others who wanted to spend time with you. Ralph takes on the role of that overly possessive friend in this film. He is so scared of losing Vanellope that he hurts the game she loves, hurting her in the process, to try to make her stay with him.
At the end of the movie, Ralph must face his “insecurities” by talking to a mass of clone Ralphs in the shape of a giant Ralph, and get them to let Vanellope go. This was a bit on the creepier side, even for a kids film, and I know that I would have definitely been scared if I had seen this at 6 or 7 years old. But nevertheless, it drove home the important point. Ralph and Vanellope could still be friends, even if Vanellope didn’t live at the arcade anymore. Ralph shouldn’t try to hold V back from following her dream, and Vanellope can’t try to force Ralph to live in Slaughter Race, a game where he doesn’t belong. They wouldn’t stop being best friends just because Vanellope moved somewhere new.
This is an important life moment that all kids go through, and this movie captured that perfectly. A friend is going to move away, or go to a different school, or have different friends, and kids have to learn how to be okay with that. The end of the movie shows how Ralph and Vanellope would video chat each other daily instead of hanging out in person, so they were able to stay friends outside of the arcade. This was a beautiful way to show the end of the movie because a real kid would be able to video chat a friend who had moved away or started attending a different school. A beautiful solution for a common issue Disney!
Overall, I would recommend this movie to anyone with children or to anyone looking for a beautifully animated Wreck it Ralph film!
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 paintbrushes