What was the message of Wreck-It Ralph?

At first the movie seems to be endorsing a “you don’t have to be a villain if you don’t want to” message which then becomes by the end “accept that a villain isn’t bad, and is needed as a foil for the hero” message which is kind of odd.

I’m just curious what everyone thinks the movie’s take away is.

“Help good people solve their problems; lasting friendships, and the approval of society, will follow – as will your own hard-earned and well-deserved contentment.”

Same as It’s A Wonderful Life, I guess.

“You are not your job.”

It’s a very practical message.

That, and “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. After all, Ralph was assumed to revel in his villainy and enjoy living in the dump in a pile of bricks, and that was very far from the truth.

“Just because you are bad guy does not mean you are BAD guy.”

Video game arcades are still surprisingly popular.

A cynical person could make the argument that the message is “Conformity is good”. In the start of the film, the protagonist is unhappy with the role his society has set out for him and only fills it reluctantly. When he rebels, all of his society is threatened with destruction as a direct result of his actions. At the end of the film, when he finally conforms and fulfills his assigned tasks, gladly this time, only then does he find what he wanted in the first place: friendship and the respect of his peers. Happiness can only come through conformity to the place society has set aside for you.

Not really. What Ralph really wanted was to be accepted by other people. In the first part of the movie, he thought the only way he could achieve that was to stop being a bad guy. But what he found was that he could be accepted as a bad guy.

So Ralph didn’t need to change for society because society changed for Ralph instead. That’s hardly a message promoting conformity.

Also, you’ve sorta kinda gotta factor in Vanellope’s story: her entire disapproving society tells her she’s not supposed to be a racer, but (a) the little nonconformist refuses to knuckle under and be pigeonholed; and (b) with Ralph’s help, she succeeds in defying the King and then sets to restructuring that society from the top down.

Compassion is the key to navigating moral complexity.

Even messed-up kids deserve a car made out of candy!

I enjoyed that movie.

You are who you choose to be…


Be yourself.