Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wreck It, Consuming Idealistic Americans and Social Norms


            John C. Reilly appears as the voice actor of his character, “Wreck it- Ralph,” in the vintage arcade game, Fix It Felix, Jr. in the motion picture, Wreck It, Ralph. The film tells the story of a well-intentioned arcade-game villain who rebels against his role and dreams of becoming a hero. He travels between games in the arcade, and ultimately must eliminate a dire threat that could affect the entire arcade, and one that Ralph unfortunately may have inadvertently started. Produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, Wreck It, Ralph was geared and directed towards more of an adolescent and kid type of audience, but don’t let that fool you. It has many innuendos and “adult” like puns to even keep the children’s parents entertained and occupied during this film. Knowing that such actors and actresses such as John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman, Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, and Jane Lynch provide voice over work for these iconic and brilliantly created and animated video game characters, it is easy for any audience member to picture these actors in this animated film, especially because the animators actually used face reproduction to make the characters extremely similar to the literal actor’s faces. This film is guaranteed to make you laugh and maybe even cry a little.
            While most probably believe that this is a typical one dimension story by the highly-regarded Disney production company featuring a plain story about a video game “bad guy” who longs to be a “good man,” that is just the skim of the surface of this pretty intellectually provoking story. This film features a sub-plot about how Ralph truly realizes that he is a good man when he sacrifices his life for a young girl inside of a video game who truly believes in him. According to our text by Lunsford, “arguments have the ability to subtlety or blatantly change the way people think.” I believe that while this story provides a great, compelling, and heartwarming lesson for the youngsters about a “bad guy” who wants to be good and change his fate in the video game world, I think it is much more than that. Ethically, I believe that this is a story of facades and social norms. Walt Disney productions might be teaching children to not judge a book by its cover, or that people have the power and faith to break out of what society thinks of them, and that people can change. Just because Ralph has been assigned to play a bad guy in his video game life, doesn’t mean that he is not a good man or has a good heart.
            Emotionally and logically, I truly think that this film even has a deeper meaning than the previous explanation. In the film, “Wreck-it, Ralph” is an old (almost antique) game surrounded in this arcade filled with new and improved games with the highest technological advances that are offered. I think that this is a beautifully and poignantly created insight towards what our current society and country is dealing with. This connects with the loss of bookstores and rise of the Kindle and Nook, as well as losing personal computers and the rise of Ipads and Macbooks. This story is trying to tell an older generation that understands that there is still a place for the “little man” and for the old way of doing things. While Wreck It, Ralph is a light-hearted and dandy movie for all ages, its depth and moral value give the viewer a chance to challenge themselves with something deeper than kid’s stories and arcade games. 

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