OK for kids 7+
Game-themed movie mixes potty humor with strong messages.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wreck-It Ralph brings video games to life in a way that will appeal to both kids and adults. The story is about a "bad guy" who deserts his classic arcade game to prove that he's not so bad after all, turning Disney's animated adventure into the tale of an underdog searching for a new identity. The movie is accurate in the way it presents popular games/game genres, so you can expect some action-packed scenes, especially in the parts of the movie that take place in a first-person shooter game (guns, aliens, etc.). Game characters can die, but it's only permanent if it happens outside their home game. In one scene presented comically, someone grabs a zombie's heart out of its chest. There's also a little bit of drinking and kissing -- and a fair amount of potty humor/language ("butt," "doody," etc.) -- amid the movie's deeper messages about identity, compassion, loyalty, and challenging the status quo.
- Families can talk about how Wreck-It Ralph portrays video game violence. What's realistic? What's not? What are your family's values when it comes to violence in the media?
- What are the movie's female characters like? Do they challenge stereotypes about girls and "girly" video games? How so?
- Talk about the ways that Ralph and Vanellope are mistreated and misunderstood. What could other characters have done to be more inclusive and more accepting?
The good stuff
Educational value: Kids are introduced to tech terms and concepts like game code, consoles, and avatars.
Messages: Characters learn to embrace the way they're programmed, rather than change themselves for others. Characters also discover the importance of walking a mile in someone else's shoes before judging them. Themes of inclusivity/exclusivity and selflessness/selfishness are woven throughout the story in many ways.
Role models: Ralph's quest for peer approval turns into a journey about becoming proud of who he is and what he's able to contribute. He doesn't let his official "bad guy" status overshadow the qualities that make him good: He's kind, resourceful, and sticks up for the underdog. Despite her potty-mouth insults, Vanellope is a spunky, clever, and determined character. In a game that's stereotypically girly, she challenges the status quo. She finds a way to channel her "defectiveness" as a game "glitch" into something positive.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: In one scene, a first-person shooter video game comes to life. Characters from this game (who are more realistic looking than some of the others) fire big guns at aliens, which end up invading other games. In a brief and comic-toned scene, a character impulsively grabs a zombie's heart out of his chest, but no real damage is done. In another flashback, a character is eaten by an alien bug. Calhoun and Ralph are the most aggressive characters; they occasionally punch others and destroy their surroundings. Cautionary tales about characters' deaths (if a character dies in a game outside of their own, they can't regenerate) and homelessness (games that are put out of order) may be upsetting to younger kids. One character does die, but it's in his own game, so he regenerates.
Sexy stuff: Two game characters fall in love and get married. They exchange a smooch, as well as a more passionate kiss in another scene. One iconic game character, a male wrestler, wears only his underwear. In one scene, Ralph disrobes an unconscious space commander to steal his suit.
Language: Rude humor and frequent name-calling includes insults like "I hate you," "shut your chew hole," "brat," "pussy willows," "doody," and "numbskull." The song "Shut Up and Drive" by Rihanna plays during one scene. Other iffy language includes "frickishly" and "butt load."
Consumerism: Iconic video game characters -- like Pac-Man, Bowser, and Sonic the Hedgehog -- make cameo appearances. There are also many references to candy/cookie/sweets brands (Oreo, Devil Dogs, NesQuick, Laffy Taffy, Mentos, etc.).
Drinking, drugs and smoking: In one scene, a game character pours himself a martini. Another scene takes place in a game called Tappers, in which characters drink root beer from beer mugs. Characters are also briefly seen drinking at a dance party.
Fan Reviews provided by
EEK! by L0rii
This was adorable! It made my day so much better! I literally went from frustrated and irritated to HAPPY! Some parts are somewhat predictable but it was the adorable predictable that had to happen because then it would've just been depressing. And there were also shockers. One or two and they were enough. This is a movie I would definitely recommend. This was not entirely for kids. I saw it and I'm definitely not a child. For kids still yes though. Some of the language somewhat surprised me because I did not expect it to be in a Disney movie. Mostly just one word I noticed that I wouldn't really want to be said around a child though they might already be hearing it at school the way things are these days. It was funny, sad, exciting, and all-around what I think was a wonderful movie.
Touching by movie_weekend
I took my little boy and nephew (both 6 years old). They loved the video game characters and action. Although it is 2 hours long, they sat still until the last thirty minutes. Seeing all the older video games reminded me of going to the arcade when I was younger and thinking those games were so advanced. Cleverly written so both kids and adults will be amused.
Wreck It Ralph by LiteSpeed0406
Life lessons on responsibility and doing the right thing are there for kids and adults as well. Great movie for any family. Disney has done it again!
Disney has done it again! Great for kids and parents alike by King372
Wreck It Ralph is a fantastic movie for kids of all ages (including 40 year old kids like me). I took my 8 and 5 year old and they had a blast seeing it. The script is good, animation is great, and using video game characters is a pure stroke of genius. John Lasseter and team have once again put together an amazing cast of characters that all ages can relate to. I highly recommend this movie.
WRECK-IT RALPH by gwenlatif
My husband and I took two of our grand-children to see WRECK-IT RALPH. It was child friendly, but funny and entertaining for adults as well.. The movie has a positive message, and I say GO see it.
Ralph is not a Wreck by cyanfalcon
If you don't fall in love with Venelope by the end of this movie then you are not pumping blood. I couldn't wait for more and couldn't wait for what was to happen next. Wreck-It didn't do anything but fix our love for the movie. The other games that were shown brought back memories of my childhood but also gave it the 21st century twist that you can enjoy now. Wreck is a A++ and I can't wait to own the DVD.
Worth watching, but could have been better. by mbeau88
It had very funny parts, but for the most part, the humor was silly/stupid rather than wiitty like Toy Story, Finding Nemo.etc I like the movies that have jokes that only adults would get so they can laugh along and enjoy the movie, this one only had dumb jokes for the most part, and given everything they had to work with, I feel like the storyline was very lacking, and the direction it took was predictable and thoughtless.
Don't get me wrong, it was a great movie compared to the smurfs, but I was expecting more, so I'm being a little harsh.
Loved it by docforsaken
I think I enjoyed it more than my son did. Its the best Disney movie that I've seen since Cars probably. I'm in my mid30s and this hits home right in the heart of my childhood. Everything from the 8bit characters and music, the arcades, and the classic game characters. I can't wait to own it on bluray.
One of the best video game focused movies I've ever seen! by JRSantore
This movie is awesome for both Kids and Children alike, and it is very funny. The movie seems more funny for people who get the game references like me and my friends. So a lot of little kids might not understand. But other than that this movie is funny as heck and very enjoyable!
We have a winner! by Hintcoins
I absolutely loved this movie. The soundtrack, environments, and thought that went into making this feel like different game worlds were all incredibly fantastic. I feel like the underlying back story that helps aid the reveal at the end could've been a little bit more dramatic or emphasized, but overall I'd recommend anyone who enjoys a lot of cute (almost heart-crushing) moments and fun characters to check it out. First the first time in a while, I feel like rewatching a movie in theaters instead of waiting for a DVD release.