Wreck-It-Ralph

9 Nov

Baby Beez and I had a girls night at the movies tonight! She loves movies, but she’s still too small to sit still for long periods.  I want my kid to behave and not bother people, but we also can’t run for home every time she squirms.  I’m still trying to figure out what kind of kids behavior is OK, and what is not to be tolerated.  Before I had a kid, of course I knew exactly what every parent should do, and expected that any child that squeaked or moved or breathed loudly be whisked away.  Suffice it to say, that perspective has changed.  And although Baby Beez spent about half the movie walking up and down a section of the aisle, she was quiet and was not disturbing people, so I consider that a success. Anyway, to the movie!

Even though I’m not much into video games, I thought Wreck-it-Ralph sounded cute.  It’s the story of a video game “bad guy,” Wreck-it-Ralph, whose sole role in his game is to destroy everything.  Dissatisfied with always being the bad guy, he sets off to prove that he can accomplish things, and in the process he gets into some tussles, makes some friends, finds his true self, etc etc etc

FINALLY Disney starts breaking out of the Princess mold with Wreck-It-Ralph.  We’re not fully free of the stereotypes yet, but there were a lot of things that Wreck-it-Ralph does with depictions of gender, and especially girls/women, that demonstrated some solid movement in the right direction. In short:

-The toughest, most respected military leader character is a woman.

-The arcade where Wreck-it-Ralph and his fellow games are located is filled with eager girl AND boy gamers.  Indeed, when we first get a glimpse of the “Hero Duty” alien bug first person shooter game, it is a girl gamer doing the shooting.

-Although the “Sugar Rush” game is overwhelmingly pink and full of girly squeals, it’s at least a racing game, where the girl racers show themselves to be clever and aggressive.

-Sure, there’s a princess. But she’s not looking for a prince. And she actually rejects her crown, and declares her country a “Constitutional Democracy,” of which she is the President, not a monarch.

-I liked that the female leads are voiced by Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman, both known for being tough, independent, and talented.  I usually cannot stand Sarah Silverman, but she was remarkably not obnoxious as the voice of Vanellope von Schweetz.

Wreck-It-Ralph is a fun and silly kids movie. Finally, Disney is moving away from the mold of “waiting for my prince to come,” and the results are impressive.

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