Australian Council on Children and the Media

Ralph Breaks the Internet

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Not recommended under 8, Parental Guidance to 10 (Scary scenes, violence and product placement).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • a review of Ralph Breaks the Internet completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 31 December 2018.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to scary scenes, animated violence and frequent product placement.
Children 8 to 10 Parental guidance due to scary scenes, animated violence and frequent product placement.
Children 10 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Ralph Breaks the Internet
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and animated violence.
Length 112 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Ralph Breaks the Internet is a sequel to the 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph. In this film, arcade game characters Wreck-It Ralph (Voice of John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Voice of Sarah Silverman) are good friends who like to hang out after ‘work’ when their video arcade has closed for the day. Although Ralph is content, Vanellope is starting to get a bit bored with the same old thing day after day and is craving some adventure. One day, Ralph decides to help his friend by carving a new track in her video game ‘Sugar Rush’. Although Vanellope loves it, the new track causes the game to malfunction and the steering wheel comes loose. Sadly, this arcade game is so old now that spare parts are impossible to find, and the sugar rush game is destined for the scrap heap. When someone in the arcade finds an eBay listing of the steering wheel, Ralph decided that he and Vanellope must enter the world of ‘the Internet’, in order to find eBay and win the wheel.  This begins a wild adventure where Ralph and Vanellope are thrust into the confusing and endless world of the internet. Here they must navigate social media, cyber bullies, pop-up click bait and internet gaming, finding their way back to their arcade with steering wheel.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Friendship; adventure; the Internet; social media and online companies; cyberbullying; internet gaming.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Frequent slapstick and mild animated violence. For example, one of the sugar rush racers throws an object at the security guard and breaks his glasses.
  • When Ralph gets angry, he tends to ‘wreck’ things by smashing them.
  • A ‘pop-up blocker’ punches a guy holding an advertising board in the face.
  • When Ralph and Vanellope enter the game ‘Slaughter Race’, there are characters who are killing each other with weapons.
  • A large monster version of Ralph tries to capture and crush the real Ralph.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • This film has many scenes which include very fast movement, bright flashing lights and colours, and loud sounds. Some children may find these scenes slightly overwhelming.
  • Several scenes of racing cars driving in a dangerous and risky way, deliberately causing accidents to the other cars around them.
  • When Ralph goes down into the ‘dark net’ to try and find a virus, the streets are dark and grimy, and the neighbourhood looks seedy and dangerous. There is spooky music playing.
  • Ralph buys a virus from a slug-like monster creature that has a smaller face growing like a tumour out of his shoulder.
  • The ‘virus’ is a black floating creature with one spooky glowing red eye. It moves a bit like an eel and is a little bit scary.
  • The virus replicates Ralph and creates thousands of identical Ralphs. They all come together to form one giant, monstrous Ralph that has glowing red eyes and is as tall as the buildings. This monster chases Ralph and Vanellope through the streets as they run away in terror.
  • The game ‘Slaughter Race’ is set in a ghetto-like neighbourhood where there are scary dogs that attack, sharks leaping out of man holes, and lots of seedy characters.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Ralph and Vanellope have a fight because Vanellope wants to leave her life at the arcade and work at a different, riskier game. Ralph is devastated because he thinks he is losing her friendship.
  • Ralph makes the mistake of reading the ‘comments’ under his shared videos. Lots of them say mean things about him and he feels very sad.

 

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Younger children in this age group may still find some of the above-mentioned scenes scary.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Ok for this age group.

Product placement

There is frequent, extensive and blatant product placement in this movie. Brands shown include:

  • Pac-Man; Sonic the Hedgehog; eBay; Apple iPhone; Snapchat; Foxtel; YouTube; Facebook; Google; Netgear; National Geographic; Twitter; Kickstarter; PayPal; Tumblr; Instagram; Mashable; Star wars; Disney; Pixar; Marvel; Pinterest.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Two character have been married for 15 years and there is talk about them wanting to ‘spice up’ their marriage.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None of concern.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Two characters hold cans that look like they could be beer.
  • Every day after work, Ralph and Vanellope meet at a bar and have a ‘root beer’. Although this is not alcoholic, it is served in a bar-like setting, in beer glasses and looks almost identical to adults sitting drinking beer in a pub.

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Butt; fart; duty (toilet humour); stench vessel.

In a nutshell

Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fun and fast paced animated movie. The two central characters of Ralph and Vanellope are quirky, caring, and lovable; showing us what a good friendship should be. Parents should be aware that sometimes this film feels a bit like its main purpose is to introduce and familiarise your children to all the major online companies and brands, with blatant product placement throughout. Although it is likely to be enjoyed by most children, there are some scenes that children under 8 may find a little scary.

The main message from this movie is that friends don’t have to have the same dreams and aspirations and a strong friendship can withstand differences.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Being cautious about the internet.
  • Being adventurous and brave.
  • Letting your friends have different interests.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Risk taking behaviour.
  • Being jealous or possessive of your friends.
  • How to use the internet safely.
  • What to do when people say mean things about you on the internet.

 

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