Wreck-It Ralph

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Not recommended for children under 8, due to frequent animated violence.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Wreck-It Ralph
  • a review of Wreck-It Ralph completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 December 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to violence
Children 8-13 Parental guidance recommended due to violence
Children 13 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Wreck-It Ralph
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild animated violence
Length: 106 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

In Wreck-it Ralph, video game villain Ralph ( voice of John C. Riley) sets out to fulfil his dream of becoming a hero by winning a medal in another game. While his quest wreaks havoc upon the entire arcade in which he lives, his journey leads to him befriending and helping a young girl named Vanellope (Sarah Silverman), and ultimately changing the lives of two fellow game characters, Felix and Calhoun (Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch).


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.

Video game violence, self-acceptance, forgiveness, good versus evil, the abuse of power

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:

  • During the ‘Villains’ group therapy session Ralph attends, another game character attests that “I crush a man’s head like a sparrow’s egg, but this does not mean I’m a bad guy”.
  • In the same therapy session, one character physically rips out the heart of another man, and holds it up for everyone else to see.
  • Ralph attempts to crash the 30th Anniversary party of one of the other arcade games, but gets angry and smashes the cake into pieces. He gets told that he’s “just the bad guy who wrecks the building”.
  • When Ralph enters another first-person-shooter game in order to search for a medal, he and his squadron get attacked by giant robotic bugs that begin shooting and attempting to eat all of the men. Ralph shoots back in an effort to defend himself. After a while, Ralph gets scared, runs up towards the camera and yells “Why do video games have to be so violent?!”
  • In a flashback sequence to the wedding of Calhoun, a robotic bug is seen crashing through the window of the chapel. It eats the groom, and is then fired upon by an angered Calhoun with a large machine gun.
  • Felix, the stereotypical hero of the arcade, asks Calhoun to repeatedly hit him in the face. They are both falling deeper into quicksand, and the vines above them only lower when they see something they find humorous. After Calhoun hits Felix multiple times, they are able to use the vines to escape.

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:

  •  In one of the first-person-shooter games that Ralph ventures into, there are large robotic bugs that attack the humans. They are large, monstrous creatures that shoot and attempt to eat Ralph and his squadron.

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 is manipulated by King Candy into believing that he must destroy Vanellope’s car (something she loves) in order to protect her. He smashes her car to pieces in front of her, as she cries and yells out helplessly in the background. Afterwards, she tells Ralph that he “really is a bad guy”.
  • Vanellope is trying to finish her race, when King Candy drives up behind her and tries to crash her car. He reaches over and tries to attack her also, in an attempt to kill her for good.

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 also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes

Thirteen and overinfo

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.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Calhoun and Felix share a kiss, after spending time together whilst searching for Ralph.

Use of substances

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

  • The arcade characters appear to be drinking alcohol at their 30th anniversary celebration party.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Calhoun tells her squadron: “Alright pussy willows, back to the ship”, and also to “shut your chew holes”.
  • Vanellope mutters “what a moron” as she watches Ralph throw a tantrum when he loses his medal.
  • Felix uses words such as “butt” and “doody”, as he is presented as a hero and ‘good’ character who would never swear.

In a nutshell

Wreck-it Ralph is a heart-warming animated film about one man’s journey of self acceptance. During Ralph’s adventures through various arcade games, the relationships he develops help him to not only appreciate the feelings of others, but also come to realise that he isn’t the stereotypically ‘bad’ villain which society has deemed him to be. In the process of exploring his identity, Ralph discovers that he has far more compassion than he ever imagined. The film will probably be enjoyed by older children but violence and some scary characters make it unsuitable for under 8s.

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

  • Believe in yourself and what you’re capable of achieving.
  • It’s ok to be different, and you don’t need to fit in with everyone else.
  • Always follow your dreams, regardless of how unattainable they seem.

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

  • The importance of accepting others, despite how the rest of society may judge them.
  • Issues regarding gender stereotypes and the concept of women in the gaming world.
  • The consequences of taking others for granted, and not showing the people you love how much you care about them.
  • The manner in which video game violence is presented, and what its implications are.