The class division themes of Wreck-It Ralph


Wreck-It-Ralph is a film about division:

  • The Have and Have Nots.
  • Good and Evil
  • Heroes (and glitches) and villains.
  • The bourgeois and the proletariat.

The Nicelanders live off Wreck-It Ralph’s misery as the villain and Fix-it Felix’s fame as the hero in a rigged game. I nickname it the Programmer’s Joke. Shintoist feelings that everything has a spirit definitely are present in this Toy Story for video games story.

Groupthink and just wanting to fit in is a key theme in this film and maybe even most Pixar films, influenced by the American Dream. Wreck-It Ralph is this film’s Buzz Lightyear, becoming his own Neo/Morpheus and decide to take the hero pill instead of the villain pill: he starts his own journey into finding his own path, like that of a Joseph Campbell hero, instead of what his programmer, God, etc told him to do.

On the other side, there is the Agent Smith of the game, an old program named Turbo, who has stolen everybody’s old memories, making audiences ponder the philosophical implications of this even more so than the Philip K. Dick inspired Paul Verhoeven directed film, Total Recall.

To reference the possible coincidences in the film, allow me to list the similarities between the division of class in the film with the real world:

  • Some worlds have been dubbed homeless after major destruction of a world. Heck, Vanellope and Ralph both live in trash.
  • The Heroes of Hero’s Duty can’t fight a war they truly win, constantly stuck in the motions, like us humans, still winning medals along the way.
  • King Candy runs a backwards dictatorship attempting remove people different than him, fittingly a young girl who is a glitch instead of an old man.


Minor issues I have this is of course, Disney being a contemporary product can’t say anything bad about the United States, although I’m assuming it’d be changed in international versions to make money, the rampant product placement that is used for humans, arcades and also video game characters to survive.

President of the United States makes Penelope good?

If you would light the cherry bomb on this theory, this would be a great place to start!


3 thoughts on “The class division themes of Wreck-It Ralph

  1. Yes, I can see that. The whole thing about being President rather than Princess. Did you notice Vanellope said she going for a democratic approach, but named herself president without putting to a vote?

    And also, have you seen Calamity Jane? It’s a 1953 film starring Doris Day, I wouldn’t be too surprised if Calhoun was based on that.

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