Wreck-It Ralph Is a Class Warfare Analogy
Welcome once again to Jef Overthinks Disney Films WAY Too Much Theatre
The Kid With One F was sick this weekend, which means I spent a lot of time sitting on the couch with her watching streaming video in order to keep her resting and healing. In the course of that I watched Wreck-It Ralph five times in 48 hours. It's one of my favorite animated films, so it was no hassle, but after sitting through so many viewings I realized the whole thing is an analogy for the broken version of capitalism in America.
Let's look at Ralph. Ralph is a full-time worker. He has a job that he goes to every day, just like everyone else in the arcade. Yet, even though what he does is essential, and he performs his duty flawlessly, he is continuously punished by other citizens of Niceland.
I'm not talking about being thrown off the building once Felix fixes his rampage. That's just part of his job and he doesn't seem to regard it as any worse than any other aspect. What really gets Ralph down is his lack of regard or reward for being a primary part of the enterprise.
It's the exact same thing you see here in America regarding any minimum wage pr slightly above job. It's not just that we pay a fry cook badly, we constantly remind them that what they are doing is not worthy employment. If you work at McDonald's you're garbage... if you work IN McDonald's, I mean. Anyone involved in not actually being in the restaurant is considered successful even though they are producing the exact same hamburger that the fry cook actually, you know, cooks.
The Nicelanders need Ralph to exist. That's made abundantly clear, but by assigning him the bad guy class they justify excluding him and allowing him to live in sub-standard conditions because he deserves it. And even though all he needs is a ridiculously small amount of regard, decency, and reward compared to the rest of the Nicelanders, they don't consider it worth their time even when it almost brings their entire world crashing down. They literally run away rather than see Ralph as a worthy person.
By contrast, look at Felix and the Nicelanders. All of them are upper middle class professional people living in a luxury apartment that displaced Ralph's home in the first place. Felix himself is the acme of WASPy inherited privilege. For one thing, even his hammer, the source of his power, comes from his daddy. The theme song at the end states so, and that's why he's Fix-It Felix JR.
Felix, by the way, means "luck".
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