Sunday, September 18, 2016

A couple thoughts

I rewatched (most of, was making dinner during part of it) "Wreck-It Ralph" last night (It was on "Freeform," which used to be ABC Family).

Thought number 1: Does it mean that I'm fundamentally immature if I take philosophical "advice" for my life from children's movies and cartoons? Because there were two things towards the end of the movie that struck me.

Thought number 2: Ralph's motivation for much of the movie is wanting a "medal" like Fix-it Felix gets - he wants it as "proof" that he is important, and isn't such a bad guy after all (Ralph can't quite deal with his role in the world, but is shown throughout the course of the movie that it's an important role.).  He gets a medal, eventually - well, two, actually, one given as a "bribe" and the other being one his new friend Vanellope makes for him. Ralph winds up very nearly sacrificing himself for Vanellope and during that process, he realizes the importance of that role. And then, at the very end, he notes: "Turns out I don't need a medal to tell me I'm a good guy. Because if that little kid likes me..."

Yeah, that was kind of straight in the feels for me; I tend to expend too much of my energy on looking for "outside" validation.

Thought number 3: Ralph starts out living in the dump and being miserable and complaining about it, and going to great lengths to try to change everyone else so he's seen as a "good guy." By the end of the movie Ralph decides instead to build himself a house in the improve his circumstances the best he can, to take control of it without expecting everyone else to change for him. (And he also builds houses, and welcomes in the critters that have escaped from "closed down" games, like Q-Bert). The idea of "Change what you can, instead of sitting around complaining about things not being perfect."

Sometimes I wonder how much these modern fables (really, that's what I think of a lot of these tings as) affect the kids that watch them. Is a movie with a (minor, and not emphasized) moral of "change what you can to improve your life, instead of just sitting around and complaining" going to overcome some of the other cultural programming out there?

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