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Film Review: Wreck-it Ralph

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Posted By Terrio Wreck-It Ralph and Ralph Breaks the Internet Duopack ...

Who is the protagonist? The protagonist is Ralph.

What is the protagonist’s character flaw? His character flaw is being unhappy. This is because he is the antagonist of FIx-it Felix, a video game.  He doesn’t get medals, the citizens treat him badly, and he sleeps outside in bricks. All of this has made him a jaded character who wants to be more than a bad guy. 

What is the character’s physical goal? At first, it seems he just wants to fit in and be invited. Ralph has a confrontation with Gene. This results in Ralph choosing to go get a medal to prove he isn’t a bad guy.

What is the character’s emotional goal? Ralph’s emotional goal is to be happy. He feels that having a medal will allow him to achieve that goal. 

Who is the antagonist for the protagonist? The antagonist for Ralph is Turbo. Turbo was another character who became unhappy with his role. Turbo caused his game to become unplugged by attempting to go into another game.  He succeeded in becoming The Candy King of the Sugar Rush game and will do anything to keep his appearance and past secret. When Ralph befriends Vanellope, he becomes an obstacle for Turbo/Candy King. 

Who is the reflection character for the protagonist? Vanellope serves as the reflection character for Ralph. At first, they don’t seem to have anything in common. Ralph watches he other racers mistreat Vanellope. This is an emotional moment of his character. When he goes to stop the racers, it is because he is mistreated by the people in his own game. The two agree to help each other and during the process, Ralph learns that she sleeps in a dump like him.  This makes their connection stronger because of their outcast status.

Who, if anyone, is the romantic interest for the protagonist? There is no romantic interest for Ralph. 

What is the A-Story? [This is the main storyline of the hero which is to win, stop, escape, or retrieve something against a specific nemesis.  The goal must be something that can be seen on-screen. It is not an emotional goal.] The main story is about Ralph retrieving a medal. This goal is what moves the narrative forward and everything that happens revolves around getting the medal.

What is the B-Story? [This is a supporting story to the A-Story that may initially seem separate from the A-Story plotline.] The B-story is about learning to be happy with himself. This is brought up in the beginning by Zangief and the other villains. Ralph doesn’t understand this and continues to be unhappy. After his confrontation with Gene, he feels he needs the medal to be happy and to gain positive attention from the others. 

What happens in stage I, which presents the ordinary world of the story: In Ralph’s ordinary world he is the bad guy. He wrecks the buildings that Felix can fix.  When Felix “wins” Ralph is thrown off the roof and into the mud. He is also forced to sleep outside by a stump and uses bricks for covers. He is also physically different from the other citizens. He is big, with overgrown arms and fist.   

What is the inciting incident of the plot? The inciting incident occurs during the anniversary party of their game. Ralph awkwardly manipulates his way in. The other citizens, afraid, belittle and ignore him. He tries to put his figurine on top with Felix. Trying to make everyone understand that he isn’t a bad guy. The others refuse to see him as anything but a bad guy. The voice of the citizens, Gene, keeps antagonizing Ralph, causing Ralph to boast that he will find a medal that is better than any medal Felix has. Gene retorts that “bad guys don’t get medals.” Ralph leaves, mad and determined to get a medal. 

What is the turning point #1 choice the protagonist makes regarding the inciting incident? The turning point is when Ralph goes to Tappers to find information on where to go to get a medal. He is rejected by the barkeeper. He runs into Markowski, who is from Hero’s Duty, a first-person shooter game. He infiltrates the game as Markowski. This symbolizes Ralph leaving his ordinary world into an unordinary world.

What is the new situation for the protagonist to deal with in stage 2? His new situation occurs when he realizes new games are violent. After surviving the bug-fight, he goes to retrieve the medal. In the process, he accidentally frees a cy-bug that attacks him. They land in a jet and take off arriving in Candy Rush. He ends up losing his medal to Vanellope and spends the rest of the act trying to get it back from her. 

What is the turning point #2 choice the protagonist makes regarding the new situation of stage 2? The second turning point is when he finds out she has to win a race to get his medal back, he chooses to help her in building a new kart. 

What happens in stage 3 that challenges the protagonist even more deeply than in stage 2? Ralph wants to help Vanellope but feels he is only good at wrecking stuff. He ends up helping build a new kart for Vanellope. Then he learns that she doesn’t know how to drive.

What is the turning point #3 choice the protagonist makes that deeply commits the protagonist to the goal?  He makes a commitment to her by helping her learn to drive. They grow closer and learn together.

What happens in stage 4 that complicates the plot and raises the stakes? Turbo/Candy King finds them and gives Ralph his medal back on the condition Ralph stops Vanellope.

What is the turning point #4 choice that leads to a major setback? What is the setback?   Ralph tries to convince Vanellope not to race. He has what he wants, but he feels bad about lying to Vanellope.

What is the final push that occurs in stage 5 of the plot? Ralph chooses to destroy the kart, but in the process, Vanellope discovers Ralph betrayed her. She calls him a bad guy. Ralph returns to his game, but there is no celebration, even with his medal. He looks at Candy Rush and learns that Vanellope is a main character for the game.

What is the turning point #5 choice that shows the protagonist overcoming the protagonist’s character flaw that leads to the climax of the plot?  Realizing that she is supposed to be part of the main roster for Sugar Rush. He also realizes that his medal didn’t change his life like he thought it would.  He decides to find Vanellope and help her win to take her rightful place in the game. During the climax, Turbo is revealed and Ralph sacrifices himself to save Vanellope and the Sugar Rush game. 

What is the aftermath of the climax? Vanellope learns to control her glitches and saves Ralph as Turbo and the other cy-bus are destroyed. Vanellope is revealed to be the princess of Sugar Rush and Ralph is treated better by the citizens of his game.  He helps build homes that act as bonus levels for other homeless characters in his game. 

How has this analysis helped your understanding of screenplay structure?   This analysis helped me have a better visual of how to tell a story. 

What insights into structure, inner and outer motivations, and/or theme do you see now, that you may not have noticed in the past?  Please be detailed. All of Ralph’s actions all come from his inner motivation which is driving the outer motivation. He chases Vanellope because she had his medal, the item he thinks will change his life for the better. He befriends her because they are both mistreated and by helping her he will be able to get the medal back. When he gets the medal, he is more than willing to leave Vanellpe. His inner journey connects with the theme which is stated by other villainous characters. Labels don’t define you. His whole journey is learning that he isn’t a bad guy and that he doesn’t’ need a medal to prove it. 

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