Wreck-It Ralph: A Hero's Journey

Joseph Campbell found a list of similar elements in mythical journeys and defined it. We know it now as the Hero's Journey, which is used today in novels and movies.An example of the Hero's Journey being followed can be seen in the Disney movie Wreck-It Ralph.

The Ordinary World

The main character has a "home" that they believe to be normal in their culture.

Ralph's "home" location is in the Niceland dump inside of the arcade game Fix-It Felix Jr. He lives alone with his stump and bricks, while the rest live inside a nice apartment.

The Call to Adventure

An event motivates the main character to find an unknown aspect of their world.

Gene, a man who lives in the apartments,argues with Ralph and tells him that he can never win a medal and become a good guy. Ralph decides to prove him wrong and goes to another game, Hero's Duty, in order to try and receive a medal.

Refusal of the Call

The protagonist tries to turn away from the adventure with the help of a friend.

When Ralph brings up the topic of changing his status as a "Bad Guy",Clyde, a friend of Ralph's, tries to convince him that trying to change is a bad idea and he should try to be happy as he is.

Meeting with the Mentor

The main character meets another character that offers advice on their journey.

Ralph goes to talk to Tapper, and asks him what he should do about getting a medal. Tapper tells Ralph what he thinks and tells him he could also look in the lost and found for any spare medals left behind.

Crossing the Thresh hold

The main character leaves their world and enter a new one with new values.

Ralph crashes in the video game of Sugar Rush, a racing game with very "sweet" people.

Tests, Allies, and Enemies

The hero gets tested in the new world and needs to sort out the allegiances.

Ralph meets King Candy, actually Turbo in disguise, and can't decide if he is his ally, helping him get his medal back, or his enemy, trying to get him to stop Venellope from racing.


The Hero and ally prepare for the main challenge in their new found world.

Ralph decides to help Vanellope win the race in order for him to get his medal back.

The Ordeal

The Hero confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear in the New World.

Ralph breaks Vanellope's car when King Candy tells him about her glitch situation. At first,Ralph doesn't want to hurt Vanellope, but then realizes that it was the only way to save her from being reset with the game.

The Reward

The hero gets a prize by facing conflicts, but there's still fear of losing it.

Ralph gets a a homemade medal from Vanellope because he helped her prepare for the race. But Ralph then has to deal with breaking her race car and little heart in order to save her.

The Road Back

The hero leaves the New World and goes back home from their unfinished journey.

Ralph heads back to Fix It Felix Jr. but finds it abandoned, except for Gene who tells Ralph that Felix went looking for him. Ralph then goes back to Sugar Rush to try and save him.

The Resurrection

The hero sacrifices themselves and resolves their conflict from the beginning.

Ralph sacrifices himself for the people of Sugar Rush and all of the video games when he dove into the mountain to create a beacon. Ralph tells himself as he dives, that he is happy as himself whether he is good or bad, which is the conflict he had with himself throughout the beginning of the story.

Return with the Elixir

The hero returns home with some element of reward and new sense of happiness.

When Ralph goes back home, he gets treated with more respect by the Nicelanders and continues to be the "villain". However, he remains at peace knowing that Vanellope is happy and belongs in her own game, seeing her wave at him with a smile when he gets lifted by the Nicelanders.

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