May 1, 2020

Wreck-It Ralph and the Loss of Gay History

I read an article written by a gay guy who was totally traumatized by the homophobia of Wreck-It Ralph (2012).  

The limp-wristed, lisping Candy King, who lives in a hot-pink castle (("it's salmon!", is beat up by the macho, all-man hero, and  called a "nelly wafer."

So of course I had to watch the movie.

The premise: Wreck-It Ralph is the bad guy in an antiquated video game, wrecking an apartment building so Fix-It Felix Junior can "fix it." He wants to become a good guy, so he leaves his game, and eventually ends up in a candy themed video game.  He helps a young girl win a candy-themed race, while the sinister Candy King tries to thwart them.  There are a lot of plot twists, some scary scenes, and a bit of Disney treacle.

It wasn't great.  I would have preferred a grand tour of other video games (we see three), and some greater exploration of the video-game characters' world. But...I kept waiting and waiting for the "nelly wafer."


1. The Candy King is not a gay stereotype.  He looks and talks like famous comedian Ed Wynn, specifically his performance as the Mad Hatter in the Disney Alice in Wonderland.  Wynn's distinctive delivery was endlessly imitated; anybody over age 40 will recognize it instantly.

2. Ralph is no macho he-man.  He is a dimwitted ogre, an anti-hero, a bad guy who wants to be good.

3. The Candy King's palace is pink for a very important plot point that has nothing to do with him being effeminate: it's not his palace!  He's a usurper.  The true ruler of the Candy Kingdom is...well, watch the movie.

4. Ralph does not best the Candy King in a fight until the end of the movie, when he has transformed into a giant spider-creature, and even then, it takes a lot of people working together,

5. Among many other candy-themed insults, Ralph calls Candy King " a vanilly wafer."  It is conceivable that Ralph said "vanilly" instead of "vanilla" to make it sound like "nelly," an old term for gay men, but rather a stretch.  He doesn't say anything else to imply that Candy King is gay.

Earlier, Ralph appears to call Pac Man a "cock gobbler," but actually in the video game Pac Man eats dots, so the slur is probably "dot gobbler."


Has the author seen any other Disney movie?  They're loaded down with sleeky,sophisticated, gay-stereotype villains.  How about Jabar? Shere Khan?  Captain Hook?

Or any movie from the 1980s?  "Fags" and "homos" litter the dialogue. Just a sample:

Teen Wolf: "I'm not a fag, I'm a werewolf."
Adventures in Babysitting; "Thor is a homo."
An American Werewolf in London:"Prince Charles is a fag."
The Breakfast Club: "Stay out of my locker, fag."

 A single misheard line that could be a gay slur is nothing.  Grow a pair!

By the way, Ralph displays no heterosexual interest, ever.  He hangs out with other male villains, changes clothes with an army guy in a patently homoerotic scene, and buddy-bonds with Fix-It Felix.  Gay subtext is rather obvious.

When you don't remember your own history, you are doomed to repeat it.


  1. After Aladdin ("Take off your clothes.") even things that sound obscene (and cock anything fits) are removed.

    Koopa is a gay icon. Link apparently is. Several Final Fantasy characters (Sabin from 6, Gau, a sort of Tarzan knockoff from the same game is by meme anything that moves since he can charm any enemy and he's only 14 to make this more amazing; I also like how his theme is a sad cello. And if course the pokémon Ditto.)

    Only trans character I can think of is Birdo, at least before Guilty Gear gave us Bridget. Yoshi could be trans, since he lays eggs, but isn't officially.

    Hmm...Joe and Mac are pretty buddy-buddy, even if they get a kiss from a girl at the end of each level. (But then, they wear grass skirts, so I'm pretty sure if they had boners, I'd see it.)

  2. People have very short memories specially about pop culture references- never thought of Wreck It Ralph as gay subtext but it is fun cartoon movie


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