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'Wreck-It Ralph' spins up some controversy


Vanellope Von Schweetz in "Wreck-It Ralph."

Warning: Spoilers for "Wreck-It Ralph" follow.

"Wreck-It Ralph" earned nearly $50 million at the box office this weekend, and landed high praise from critics too. But one plot point has puzzled a few observers and sparked discussion about the Disney movie.

Here's your spoiler: At one point late in the film, Vanellope Von Schweetz, the spunky girl racer from the game "Sugar Rush," is revealed to be a princess, suddenly appearing in a poofy gown. The character almost immediately declines that royal title and ends up declaring that she will lead her candyland chums not as a princess, but as president.

Some viewers appreciated princess-crazy Disney acknowledging the princess problem and coming to a crown-free conclusion. Others felt Disney's reveal that Vanellope was a princess in disguise took away from what was otherwise a solid film.

"I did not think there was any need to drag (the princess issue) into (the film), despite the obvious effort to spin it in a smart way," NPR blogger Linda Holmes, a former msnbc.com contributor, wrote on Twitter. She added, "I get that what they were doing came from a loving, pro-kid, pro-girl place. Just think the reveal is a blown call."

Some were quick to point out that princess movies are Disney's stock and trade. "This is a Disney movie. THERE MUST BE A PRINCESS," author Rainbow Rowell tweeted.

Not every critic mentioned the princess plotline in their reviews. Some liked it. Stephen Whitty of the Star-Ledger in New Jersey called it a "sly shot at the company's princess worship."

And some just weren't bothered by Vanellope's royal revelation. Film writer Christopher Campbell tweeted, "Take your daughter to see Wreck-It Ralph. Has my favorite Disney princess in a while."

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