Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph is not only the best animated film of last year—egregiously overlooked by an Academy who handed the Oscar to Brave—but it might also be the best unintentional political allegory the studio ever made.

To celebrate its release this week on DVD and Blu-ray, let us examine the symbolic nature of this tale about an obese, pugnacious man who temporarily joins forces with the opposing side to win a very important race. Behold the first accidental biopic about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie!

The 643-pound villain-turned-hero of this fantasy is far from perfect. He admits to having a mighty temper, allowing his passions often to bubble very near the surface. He lives in a garbage dump with a view of glamorous penthouses, which he calls “a lonely cesspit of despair on the outskirts of humanity.” (Have more poetic words about the Garden State ever been uttered?)

The other players in Ralph’s game, the Nicelanders, host lavish parties and don’t invite him. He feels left out. He doesn’t want to be the bad guy any longer, but as a cyborg tells him at a “Bad-Anon” meeting, “you can’t mess with the program.” Ralph ignores this advice and decides that he must go “turbo” and travel between games with his nemesis, the hugely popular hero Fix-It Felix, in order to prevent catastrophic damage and the collapse of their entire world.

Set in the world of video games, this fantasy honors bipartisanship in an age where politicians repeatedly play the blame game and threaten a monthly government shutdown. When Ralph stormed into theaters on November 2, the country was still assessing the magnitude of Hurricane Sandy’s massive destruction and 3.5 million residents in the Northeast were still waiting for their power to be restored. With four days until the presidential election, Mitt Romney and President Obama were locked in a neck and neck tie in the polls. Christie and Obama toured the wreckage together, side by side, exchanging embraces and words of mutual praise. Many saw their bromance as the “game over” defining moment of the campaign, allowing Obama to safely secure re-election.

Now Christie’s paying for that glitch in his programming. He won’t be joining the festivities next week at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where zombies will gather at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland. Like Ralph, he wasn’t invited. Due to his moderate views on gun control and global warming, Christie will be missing an opportunity to speak alongside such up-and-coming superstars as Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump.

Is Christie a man without a game or has he simply invented an entirely new set of rules? Can he rewrite the code of his party from the inside or will he have to “go turbo” if he wants to be a viable presidential candidate and run as an Independent in 2016?

This week, Christie is sounding a lot more like Fix-It Felix than his nemesis. On Monday at a press conference, when he was asked for his thoughts about the sequester, he shot back, “I don’t understand why they haven’t fixed it already. Seems to me it should be pretty easy to fix. Real leadership would get this fixed. Get everybody in a room and you fix it, and you don’t let them leave until you fix it…Fix it.”

On Tuesday, Jeb Bush, another potential 2016 candidate, declared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he “love[s] the guy.” Add to that endorsement a recent Quinnipiac poll, which gives Christie a remarkable 74% approval rating, his highest yet.

That’s a lot of firepower for a Republican governor from a blue state, but is it enough to take down his likely Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton? Or, will it be the Oscars all over again, with the heavy wrecker losing the medal to the strong, brave gal?

Photo Illustration: Alexander Coverly

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