“Ralph Breaks the Internet” stars John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, and Taraji P. Henson. Released on November 21, 2018, the film has Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz exploring the Internet to find a replacement piece for Sugar Rush.
The film is directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, who are known for their works on “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Zootopia”. It is a sequel to the 2012 film, “Wreck-It Ralph”, and it is the 57th film in the Walt Disney Animation Studios library. For decades, the Walt Disney Animation Studios team has crafted dozens of stories that are either loosely based on source materials or completely original. However, there were a few times where they develop a follow-up to one of their films, with the examples being “The Rescuers Down Under” and “Fantasia 2000”. This year, they’re jumping aboard the sequel train once again to continue the adventures of everyone’s favorite video game baddie. “Wreck-It Ralph” was released six years ago and won over both critics and audiences with its convincing story and its clever uses of humor and cameos from the classic video games. The film’s success was worthy enough to earn “franchise potential” from the Disney team and thus, we have ourselves a “Wreck-It Ralph” sequel, but is it the sequel that we wanted? More importantly, is it fun enough to achieve a high score?
If you’ve been following Disney for who knows how long, you may have noticed that they have their share of hits and misses with their sequels and spin-offs back in the day, mostly the low-quality direct-to-DVD ones. Now, in the recent years, the Disney team is being a bit more cautious with their franchise building by choosing a story that they think is worth telling on the big screen to people of all ages and maintaining the qualities that made audiences fell in love with their characters in the first place. Something that the other animation studios are still working on. The first thing I would like to talk about is the film’s concept. While the plot once again involves a world inside the arcade, it didn’t take the opportunity to explore more of the realms that were introduced in its predecessor or create any new ones. Rather, it took the characters that we know and love from the first film and placed them into a fresh new environment, which is, of course, the Internet. It helps to prevent the film from heading into familiar territory, but the only thing that matters to me was its execution and how much fun it was to explore that environment. Luckily, the film was able to provide both of these qualities without losing connection. In addition to bringing the fascinating and relatable world of the Internet to life, the film also delivered a heartwarming and intelligent story about one of the most important aspects of friendship. This is another sequel that further develops its characters while also expanding the universe they live in. What’s also impressive was that the filmmakers weren’t afraid to show off both the pros and the cons of exploring the Internet in a way that both kids and adults could understand, with the prime example being social media. This is a great way to teach young kids about the Internet, and I’m very happy that Disney decided to go down that route. There were a couple of scenes that slowed the film down a bit, but it was able to boot itself up quickly before it lost interest in itself. Not only did the main cast from the first film make a return for the sequel, including Reilly as Wreck-It Ralph and Silverman as Vanellope, the film also included a new batch of characters that were just as likable as the old ones, such as Shank (voiced by Gadot) from Slaughter Race and Yesss (Henson), an algorithm who’s in charge of a video sharing site known as Buzztube. The entire voice cast worked wonders in displaying these characters with heart and soul, especially Reilly. My only flaw with the characters was the amount of screen time for Fix-It Felix Jr. (McBrayer) and Sergeant Calhoun (Lynch). It felt like these characters are just there because they were in the first movie. It would be nice if the filmmakers let them join Ralph and Vanellope on the adventure without losing focus on the film's agenda, but that’s just me. Similar to the first film, the animation style in "Ralph Breaks the Internet" was creative, investing, and extremely detailed. Not just for the character designs, but for the Internet. I mean, wow! They absolutely made the World Wide Web into a massive utopia and it was simply amazing. Another thing that I enjoyed very much was its humor. Since the film takes place inside the Internet, there’s bound to be plenty of jokes and easter eggs that reflect on the world itself, and they happened to be well-balanced with its storytelling. One of my personal highlights of the film’s humor would have to be the Disney princesses. Oh my goodness, I was expecting these princesses to bring out the laughs and they did not disappoint. This was such a nice way for Disney to make fun of itself every once in a while. Hopefully everyone else should do the same.
Overall, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” may have a couple of bugs here and there, but its connection was strong enough to deliver a charming and fun follow-up. With its well-developed characters, impressive animation, and a bold narrative, this animated sequel wrecks hard and plays hard in all the right ways. It also shows that Disney might be capable enough to tell these types of stories in their sequels, not just their original products. Now we wait and see if “Frozen 2” can copy this type of success when it comes out next year. Also, be sure to stay during the credits for two extra scenes, especially the one at the very end. Let’s just say that it’ll cheer you up when you’re having a bad day.