REVIEW: Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018)
After Wreck-It Ralph hit the big screen back in 2012 and introduced us to the arcade world of Ralph and Vanellope, we get the long-awaited sequel which transports our characters to the vast world of the internet. Fully equipped with its product placement, Disney nostalgia, and Easter eggs, Ralph Breaks the Internet delivers much more than just eye candy. It tells a story about friendship, true friendship, one which everyone, young and old, should see.
Ralph Breaks the Internet takes place six years after the events of Wreck-It Ralph. Both Ralph (John C. Rielly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) live rather simple lives in their world, following a pretty strict routine and rarely breaking from it – no pun intended. They see the sunrise, play their game – or as they call it “work”, and then goof off, going into other games, drinking root beer, and then the process repeats. Ralph is more than content doing the same thing over and over again, and so is Vanellope – to an extent. She is vocal about how easy her game has become, shes memorized all the tracks and finds no challenge in it anymore. So when a girl comes into the arcade ready to play her game, Ralph takes it upon himself to make a new track for her to hopefully give her a new sense of joy. When Vanellope starts taking control over the game, the girl playing ends up breaking the steering wheel causing her game to be unplugged. This sets our heroes on a journey through the internet to try and buy the missing part to save Vanellope’s game.
The surprising thing about Ralph Breaks the Internet is how deeply layered it is. The directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore, along with their entire team, created a very intelligent movie, one which both children and adults can enjoy – which also happens to be a great sequel. Both Ralph and Vanellope develop as characters from the original movie in a very believable and earned way. A lot of that has to do with the incredible voice talents of John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman who bring these characters to life. Its a true testament to how good both of them are when you are able to have such strong emotions watching a giant hobo and candy princess figure out their friendship while inside the world of the internet.
Speaking of the internet, the way it is portrayed in this movie is also very intelligent, sometimes even for its own good. Unlike other internet inspired movies like the abomination that is The Emoji Movie, Ralph Breaks The Internet does not prioritize the internet as it’s main engagement tool (that is strictly reserved for the relationship between Ralph and Vanellope). If anything the internet is just used as a vessel to get our characters to there ultimate destination, while along the way providing some great moments of comedy that is also extremely relatable (yes the princess scene is absolutely wonderful). It could be argued that the internet is this movies main selling point, as the trailers highlighted in depth, but once the movie transitions into the world wide web, it sticks with its characters every step of the way. That being said, at times the pacing suffers a little in the second act of the film when our heroes are deep within the internet world. At times some references can be really in your face and take you out of the movie, but the directors went about a clever way of trying to reduce that by creating their own websites where the majority of the movie takes place.
Ralph Breaks The Internet is one of the best animated films of the year, providing a very sincere and important message which everyone should witness. While it is littered with references and nods to familiar things, the relationship of Ralph and Vanellope, one that grows from the original movie, is front and center. We see them grow and change as characters which culminate in a very satisfying ending – one that is capable of causing tears, so you have been warned.
Directed by: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Alan Tudkyk, Jack McBrayer