WARNING: SPOILERS ABOUT THE MOVIE WILL BE MENTIONED
After their hit 2012 animated film “Wreck-It Ralph,” Walt Disney Studios presented a sequel to the adventures of the video game villain. Wreck-It Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly, and his speed-racing sidekick, Vanellope von Schweetz, voiced by Sarah Silverman. On Nov. 21, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” hit theaters to entertain both children and adults with a look into what happens inside the Internet.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” is a good movie, but not amazing in comparison to some of Disney’s other projects. The movie is entertaining and aesthetically pleasing, but in terms of plot, the movie lacks a real threat and a fresh, thrilling story.
The plot of the movie is sweet and silly, but also shallow and cliché. Ralph tries to help Vanellope save her game after they cause a player to destroy the wheel of the “Sugar Rush” arcade machine. The two engage in internet activities in order to get enough money to pay for the “Sugar Rush” steering wheel, after unknowingly bidding over thousands of dollars for the part on eBay.
To get money, Ralph and Vanellope meet a pop-up advertiser named J.P. Spamley (voiced by Bill Hader) who offers to pay them to steal a car from a popular, yet violent, racing game called “Slaughter Race” and they also come into contact with Yesss (voiced by Taraji P. Henson), an algorithm that establishes which videos will be trending on BuzzzTube, a video website in which publishers can make money off of “hearts” (likes) given by viewers.
The two protagonists expect to make money so they can return to their original lives back in the arcade. But as their journey progresses, Vanellope feels she wants to experience something new and plans to stay in “Slaughter Race” with her new racer friend, Shank (voiced by Gal Gadot) rather than returning back to her arcade game. Ralph, consumed by his insecurities and clingy behavior, tries to win her back, but ends up wrecking their relationship and the internet.
The storyline of the movie is good, but I personally think Ralph’s struggle in the first film was a better adventure. The first film had a real threat that pitted good against evil and redefined the protagonist and their world. In “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” the villain of the movie was Ralph. Without a real adversary, it was predictable that Ralph and Vanellope would reconcile and Ralph’s mistakes would be forgiven in the end. Overall, the plot was nothing memorable.
The rift in Ralph and Vanellope’s relationship was one of the film’s strong points. The movie emphasizes the importance of independence in friendships or family relations. In the beginning of the movie, it was revealed that Ralph and Vanellope would always hang out with each other routinely after the arcade closed. But Vanellope longs for change in her life, and the introduction of the internet provided her the opportunity to explore and meet new people.
Meanwhile, Ralph felt like he was going to lose his best friend, which we realistically know would not happen, and he succumbs to fear and commits irrational actions. The movie conveyed this message about relationships well.
One of the pros of the movie was the animation. Like most Disney animations, everything looked pleasant and smooth. Perhaps most impressive was the incorporation of prominent Internet apps and features in modern culture that helped the movie connect with the audience. The animators did a fantastic job integrating websites and apps like Google, Instagram, eBay and more into a fictional Internet world by having them pose as buildings, museums and stores. The presence of the famous Internet features was amusing and a genius method of product placement.
The highlight of the movie was the overwhelming amount of icons and easter eggs the animators included.
For instance, as shown in the trailer, Vanellope ends up in a website called “Oh My Disney!” that includes the majority of Disney-owned entities including Disney princesses, Marvel superheroes and Star Wars characters. Being a fan of Disney, I was amused by the presence of Baby Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel, several Stormtroopers and a spectacular scene with the Disney princesses. All in all, there were too many easter eggs to pay attention to, but the feelings of nostalgia and glee were memorable.
As for minor flaws in the film, some of the scripting was dry and moments were tedious and lackluster. The crew could have done a better job in incorporating some characters from the first movie into the story, as we rarely see any screen time for Fix-It Felix, voiced by Jack McBrayer, Sgt. Calhoun, voiced by Jane Lynch, and other characters.
Overall, the movie is a lively and amusing journey full of nostalgia and comedy. The plot does not pose a serious flaw of the film, but the message of the film has significance in real life. With familiar bits of modern culture, this movie is great for the family and filled with charm and nostalgia.
Jude Infante is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.