Ralph Breaks the Internet (inexplicably not named “Ralph WRECKS the Internet”) is the long-awaited follow up to Disney’s 2012 surprise hit Wreck-It Ralph. The film follows our favorite video game bad guy and his new best friend, Princess Vanellope, as they discover a wi-fi router in the arcade and use it to access the world of the internet.
The trailers for this film were not all that impressive, making it look like a corporate cash grab filled with brand synergy. To an extent, that’s kind-of what it is. But it works. Yes, this movie manages to use product placement in a way that is humorous and ironic. It is everything that The Emoji Movie wanted to be.
The first twenty to thirty minutes of the film were somewhat weak. They serve to reintroduce the audience to the characters and their world, and quite frankly, could have been trimmed down into a five or ten minute opening sequence. Thankfully, the beginning is not representative of the movie’s quality as a whole. The rest of the film is chock full of laughs and action — the magic that the original so surprisingly captured.
The plot of the film is secondary to the character’s humorous antics. There is an overall plot — Ralph and Vanellope must raise enough money to purchase a part to fix Vanellope’s game — although it is easy to forget this goal at times. Instead, the movie feels like a series of interactions that the characters have on the internet. This is sure to hold the attention of younger viewers (despite the runtime being rather long for a kids’ movie) and will amuse their parents or those who see the film that are young-at-heart.
There are multiple points that are absolutely hilarious. One particularly funny segment, shown partially in some of the trailers, involves the Disney princesses. This scene had all of the audience — young and old — rolling in their seats with laughter. There are plenty of other in-jokes that may catch your eye. This is definitely a film worth watching more than once, as it is so chock full of references that you will undoubtedly catch more every time.
That being said, the story also has a lot more depth to it than you would expect. This entry doubles down on some of the existential themes introduced in the first movie. It may be a nice way to introduce the topic of death to kids who are at that point where it is necessary to have that conversation. The film also contains messages about friendship, dreams, and having a sense of purpose.
The voice cast is absolutely massive. Of course, there are the returning main characters, voiced by John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch. They all do a great job and seem very happy to be back in their roles. However, the true standouts are some of the new additions. Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Alfred Molina, and Bill Hader all have very funny roles. Alan Tudyk also takes on a different role in the movie (he was the antagonist of the original), which is quite funny. Additionally, there is a very special (and obvious) cameo for which you will want to be watching.
Overall, despite a bit of a rocky start, Ralph Breaks the Internet ends up coming together as one of the funniest family films of the year. This is a must-watch for pretty much everyone: families, nerds, Disney fans, and more. Definitely check this one out.
Ralph Breaks the Internet opens in theaters November 21.