The animated film Wreck-It Ralph delighted audiences and critics alike when it was released in theatres back in 2012. It was praised for its unique characters, original storyline and how it explored the world of nostalgia and video games.
Wreck-It Ralph revolved around a ham-fisted giant of a man called Ralph, who was the villain in an arcade game called Fix It Felix Jr. Despite his role as a bad guy, Ralph is actually a soft-hearted and gentle person, who decides one day to rebel against being the game villain to prove that he can be a hero. He leaves his game and ends up going on an adventure where he explores new games and makes new friends.
Wreck-It Ralph was a commercial success which led to talk of a sequel starting as early as late 2012. Director Rich Moore expressed excitement about a second instalment because he felt that they had barely scratched the surface of gaming and the online world.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is the long-anticipated follow-up film to Wreck-It Ralph. The same creative team behind Wreck-It Ralph returned for the sequel. It was directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnson, written by Phil Johnson and Pamela Ribbon and executive produced by John Lasseter, Chris Williams and Jennifer Lee.
It stars John C. Reilly as Wreck-It Ralph, Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz, Gal Gadot as Shank, Taraji P. Henson as Yesss, Alfred Molina as a dark web user called Double Dan, Alan Tudyk as the search engine Knowsmore, Jack McBrayer as Fix It Felix Jr, Jane Lynch as Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun and Bill Hader as J.P. Spamley.
The whole premise of Wreck-It Ralph was Ralph trying to figure out what it meant to be the "bad guy" and questioning if it was okay to be bad and if anyone could ever be his friend. He thought no one could ever like him, but then he met Vanellope from Sugar Rush and the two of them formed a friendship. The first film even ends with him thinking to himself "If that kid likes me, how bad could I be?" After being ostracised and feared for so long, Ralph finally had a friend! He was happy!
Ralph Breaks the Internet is set six years after the events of Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph is a lot happier working as the villain in his game and spends every spare moment he can after work with his best friend Vanellope.
Ralph is the happiest he has ever been living and working in the arcade, but Vanellope isn't. She is bored of her game's predictability and starts questioning the nature of their existence. Ralph decides to cheer her up by creating a bonus track on her game. Vanellope is so excited to play it she overrides the controls of Sugar Rush and forces the player to go down the route causing the steering wheel to snap in half. This results in Sugar Rush being unplugged and making all of the characters in the game, including Vanellope, homeless.
Ralph comes up with a plan to save Sugar Rush by going onto the Internet and finding a new steering wheel for the game on eBay. Vanellope decides to come with him and the two leave the arcade and enter the world of the internet.
This is where the movie gets really, really interesting. The idea of exploring the "world" of the internet is not an original one. It's been done before like in Futurama but despite that, I thought how we saw the internet in this movie was really well done. We see websites as giant skyscrapers in the middle of a futuristic and colourful looking city, internet users are represented as square-headed avatars and clickbait are people who pop up in front of you shouting and shaking billboards in your face.
There was a lot of product advertisement in this film. There were logos for all of the major internet companies in almost every scene and a staggering amount of Disney merchandise from Star Wars to Marvel to the Disney Princesses. If you've seen the trailer for this movie you will know that there are a lot of Disney Princesses in this film. I thought they were a delight. I loved how they interacted with each other like a big group of sisters, how they wore modern clothing like t-shirts and pyjamas and I thought that Tiana (from the Princess and the Frog) had truly excellent hair.
The plot of the second half of Ralph Breaks the Internet really surprised me. The film became less about finding the missing part for the Sugar Rush game and more about the relationship between Ralph and Vanellope.
Vanellope's friendship means so much to Ralph he has formed an unhealthy attachment to her. He doesn't think he can be good if she doesn't have faith in him. He loves Vanellope so much he becomes obsessed with keeping her in his life and starts doing bad things to try and manipulate her into staying with him.
Ralph Breaks the Internet had some interesting things to say about toxic online culture and how extreme anxiety can be unhealthy and threaten relationships. Ralph is not a good friend to Vanellope in this movie and makes a lot of bad decisions. But he also learns and grows a lot in this film, which makes me excited to see where the franchise will take him next.
Why? Ralph Breaks the Internet is a 2018 animated film and the sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph. In this film everyone’s favourite video game villain Ralph learns that he still has a lot to learn about being a good person and that friendships take work.
When:Ralph Breaks The Internet hits Australian cinemas on December 26 2018