Any time Disney Pixar comes to cinemas it instantly grabs our attention, and their latest work, Ralph Breaks The Internet is a thoroughly fun tale that takes us back to the arcade and the lives of our two favourite video game characters, Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) and completely throws them for a loop when they step into the great unknown and finally go online.
Six years after the events of the first film, the steering wheel controller on the Sugar Rush game console breaks, forcing Mr. Litwak to unplug the machine. Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz evacuate all of the Sugar Rush residents to other games before it is shut down, placing the racers in the care of Fix-It Felix Jr. and Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun. Ralph and Vanellope then use the arcade’s new connection to the Internet to go looking for a replacement steering wheel. While they find a source for a replacement wheel, they need money, leading them to join a free-to-play violent racing game, Slaughter Race, where they meet Shank, one of the game’s drivers. Vanellope is taken in by what Slaughter Race has to offer over Sugar Rush, and Shank becomes a big sister figure for Vanellope, making Ralph concerned that Vanellope no longer looks up to him nor will return to her game. Along the way, the two encounter new customs, worlds, and characters, such as trendy algorithms and the Disney Princess lineup.
Packed out with a visually rich world, Ralph Breaks The Internet again crafts a lovely little narrative devoted to the theme of friendship. Whereas the first Wreck it Ralph was about just how important friendship is to us and the lengths we will go to find it, here in Ralph Breaks The Internet directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston analyse just how life affects our friendship and how we have to adapt to suit it. Again co-stars John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman continue to let their great chemistry work together all over again as Ralph and Vanellope, and thanks to the grand journey that they undertake we also get a lot more comedy along the way.
If the film has a focus point then it is indeed the prominence of the Internet, and Moore and Johnston find a very interesting way to bring that to life on the screen which will really make your eyes open up. There’s an immense sense of scale going on here, and you’ll see callouts to all your favourite platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, eBay and of course Disney itself. With the Internet, there’s just so much going on and it’s really fun to see it unwind itself through the fresh lens of the geniuses at Disney-Pixar. In addition to all the fun parts of the Internet, the filmmakers also use the film’s setting to comment on our obsession to be embraced and not rejected and just how scary and uncomfortable this can sometimes make us feel. While there are plenty of laughs going on here, this message that online acceptance should not define you is delivered with plenty of heart and as an audience member, it certainly makes you think about things.
The creativity that is present in Ralph Breaks The Internet is also utterly amazing to behold, especially in the visualization and unique high-tech style that is brought to the Internet. There’s always a new image to focus your attention on, and it’s fun to see how Disney incorporates its own IP into the film…with results that are tremendously funny. This visually unique sense of art and design is a real treat for filmgoers and it’s fair to say that Ralph and Vanellope find themselves in lots of fun places.
Finally, I have to give a shout-out to the all the Disney Princesses out there in a key scene that is absolutely hysterical. This sweet and fun scene arranges all of our favourite Disney Princesses from Cinderella to Belle, Pocahontas to Mulan, Jasmine to Snow White and Elsa to Moana in a unique light and their presence gives the film plenty of fun, along with a lot of guaranteed laughs. It was something thoroughly unique and we loved every second of seeing all of these Princesses together.
Bright, colourful, sweet and oh so funny, Ralph Breaks The Internet is a great watch for the whole family these holidays and with its focus on friendship and being true to yourself, you’re sure to come out of the theatre smiling a whole lot.
Image: Walt Disney Pictures