Ralph Breaks the Internet takes place after the events of the 2012 film, Wreck-It Ralph. Now accepted by his peers, Ralph voiced by John C. Reilly is very happy and content with life and his new-found bestie, Vanellope Von Schweetz voiced by Sarah Silverman.
Despite Ralph’s happiness, Vanellope is discontent with her day to day life and wants something more. However, everything changes when Vanellope’s game, Sugar Rush is unplugged. The pair soon find themselves going into the internet to seek a replacement item to help fix and save Sugar Rush, and for Ralph to keep his bestie around permanently and stop her from changing her mind of seeking happiness and life elsewhere.
While the film starts off as interesting, I found the internet gimmick with fitting various other Disney and Marvel Studio characters within the film as one big commercial. While I do love Disney, I found that the product placement and advertising within the film, although clever as this is what the internet does contain, took away the heart and emotional depth that I thoroughly enjoyed from the original film.
What I loved about original Wreck-It Ralph was that it had a wonderful storyline and important message that “you are not your job”. I also loved how the original Wreck-It Ralph was an animated feature that was captivating, deep, entertaining and still not a musical. Unfortunately, Ralph Breaks the Internet has gone backwards with Vanellope even breaking into song about her desires at one point. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate musicals. In fact, I actually am a very big musical fan. However, the song and dance scene within Ralph Breaks the Internet felt like a very forced and pathetic attempt of humour. Not only did I not like the song, but the scene was cringe-worthy, embarrassing and I didn’t find it funny at all.
While the moral message from Ralph Breaks the Internet that “friends don’t have to share the same dreams” is something that is very important for children to learn, I find the idea of the film better than the execution. I didn’t love any of the characters this time around, in fact they were quite angsty, annoying and frustrating. There are many moments of the film that felt very dark as well. Even with the new addition of Gal Gadot’s character Shank, the whole storyline felt shallow and seemed as if the film was more of just a sequel for the sake of it rather than because there was actually a story to tell.
Without a true villain, they made Ralph the “villain” of the film which was rather depressing and went against his character which normally desires to be good with his self-reflecting nature. A character that is normally so attentive to other people’s emotions was suddenly stripped of his senses to be ignorant to the feelings of the characters, wants and needs of others around him. I’m not going to lie, this made me really mad. All Ralph wanted was to keep his best friend which he worked so hard for in the first film. He also had the anxiety of being alone and yet was considered “evil” for having these fears. This was an awful way to try share the morals that the film was set out to achieve and an extremely backwards outlook on mental health.
I will always love the first Wreck-It Ralph. I was never against the sequel and did welcome the second film, initially being curious of where the story would go. While this new film is visually impressive, it took away everything great that they had built from the first. I now really wish that they had left the story alone.