Evolving is just a part of life and why wreck things when you can flat out break them…
As Ralph Breaks The Internet we see a genuine evolution and growth of characters that are used to their one dimensional existences but discovering the genuine potential for so very much more.
Six years later, our friends can now leave Litwak’s video arcade behind, venturing into the uncharted, expansive and thrilling world of the internet which will provide a spark in their humdrum lives but ultimately may or may not survive Ralph’s unique brand of wrecking. Video game bad guy Ralph (John C. Reilly) and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (Sara Silverman) must risk it all by traveling to the world wide web in search of a replacement part of save Vanellope’s video game, Sugar Rush, after Ralph inadvertently breaks it. In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet , ‘the netizens’ to help navigate their way, including a website entrepreneur named Yesss (Taraji P. Henson), who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site “BuzzzTube.”
Rather then it just being a cheap money grab, Ralph Breaks The Internet actually gives us some real character evolution rather than just putting our heroes in another wacky situation. It still manages to blast the entertainment value for the kids while allowing these iconic figures to evolve and figure out the next stage of their lives and reminds them that you can still be friends with people, even if it takes you down a different path.
The directing team of Rich Johnston and Phil Moore (who also had their hands in the script) return here with one of those rare sequels that actually doesn’t try to ape or recreate moments from the previous film. The characters and their traits are more or less full established and it dives back into that world all these years later. Adding the dynamic of these characters having access to the internet is really the genius stroke of the narrative as it opens up such a wide world to take them to. It’s the emotional equivalent of these characters leaving their small town and going to the big city for the very first time.
As you ‘d expect the animation and production value are first rate and getting to bombard us with actual trade names and familiar things from the internet only made the experience all the more accessible to every generation. The core emotional values of the story are there, but in adding the world wide web to the equation the quality of the jokes and some of the set pieces are so damn inspired that they may actually fly over the kid’s heads and land straight in the lap of the parents who brought them there. It’s takes itself from genuinely funny for kids in some moments, to universally hilarious in others. The material transcends from cute to absolutely hilarious, which is why in many ways this film comes pretty darn close to actually transcending the original because the material is just so much more whip smart then you’d initially expect as even the Disney brand itself gets an excuse to laugh at itself.
The voice cast is first rate as you’d expect and John C Reilly back in the overalls as Ralph allows for the character to show some genuine emotional layers. Ralph loves his life with his best friend Vanellope, but when they get exposed to the world wide web she learns that her desire for something outside of the arcade is not only normal, but actually pretty darn healthy. Reilly and Sarah Silverman as Vanellope let these characters grow and evolve which is really the whole theme of the entire picture to begin with, because even though change can be scary, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. The supporting players remain pretty much the same with the exception of Gal Gadot as Shank, a bad ass street racer from a more adult version of a video game that Vanellope finds herself drawn to (Vanellope even has a musical number about this and it is just PRICELESS) AND Taraji P Henson as Yess who shows Ralph and Vanellope how the internet can work for you sometimes and isn’t just a chaotic mess of information.
Ultimately, Ralph Breaks The Internet comes damn close to and at times even surpasses the original film because it never once sacrifices the smart moments for the funny ones and most importantly the emotionally compelling ones. Kids are more than capable of processing all those emotions and they have a movie that is their equal in making sure it includes them in the discussion they are about to have and never just talking at them.