Hot Take: Whatever you thought about Wreck-It Ralph will likely be magnified here. I loved Wreck-It Ralph and loved the sequel, as well.
It’s funny how much execution matters when it comes to a concept such as riffing on the Internet. Remember The Emoji Movie? Conceptually, The Emoji Movie and Ralph Breaks the Internet, the sequel to the insanely lucrative and well received 2012 Disney flick Wreck-It Ralph, aren’t that much different. However, a side-by-side comparison of the finished product and you’ll ask yourself what took so long for one (the follow-up to Wreck-It Ralph) and why did it ever get made for the other. Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fun return to the Wreck-It Ralph character that sometimes tops its predecessor’s high score (especially any time the Disney Princesses are on screen) and delivers what seems to be a difficult, tear-inducing ending for young audiences though it feels a little bloated in the third act. There’s almost no reason for there not to be a third film in the series after seeing how fresh and entertaining Ralph Breaks the Internet was able to be without being too repetitive.
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, 6 years have passed since the adventures of Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz have continued to be best friends hanging out every night after work. While Ralph is happy with their mundane lives of working all day and hanging out all night, Vanellope longs for more. Ralph takes it upon himself to change one of the courses within Sugar Rush to give Vanellope something different in her day. The plan backfires when the customer playing Sugar Rush breaks the steering wheel and Mr. Litwak announces he’ll be selling the game for parts since the replacement part is too expensive on eBay. Wanting to fix the problem he created, Ralph decides to venture into the newly installed Internet to find eBay and get a new steering wheel to save Sugar Rush and keep Vanellope from ending up homeless.
The rest of the film is one comedic riff after another on the Internet and almost all of Ralph Breaks the Internet‘s comedic jabs land. Heck, so do the uppercuts. Until the film gets serious for a few minutes, Ralph Breaks the Internet is hilarious for both kids and adults and while most adults might feel the serious moments are a little overdone judging by the youngster’s reaction at my showing who was audibly crying uncontrollably at the film’s climax, the emotional barrage on the more youthful audience members worked, too.
There are times when Ralph Breaks the Internet bests the original and comparably it would be fair to say it equals the first film in many ways. There’s less nostalgia here than the original unless you feel some sort of passion for Amazon or eBay. Working in a Disney fansite is a genius move that scores a number of ways especially featuring the Disney Princesses complete with the use of the original voice talent whenever possible. Ralph Breaks the Internet also veers far enough away from Wreck-It Ralph to not feel like a complete cash grab at a sequel like many animated follow-ups have a habit of. The worst thing that can be said about the film is how obvious it is that Disney wanted an extended commercial for Toy Story 4 which tied it’s trailer to the opening of this film. Then again, I’m all in for another Toy Story film so it gets a pass from me here, too. Credit Disney yet again for delivering yet another all audiences success and priming us for a follow-up without having to even bother hard selling it at the end.
I know it sounds crazy but the mid-End Credits scene is worth the price of admission.
There’s still a few of you out there that just don’t like animation and with all the other stuff going on in Ralph Breaks the Internet, if you are bothered by animation, you’ll just leave aggravated.