Six years after the events of Wreck-It Ralph things are going pretty well for Ralph and Vanellope. Every day is the same as Ralph and Vanellope spend their days in their games and enjoy their off time being best friends drinking root beer and watching the world go by. For Ralph, this is perfect. For Vanellope, she wants some new adventure. This new adventure comes unexpectedly with the arrival of the internet at the arcade! With the arrival of the internet comes the means to a new adventure. Ralph and Vanellope soon find themselves exploring the internet and also exploring what friendship really is. Ralph Breaks the Internet takes the world of Wreck-it Ralph and the characters in it to a whole new world, quite literally.
Sequels are hard. There is a bar set by the original that is expected to be met. As time goes by, the bar tends to get higher as a movie grows more popular with nostalgia. Couple that with the nature of Ralph Breaks the Internet and there is a lot of risk for being irrelevant before its even ended its run in theaters. Thankfully, Rich Moore and his team did a skillful job of creating a story that will last once the references have moved on. This story isn’t solely about internet memes, viral videos, and princesses in trendy outfits. It actually is a story about discovering what friendship truly means and the importance of being true to yourself. This was done in a surprisingly effective way and without too much of a reliance on cute gimmicky moments. These moments do exist but they aren’t a crutch for the story. The growth of Ralph and Vanellope are the heart of the story and that is why it works.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is a good looking movie. It does a solid job of capturing the different worlds that it occupies. From the arcade to the video games, to the internet, each world has its own look and feel. They are crisp and colorful (when appropriate), and it makes for a world that makes sense. The sound effects that accompany the movie also make sense. Together the sound and animation helped build the worlds that Ralph and Vanellope inhabit. While I’ve seen other movies with more visually stunning animation, there is nothing to complain about!
The characters are really what makes this movie work. Starting off with the journey that Ralph Vanellope take, this is a movie that is built around characters and their growth. Together as they explored the different areas of the internet, they were also exploring different areas of their personalities and friendship. Because of this, the story could have been told in many different settings and still had the same result. The supporting characters also had good motivations and personalities. They also had reasons to exist, which is very important. As I think back through the course of the movie, there really weren’t any cringe-worthy characters that I felt just were a gimmick that didn’t belong. Instead, all the characters helped move things along and the story wasn’t compromised just for a character gag. This was especially important to me with the princess moments. They made a fantastic addition to the film that also made a lot of sense!
The music included during Ralph Breaks the Internet was solid. While it wasn’t the most memorable score of all time (I didn’t walk out of the movie humming a specific theme), it did have some really fun musical moments and songs included. One of my favorite moments of the film was during the main song. Most importantly, the music didn’t distract from the movie at any time.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is at its core a movie that is fun, humorous and has a surprising amount of heart. It moves along at a nice pace and at no point during the movie did I feel an urge to look at my watch. What I did find myself doing was feeling engaged with the character development and the development of Ralph and Vanellope’s friendship. In fact, at one point I heard some sniffles in the theater during one of the more touching moments of the film. There are also some really fun cameos and Easter eggs to look out for throughout the film. I didn’t catch them all but I did see Stan Lee, Humphrey the Bear with the Ranger, Iron Man to name a few. Ralph Breaks the Internet is a really enjoyable movie that is what I’m going to call new Disney that connects effectively with classic Disney. It really is a fun movie that is enjoyable to watch. It also is one that I envision you can watch and rewatch and find more and more in it each time. It’s definitely worth seeing on the big screen so check it out!