It’s probably said about a billion times a day that today’s youth and the world as a whole is obsessed with technology. More specifically, we’re portrayed to be like the living dead: eyes glued to whatever new rectangle with a screen we’ve created, traipsing about our lives, oblivious to all that’s happening in our actual realities. So with that lovely picture in mind, we live in the perfect era for the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph to hit theatres, now sending Ralph and Vanellope out of the arcade and into the internet.
Going into the film I had my reservations. Having to depict the online landscape is a much heftier task to take on than bringing to life an arcade. Not to mention, the film is a sequel so that’s always a concern. But while Ralph Breaks the Internet had some flops, it ultimately surmounted the worrisome expectations I had going in.
In terms of negatives, I have two complaints. First off, I measure most animated movies in terms of quality with a cliche quota. Yes, I’m aware they’re made primarily for kids, but a good animated film will craft a plot that’s simple, entertaining and doesn’t always tell the same story over and over again. Wreck-It Ralph nailed that. It had an easy-to-follow story for the kids, but enough heart and over-the-head jokes and references for the adults. Ralph Breaks the Internet has those same qualities, but it definitely came with some cringey moments in dialogue and message. It doesn’t break the cliche quota, but it comes dangerously close to tipping over the edge.
With that comes my second complaint: Ralph was dumbed down a lot. Yes, he was the goofy giant in the first film, but he was never stupid. In this one, they kind of boil down his character to relying on Vanellope, forgetting his growth in the first movie and making his dialogue sound like rip-off Patrick Star quotes at times. It’s not too over the top, but it’s obvious just enough that I couldn’t shake it through my whole viewing of the movie.
Now onto the positives. Much like the first movie, Ralph Breaks the Internet embraces its premise, and really hits it home. Like the joy of seeing an arcade come to life, the sequel takes it a step further and really does the internet justice in terms of representing it. References are everywhere, there’s an amazing attention to detail and it’s really a remarkable example of world building.
And, of course, it’s an absolute blast to see the sheer spectrum of Disney come together in one film. Whether it was Vanellope's interactions with all the Disney princesses, or the surprise appearance of a Stan Lee cameo, you see the scope and can laugh at the conjunction of everything Disney has built in a film. Additionally, many voice actors are used in the film so the nostalgia hits you that much harder.
Besides these cameos, a bunch of new characters are added to this film as well which I was a little surprised by. We still get small moments and secondary plot lines with the first film’s characters but for the most part they’re sidelined. However, the new personalities to meet and their representations of internet characteristics are all enjoyable, and really hold up when comparing them to the movie’s predecessor.
And while I said cliches arise, the heart of this film is really potent — especially for families with kids going off to college. As weird as that sounds for a Wreck-It Ralph movie, the main theme of the film boils down to Ralph not wanting to let Vanellope go off into a new world because he wants her to stay with him. The theme can very easily apply to kids going off to college and leaving family and friends behind. Honestly, it can be a really helpful movie to show younger siblings, parents or even significant others that leaving doesn’t mean disappearing forever, and that the best thing to do is to support your loved one. They’re just saying see you later and building something great for their futures.
So while I ultimately prefer the first movie, Ralph Breaks the Internet had a ton of fun moments, nailed its depiction of the online world, and had a great message with a lot of heart behind it. I’d recommend those of all ages to go and check it out. Oh, and in keeping with ties to Disney, and more specifically Marvel, be sure to stick around for some amazing after credits scenes.
Jackson Horvat is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.