Now that Walt Disney Animation Studios equals Pixar for quality in both story and animation quality, we can be happy to see two movies from the studios in the same year.
Incredibles 2 was a lot of fun and now, Ralph Breaks the Internet comes along and is even better.
As the title suggests, Ralph Break the Internet find Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) discovering the joys – and pains – of the internet.
Their journey is sparked by the breaking of the steering wheel for Vanellope’s Sugar Rush racing game – just as Mr. Litwak (Ed O’Neill) hooks up his arcade for wi-fi.
When Mr. Litwak tries to find a replacement the only one available is on eBay for more than the game makes in a year – so he decides that, at the end of the week, he’s going to sell it for parts.
Ralph decides he’s going to take Vanellope to the internet to get that steering wheel (he’s partly responsible for the problem…).
Thus, they set out on a cyber-odyssey fraught with dangers ranging from clickbait, SPAM and viruses and more – and while they’re on that quest, the remaining racers from Sugar Rush are taken in by insta-parents Felix (Jack McBrayer) and Calhoun (Jane Lynch).
They get help from Knowsmore (Alan Tudyk), a search engine that is overly aggressive at anticipating what customers will ask; wind up in a race with the very cool Shank (Gal Gadot) in a distinctly dark game called Slaughter Race and try to make a series of viral videos at BuzzTube – with the help of BuzzTube’s top algorithm, Yesss (Taraji P. Henson).
There is even a virus that turns out to be way more vicious than advertised – hence Ralph actually and metaphorically breaking the internet.
The script, by Phil Johnson and Pamela Ribon, is filled with sight gags and punchlines that will delight kids and some that only their parents will get. In ingenuity and execution, it is the equal of the first film.
Directors Johnson and Rich Moore have taken that script and developed new characters that will delight audiences as much as Ralph and Vanellope – and deepen the characters of our dynamic duo.
There are, of course, lessons to be learned along the way (some taught delicately; others not so much) – concepts like friends not having to always agree, or have the same dreams.
Reilly and Silverman are, once again, wonderful as Ralph and Vanellope – and their work is matched by Gadot, Henson and Tudyk.
Ralph Breaks the Internet never stoops to cheap gags, or insincere manipulation of emotion. Every gag – every emotional character beat, from good intentions going awry, to two delightful sequences with a host of Disney princesses – is earned.
In fact, every satirical poke is well done – including a perfect jab at movies that don’t include every scene from the trailer. (That comes a few minutes into the credits, so stick around for it – it’s one of the best scenes in the trailer and in the movie!)
Final Grade: A