Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot
Director: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore
Running Time: 112 mins
Ralph Breaks The Internet is an American film and the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph. After Ralph and Vanellope discover a wi-fi router plugged into the arcade hub, they go on an epic journey to the internet, a world with endless possibilities.
I utterly adored Wreck-It Ralph, so to have a sequel that matches and often even surpasses the original is absolutely brilliant, retaining the same beautifully heartfelt atmosphere that goes hand in hand with an immensely imaginative and vibrant world created before your eyes. In its premise, Ralph Breaks The Internet may occasionally resemble other recent films like The Emoji Movie and The Lego Movie, but it still hits pretty much every beat spot on, with gorgeous animation, a wonderful story, and endlessly hilarious comedy from start to finish.
There’s so much about this film that makes it such a wonderful watch, and I was absolutely beaming right the way through, not least because of the film’s beautiful and stunningly imaginative story and worlds.
The first film was a brilliant throwback to all things retro gaming, ingeniously crafting a riveting and equally delightful world inside a small arcade, but this sequel takes things to the next level, taking on the vastness of the Internet and somehow creating a pitch-perfect portrayal of pretty much everything that goes into the web that’s both hugely entertaining and just as wonderful to look at.
The Emoji Movie was a little soulless in its metaphorical portrayal of the Internet, so Ralph Breaks The Internet is instead a lot more reminiscent of how Pixar’s Inside Out so ingeniously created a magical world inside a little girl’s head. It’s vibrant, colourful, and full of endless possibilities, and as we follow Ralph and Vanellope as they break out from their day-to-day life at the arcade into such a vivid world, the film’s portrayal of the Internet as a physical space becomes more and more awe-inspiring.
And again much like Inside Out, Ralph Breaks The Internet uses all manner of small details and in-jokes about the online world to bring the setting to life – with personified pop-ups, braindead, drone-like internet users, and even a dive into the dark web, the film is so jam-packed with references and jokes about life online that you’ll surely be laughing non-stop.
There is an argument that some of the film’s product placement (namely that of eBay) is a little heavy-handed, and while it does serve to make the Internet setting all the more relatable, it is occasionally somewhat of a distraction when you’re trying to fall into this magical world.
On the other hand, the film features a genius sequence in its middle act that sees Vanellope end up in what is effectively Disney World online, meeting all manner of characters from Stormtroopers to Winnie The Pooh and all of the Disney Princesses. Again, it may seem a little heavy-handed, but what the film does so brilliantly throughout is continue to roll back all of the Disney clichés you know and love, with a wonderfully self-aware sense of humour throughout that sees the screenplay take aim at everything traditional Disney, and have a whole lot of fun while doing it.
In that, Ralph Breaks The Internet is an absolute riot from start to finish, and I’d probably posit it as Disney’s funniest film ever, beating out Wreck-It Ralph to the top spot.
But as well as being so hilarious, this film is also an immensely heartwarming and delightful watch throughout, as the story still retains that old Disney magic, even when it’s trying to break out and make fun of the traditional formula as much as possible.
While I can’t say that it packs quite the emotional punch of the first film (which had me in floods of tears), it’s a movie that’s so full of heart throughout, and with a story that both delves into the real world as we know it, while still keeping a good bit of fairytale innocence, I couldn’t help but have the biggest smile across my face from beginning to end, as Ralph Breaks The Internet proves one of the most delightful films of the year.
Overall, then, I loved Ralph Breaks The Internet to bits. Much likes its predecessor, it’s a film that’s full of life, imagination and heart at every moment, but as it takes its setting onto a much bigger scale, it also steps up its vivid portrayal of the virtual world in a way that few other films have ever been able to match. On top of that, it’s an immensely funny film, and one that features a brilliantly-written screenplay with some hilarious self-deprecating humour, providing two hours of undeniably wonderful Disney fun, and that’s why I’m giving it an 8.5.