My Thoughts: RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (2018)

In 2018, Disney gave us a sequel that apparently people wanted to see. I was never a fan of the first Wreck-It Ralph film, so I wasn’t enthusiastic about a sequel. Nevertheless, I checked out this sequel directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston in theaters! Did I feel that Ralph Breaks the Internet was a better film than its predecessor? Read to to find out!

WARNING: There will be spoilers!!

The film takes place six years after the events of the first film. Video game “villain”, Ralph (voiced again by John C. Reilly), and video game “star”, Vanellope, (voiced again by Sarah Silverman), are still best friends. They hang out daily and do everything together. Ralph enjoys this life, but Vanellope is getting tired of the monotony and yearns for something more.

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere! I want it more than I can tell.”

However, she soon faces a new problem when her game, Sugar Rush, is unplugged after one of the controllers breaks. After overhearing one of the human kids mention it, Ralph gets an idea to go into the Internet to a site called “eBay”. There, he will buy a replacement controller thereby saving Sugar Rush and keeping his best friend happy! Vanellope loves the idea, but as the two enter the World Wide Web, their friendship and dreams are challenged.

I’m not going to mince words; I wasn’t a fan of this film overall. I found it too modern, gimmicky, and unrelatable for my personal tastes. I also found it somewhat confusing at times! For example, while Ralph and Vanellope are in the Internet, we see many popular websites like Google and YouTube, yet somehow Ralph and Vanellope utilize Disney-fied versions of both sites via KnowsMore (voiced by Alan Tudyk) and BuzzzTube, run by the algorithm, Yesss (voiced by Taraji P. Henson).

Why couldn’t they have just gone to Google and YouTube? Was it for copyright reasons? I feel the mere fact that both already existed in this film was proof that they weren’t infringing on any copyright. And Ralph and Vanellope have a whole scene inside eBay, so it’s not like getting copyright permissions would have been extremely hard to acquire if they didn’t have them.

Also, the first film seemed to be promoting the idea of video game characters having a purpose in their own games and that jumping to another game is frowned upon, at the very least. In this film, Vanellope is mesmerized by the tough racing game, Slaughter Race, led by Shank (voiced by Gal Gadot) and her gang, that she wants to become part of the game herself! She justifies it by saying that nobody will miss her from Sugar Rush, but again that didn’t seem to be the main reason why game-jumping was frowned upon in the first film. So unless I’m missing a particular nuance, it just seems odd to see the two films spewing differing messages.

And speaking of messages, the climax of the film deals with Ralph’s insecurities of his friendship with Vanellope. He fears he’ll lose her and this fear causes him to almost destroy her and much of the Internet. So the message seemed to be something along the lines of “trust in your friendships”. Now maybe I’m not getting it, but this message seemed to just fly right over my head! Is this such a big epidemic in the world that it had to be the main message of the film? Maybe I’m just blessed in my friendships, but I’ve never felt “controlled” by a friend or felt that I was “controlling” any of my friends, so I found it very hard to relate to this message. I’m not disparaging the message; I’m just saying it was one of the hardest messages in a film for me to relate to.

Um…ok.

And no review of this film would be complete without a mention of the infamous Disney Princesses scene(s)! While the idea of bringing all the Disney Princesses together is a cool one, there were still some things I disliked about this CGI gathering. One of my biggest grievances was the implication made that Belle was “kidnapped or enslaved” by the Beast in Beauty and the Beast.

So what did I like about the film? Well, I enjoyed the technological themes throughout the film: a basic demonstration of how WiFi and the Internet work, a look at the addictiveness and viles of social media, the fleeting lifespan of online fame, a basic demonstration of how viruses and denial-of-service attacks work, and how parts of the Internet can go extinct.

I’m sure there’s a “Freewebs” nearby too!

I liked how the Disney Princesses were annoyed by the complaints made against them that they were all saved by “big strong men”. I liked KnowsMore, J. P. Spamley (voiced by Bill Hader), and the Eboy (voiced by Sean Giambrone), who is hands-down my favorite character in the film!

I need a spin-off television series starring him!

I also liked how it’s the power of therapy that saves the day in the end.

Ralph defeated his monster after talking things through so…therapy wins!

Summing up, I have a lot of complaints about this film and was overall disappointed with it. I know many people really loved this film, even more than its predecessor. I, on the other hand, will be in no big rush to rewatch this film anytime soon.

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9 thoughts on “My Thoughts: RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET (2018)”

  1. I think the message was more about accepting people for who they are not for who you wish they could be. I definitely related to that as my siblings are very different than myself and it’s hard not to wish sometimes they would make different choices. It’s a lot harder to accept people for their differences and even learn to celebrate those differences. To me it was a much more subtle message than the bad people can be nice message of the first film.
    The only reason Vanellope couldn’t leave her game in the first film is because she was a glitch. Anyone can leave their game but if the game misses you than it might not be played and will be taken away- like when Ralph was gone from his game. I think it is safe to assume with Sugar Rush having many racers Vanellope will be fine leaving her game.

    1. You’re probably right about the message. Maybe it was too subtle for me to grasp.

      But wasn’t she still a glitch in this movie? I also don’t think it would have been fine had she left the game because we already know of players who came in to specifically choose her to play as when they play Sugar Rush.

      1. I dont think she’s a glitch any more because the game got rebooted with her as a character at the end of first movie but it is a little unclear. As far as her leaving she’s certainly less essential than Ralph is to his game but I guess you have to be willing to take that leap with the story

    2. My biggest issue is I thought they made it pretty clear in the first one that if you died in your game you would regenerate, but if you died outside of your game you would actually be dead. So I don’t know why Vanellope thought she could go live in Slaughter Road. I feel like she would actually die.

      1. Yeah I guess it depends on if that plot hole will bother you. I was fine with it but I’m not super invested in this universe so was more focused on the character growth. Maybe now the games are all connected by wifi that changes things?

  2. I enjoyed it but liked the first one better. We will never agree on one of your biggest complaints though, lol. The dictionary definition of kidnapped is “to seize and detain or carry away by unlawful force or fraud.” Even though she volunteered to take her father’s place after that she was still absolutely detained by unlawful force for most of the movie.

    I do think the movie will not age well due to all the current technology references which is a shame. If they had stuck with the big players like Google it might have worked because those will be relevant for a long time. Referencing certain current trends will make it irrelevant pretty quickly.

    I also thought the main message wasn’t just “trust your friendships.” I thought it was more about acceptance and coming to terms with the people we love having different interests or making different choices than we might choose. Which was pretty interesting and can apply to a wide range of relationships.

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