Disney’s latest animated offering, Ralph Breaks the Internet, just lifted the roof on what’s possible. It’s not only extremely clever, but funny and engaging for the whole family.
Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by Jon C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) have been best friends since their previous misadventures (six years ago in Wreck-It Ralph), hanging out every night after work in Litwak’s Family Fun Centre and Arcade. While Ralph is content with his current life, Vanellope admits to being bored with her game’s predictability and wishes for something new. Ralph attempts to fulfil her desires by creating a secret “bonus” track during a race. Vanellope overrides player control to test it out, but the resulting conflict ends in the cabinet’s steering wheel breaking.
Since the company that made “Sugar Rush” is defunct, one of the kids finds a replacement for Mr. Litwak (Ed O’Neill) on eBay. However, Litwak deems it too expensive and has no choice but to unplug “Sugar Rush”, leaving the game’s characters homeless. Later that night, after talking with Fix-It Felix Jr. (Jack McBrayer), Ralph decides to enter the Internet via Litwak’s recently installed wi-fi router to obtain a new wheel on eBay. Let’s just say things don’t go quite according to plan.
The multitude of references to earlier Disney films, to pop culture and the Internet have to be seen to be believed. it simply doesn’t let up. Best of all is a sequence involving Disney princesses – simply brilliant.
There’s a lot of heart in the film … and strong values. None of them are shoved down our throats mind you. They’re all part of a very well conceived and executed storyline.
All the lead characters – Ralph, Vanellope and Shank (Gal Gadot) – are very easy to like, while the secondary personas give Ralph Breaks The Internet an extra lift. I really enjoyed the original film and loved this sequel. My only slight qualm is an extended running time. It didn’t need to stretch to almost two hours. Having said that, there’s a lot to enjoy here.
Director: Rich Moore
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson
Release Date: 26 December 2018
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Alex First is a Melbourne based journalist and communications specialist. He contributes to The Blurb on film and theatre.