Updated: Sep 25, 2021
Since Disney has entered a new renaissance in their animation studio there have been several films to leave their mark in the cinematic world. Among these decorated movie is the film about a video game villain of all things. In 2012 Wreck-It Ralph crashed onto the silver screen and what a treat it ended up being. Along with its references to all things gaming Wreck-It Ralph featured a fantastic adventure with colorful characters. With the film’s success it did not surprise me that a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph would find its way to theaters. It took longer than expected but at long last the Ralph(John C.Reilly) and Venelope(Sarah Silverman) return in Ralph Breaks the Internet; or other wise known as Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnson, Ralph Breaks the Internet takes the Disney Videogame characters to a whole new world leading to a much bigger concept. Initially I was excited for the movie but after seeing trailers for the film my anticipation for Ralph Breaks The Internet wavered a bit. However that did not stop me from seeing the new Disney film, and after seeing if for myself I can say that Ralph Breaks the Internet is a sequel that while entertaining was rather lukewarm.
Ralph Breaks the Internet centers on Ralph and Venelope heading to the internet in order to save Venelope’s game from being taken down in the arcade. Conceptually the plot to sequel made sense as there is no place better than the internet to create a massive adventure. However the story to Ralph Breaks the Internet was not as sound as it could have been. The reason for this is because of the contrast between the themes and the concept. While concept made for a bigger adventure the plot’s execution left much to be desired as the story seemed to be enthralled with its basic ideas oppose to how well it connected with the its own themes. Bringing in ideas like dealing with insulting comments is all well and good but if does not serve a vital role in the overall story then it is seemingly unnecessary. At its core the story was about two friends and how their relationship is put to the test, and while this is fine (and even made sense with the first film’s story) it was lost in translation due to the plot caring more about the adventurous backdrop of the internet oppose how this idea synced with its morals and storytelling.
Wreck-It Ralph introduced a cast filled with memorable characters as well as special appearances from several video game icons. With that in mind one could only hope that this would be reflected with this cast of Ralph Breaks the Internet, but that was not the case as this group was lacking in several areas. In the case of Ralph and Venelope their chemistry was just as good as it was in the first film. However when it came to the duo’s individual progression the video game characters was lacking. For Ralph his development made sense but his execution was riddled in cliches which took away from Ralph’s established character. As for Venelope her character was rather inconsistent. Like Ralph Venelope’s motivation made sense but her progression seemed sporadic and the resolution to her character was fairly lackluster. The new additions to the cast were not much to talk about. The likes of Yesss (Tajiri P.Henson) was a tolerable supporting character but when it came to Skank (Gal Gadot), a racer of Slaughter Race and Venelope’s idol, she was more of plot device oppose to being a fully fleshed out character. Returning characters added nothing to the movie as the likes of Fix-It Felix (Jack McBrayer) and Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Levy) had only a few scenes between them. Like the first movie the cast also featured a variety of cameo from both video games and pop culture in general. The inclusion of cameos was fine for what it was but it did lack the flair featured in the first movie; plus the characters the film decided to use seemed a bit self indulging on Disney’s part.
When it came to animation there was not much to talk about as it was top notch; a trait that most Disney films share. In the case of the music the score by Henry Jackman was decent enough as aided in creating the right atmosphere and managed to bring previous cues from Wreck-It Ralph. The comedy however was hit and miss. The comedy was by no means bad, in fact it surprised me in some areas, but there were jokes that lacked in execution to point where they missed their punch lines.
Ralph Breaks the Internet seems follow the trope of sequels not as good as the first, and for good reason. Although it keeps true to some of the elements of 2012 film, the movie’s excessive nature held key elements like storytelling and character development back to the point where it this animated adventure felt over bloated. Fortunately the movie had some merit to it such as solid voice performances, funny moments and a keen sense of animation. Ralph Breaks The Internet is by no means the worst sequel out there, nor is it the worst to be produced by the House of Mouse, but the lacking charm of this movie did it no favors as the latest Disney Film was more bittersweet then it was satisfying.