REVIEW: “Ralph Breaks The Internet”; Bigger, Not Always Better
I absolutely loved the original Wreck-It Ralph. Unfortunately, Ralph Breaks The Internet is no Wreck-It Ralph. If it reminds me of anything, it is kind of how I feel about Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. Finding Nemo is a pure classic and Finding Dory is not. But there are definitely times when Ralph gets it right in this one and teaches us a lesson or two.
The story takes place 6 years after Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph and Vanellope are best friends and are basically inseparable. Unfortunately for Vanellope, her game Sugar Rush becomes broken, and if Ralph and Vanellope can’t get the part to fix it in a few days, Sugar Rush will be no more, and Vanellope will be without a game. That leads to the main story in which Ralph and Vanellope venture into the new and vast world of the internet, and it is a race for our heroes to secure the part and get it back in time to Litwak’s Arcade before Sugar Rush is used for spare parts.
I like how the movie starts out in which Ralph and Vanellope venture into some classic arcade games, but once Ralph and Vanellope get in the internet, boy, it really drags at times. Ralph spends a lot of his time doing stupid things, with the hopes that they will become viral videos so that they will get a bunch of likes in order to generate money to purchase the McGuffin. Not kidding.
It kind of feels like they may have pushed the easter eggs too much at times. It’s like, forget about the story, we’ll just entertain the audience in showing them tons of familiar things from the internet that the audience will know, like eBay, YouTube, and Google. Let’s not forget all of the overly abundant product placement of Disney products in the form of Star Wars, Marvel and of course, Disney and Pixar characters. They mostly serve absolutely no purpose to the story other than to generate warm and fuzzy memories and to remind you that Disney owns almost everything.
Without a doubt, probably the best part is seeing all of the Disney Princesses together for the first time on the big screen. What’s even better is having the majority of them voiced by their original voice actresses. Not all of them, but most.
Whoever had Moana wearing a #SHINY shirt must have done that just to annoy me. The Disney Princesses are fun together and they are like an all-girl superhero team, like a Disney Princesses Avengers. But I really feel that the reason why they were put into this movie was to, first, sell merchandise, and second, provide a taste to the audience for the inevitable animated TV series that will “probably” make its way to either Disney XD or Disney+.
I do wish we didn’t see most of the Disney Princesses’ screen time in the trailers and TV spots, because it would have been far more special if it was a surprise to the audience and we didn’t know they were even in the movie. On the other hand, good luck with keeping a secret in movies from leaking out nowadays.
I felt they did an excellent job with Vanellope’s story arc. Vanellope is going through a personal crisis in her life in which she questions whether it is ok to want more out of life or even something different. It’s definitely a great message for kids and adults that the path in life that you have been on for so long does not have to be permanent. What is important is being true to yourself and what makes you happy.
The ultimate message of this movie is about letting go and friendship, which is actually a very powerful message and probably a good way for children to learn a bit about it before they experience it in real life. I love how Disney never dumbs down important messages like that for children.
But unfortunately, I feel like the other unintended message of this movie is just how sad it is that we have come to rely so much on the internet. I also know that it is pure irony coming from someone writing a review about a movie on the internet.
In a way, it reminds you of just how much life has changed, and not all for the good. Yes, the internet has made things so much easier for all of us, but we also lost something too. It would have been nice if the movie somewhat addressed that, but it doesn’t.
I will say that the ending did shock me a bit and I did not see it coming at all. I do give Disney a lot of credit for ending the movie the way they did, because I think most movies for kids would not have gone there.