Ralph Breaks the Internet, 2018.
Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston.
Featuring the voice talents of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Alfred Molina, Ed O’Neill, Ali Wong, Timothy Simons, Glozell Green, Hamish Blake, Taraji P. Henson, Sean Giambrone, Flula Borg, Rebecca Wisocky, Maurice LaMarche, John DiMaggio, Michael Giacchino, Roger Craig Smith, Jennifer Hale, Kate Higgins, Linda Larkin, Kelly Macdonald, Idina Menzel, Mandy Moore, Paige O’Hara, Pamela Ribon, Anika Noni Rose, Ming-Na Wen, Auli’i Cravalho, Irene Bedard, Jodi Benson, Kristen Bell, Anthony Daniels, Brad Garrett, Corey Burton, Tim Allen, and Vin Diesel.
Six years after the events of “Wreck-It Ralph,” Ralph and Vanellope, now friends, discover a wi-fi router in their arcade, leading them into a new adventure.
I didn’t think Wreck-It Ralph needed a sequel, so I found Ralph Breaks the Internet to be a bit of a pointless affair, but, as they say, your mileage may vary. This Blu-ray + DVD + digital code package features a modest amount of bonus features that chronicle the making of the film and showcase early versions of the story.
Just because you can make a sequel to a successful movie doesn’t mean you should. The original Wreck-It Ralph took a great idea – What do videogame characters do at night? – and layered onto it the character arc of an arcade game antagonist who yearns to be accepted by his peers. It was a film that, like Pixar’s Toy Story trilogy and other superior animated fare, ratcheted the story and the characters up a few notches.
When the story roared to a satisfying conclusion, it didn’t seem to leave much room for a sequel, but have you met Hollywood lately? Everything has to be a franchise these days. (If E.T. was made in the modern era, it would probably be on its third sequel, E.T. vs. the Knights of the Emerald Kingdom, by now.)
And thus was born Ralph Breaks the Internet. The storyline, which takes Wreck-It Ralph and his new friend, the race car driver Vanellope, into the modern day Internet, is an obvious extension of the first film’s old school 80s arcade game world. However, the movie lays on its nudge-nudge-wink-wink references a bit thick, such as personifying the shady click bait that’s all over the Internet or having Ralph confront the crappy comments that pollute the online world.
There’s even a section of the story in which Vanellope visits a Disney fan website and meets the Disney princesses, as well as a couple Star Wars characters. Gee, I wonder which studio made this film?
Yes, perhaps I’m a bit cranky since I’ve been using the web since its early days in the mid-90s. Maybe younger viewers will take more delight in seeing the Internet realized as a physical place than I did. I will admit that the ending takes a road-less-traveled approach, which was nice, but I can’t say I enjoyed the trip to get there. I imagine there will be yet another film in this series, but I don’t really care that much.
Ralph Breaks the Internet arrives on Blu-ray in a typical configuration, with the film and bonus features on a high-def disc, a movie-only DVD, and a code for a digital copy that includes all the extras plus a few exclusive ones. You’ll find the following items on the Blu-ray:
- Surfing for Easter Eggs (4 minutes): Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of Easter eggs in this movie, so here’s a guide to (most of?) them.
- How We Broke the Internet (32 minutes): This featurette is broken into 10 segments that stars the filmmakers talking about how they created various aspects of the movie, particularly the various aspects of this personification of the Internet.
- The Music of Ralph Breaks the Internet (10 minutes): Imagine Dragons, Sarah Silverman, Alan Menken, and others talk about the film’s musical tracks.
- BuzzTube Cats (2 minutes): Plenty of Internet videos pop up during Ralph and Vanellope’s adventure, and many of them feature cats (because, hey, it’s the Internet). This is a compilation of many of them.
- Deleted Scenes (20 minutes): Animated movies’ deleted scenes tend to be rougher than their live-action counterparts, since they tend to be locked down when the heavy lifting starts. This is a collection of five sequences that were excised before the storyline solidified, and just one of them, in which a little old grandma gets caught up in playing the in-movie game Slaughter Race, moved beyond the early conceptual stage. Directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston introduce the deleted scenes.
- Music Videos (7 minutes): The songs included here are “Zero” by Imagine Dragons and “In This Place” by Julia Michaels.
The digital copy of the movie includes three additional brief bonus features: a two-minute look at the work that went into animating the videogame racers; a character gallery; and a 22-question trivia quiz that has a few short video clips.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★