‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ is a Perfect, Contemporary Companion to the Nostalgia Powered Original
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Gal Gadot, Taraji P Henson
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Extra Feature Rating: ★★★★★
Review Spoilers: Moderate
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I am still baffled as to why this movie was not called ‘Ralph Wrecks the Internet.’ That said, Ralph Breaks the Internet is one of the best animated features I’ve seen in a while. I was a huge fan of the original Wreck It Ralph so I had high expectations of any sequel. I was skeptical at first that the second film could capture the same magic as the first. But I was pleasantly surprised by the decidedly different experience that Ralph’s adventures in the Internet gave us.
Rather than live in the limited world of their home arcade, Ralph and Vanellope embark on an adventure into the limitless World Wide Web. The goal is simple – get a replacement steering wheel for Vanellope’s arcade game from eBay. But as the two heroes come to realize, things are never that easy. Their journey to hustle cash from the Internet takes the two on two very different paths and challenges both of them as well as their friendship.
Ralph simply wants to go home but Vanellope takes to the Internet like a fish in water and even finds a game she loves more than her own. Throughout the film she struggles with doing what’s best for her and doing what’s best for her best friend, Ralph. On the other hand, Ralph finds himself gaining newfound popularity online while desperately wishing things would go back to normal.
It’s a fantastic story and in the end Vanellope’s decision to live her life on her terms is a welcome resolution. Without going too much into every little detail of the film, I love that she gets to be herself and I think the movie does a great job of showing that love doesn’t have to mean giving up your own hopes and dreams for someone else. (The Disney princesses that you’ve no doubt already heard plenty about or seen plenty of in the trailers help with that.)
The cast is great and I loved seeing all of the characters return for their own new adventures. (As a foster parent, Felix and Callahan’s adopting the Sugar Rush racers made me smile.) And I can’t help but marvel at how well the Disney animators brought the Internet to life. It’s a crazy place and viewers young and old will love all the little shout outs to the sites, apps, and games that make the Internet what it is today.
Ralph Breaks the Internet also has some of the best, most comprehensive special features I’ve seen in a Disney film lately. I’ve bemoaned the limitations of plenty of films’ special features in other reviews and I have to say that I was blown away with all that Ralph Breaks the Internet has to offer. My older kiddo and I spent a good hour going through the various different making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, and more.
Now, let me clarify by saying that this review is based on the Movies Anywhere edition of Ralph Breaks the Internet. We have the blu-ray combo pack but I’m a slave to the digital age and for whatever reason I end up using the app to watch special features. But, hey! There are almost always extras online so I don’t feel bad. (Insert yet another plug to redeem your digital codes people!)
There are fourteen individual videos under the ‘Documentaries and Featurette’ tab and they are all worth watching. I don’t say that often but I really mean it. They have everything from a ten minute featurette about the music of Ralph Breaks the Internet to a minute-and-a-half of fake, animated cat videos. How can you not want to watch all of them!?
It’s hard to pick a favorite though the ‘Surfing for Easter Eggs’ featurette is a top contender. In a movie that’s already brimming with real world spoofs and references and tons of Disney characters you wouldn’t think that there would be a lot you missed. But you would be so, so wrong. I didn’t catch hardly any of the ones they pointed out!
Most of the featurettes are just a few minutes long and are easy to watch in one go or in bits and pieces here and there. There are also two music videos (Ralph Breaks the Internet is surprisingly musical) and five deleted scenes.
If you’re looking for your next movie night pick Ralph Breaks the Internet is perfect whether you’re getting adult friends together or settling in on the couch with the kids. Everyone in my house hold loved it from my toddler to my middle schooler with myself included! It’s a really clever film and I love the message it sends about friendship. It’s not what I expected at all and that’s one of the best parts about the film.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is amazing — and it’s available today on blu-ray combo pack. Pick it up and don’t forget to redeem your digital copies!