Of the Disney animated movies of the last 10 years, Wreck-It-Ralph is one of my favorites. Though it came out in 2012, I first saw it last year and fell in love with the world of Litwak’s arcade and the games and the characters. Though I’m not much of a gamer myself, I still understood most of the references and felt that the movie did not at all isolate me, but instead kept me engaged in this world.
Fast forward to 2018, where we get the much awaited sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet. This film has even more references, more characters, and is definitely worth the wait. With the Internet only becoming bigger each year, it is surprising to me that a film like this had yet to be made by now. However, the fact that it was released this year gives it even more opportunities to showcase the many things that Disney has acquired even since 2012, with the most recent being the Star Wars universe. Ralph Breaks the Internet does a fine job showing off all of their properties including Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, the Muppets, Winnie the Pooh, and the Disney Princess line. Composer Alan Menken’s music even makes an appearance, giving Vanellope a wonderful new princess song. However, despite the prominence of the Internet, it is used carefully and the movie offers much more.
Friendship is a theme that is heavily used in Disney films, but they took a different angle with it here. The theme of toxic and damaging friendships is explored in Ralph Breaks the Internet, which differentiates it from most other films. The writers have done a great job with this by showing the audience how our behavior with our best friends can often be hurtful, even with the best of intentions. This is something that children and adults alike need to hear and I am glad this is presented so expertly here. I found the Ralph virus to be especially powerful, as it is a visual metaphor that really drives the message home. The creators of the film could have easily gotten lost in all the references to the Internet, but instead they offer a story that transcends technology.
I highly recommend Ralph Breaks the Internet, the latest film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.