Written by Wayne Townsend
The 57th feature-length Disney film is a sequel to 2012 Wreck-it Ralph. A quick recap, the antagonist of a 1980’s arcade video game Ralph, discovers he isn’t merely a bad guy of a video game, but someone who has feelings and has been misunderstood by the other character’s that inhabit the central repository they retreat to after the video arcade closes for the evening. Six years into their friendship, Vanellope von Schweetz, star of her own game, existence is threatened due to the fact her game is broken, and the proprietor of the arcade is unwilling to pay for the replacement part. This motivates Ralph to venture onto the internet to search for the part when they find out it’s available on eBay. This is when the movie takes off. Product placement runs amok, an adept metaphor of internet usage. Disney reminds us that they own everything, Marvel Studios, Pixar, Star Wars, The Muppets just to name a few, with some characters from their respective universes, make an appearance. Yoda, R2D2, Ironman, are only a few. Every Disney princess appears with the voice talents of the original actresses reprising their roles. Ralph and Vanellope land into an internet racing game that Vanellope becomes enthralled with, but Ralph is afraid of due to the violent landscape. Internet controlled characters can “die,” but since Ralph and Vanellope are merely video game code, their deaths would be permanent. Vanellope wants to stay, but Ralph wants to get the part and return to the rote routine that the two of them have lived since the end of the first movie. This the main conflict of the film, Vanellope realizes the nature of their friendship will forever be changed and is sadden at the fact her decision may end her relationship with Ralph as suffers from insecurities as he sees her as his only. Mayhem ensues, as Ralph infects the internet game with a virus he obtained from the “dark web.” The depiction of Ralph descent to the place where shadowy figures live, (actual bugs represent the viruses) is just what an imaginative person would dream up if one had to visualize a computer “infection.” Ralph Breaks the Internet in a film that deals with the changing dynamic of friendship when one party wants to change the direction of their life, in this case, a career change, that forces the other to decide if the relationship can remain intact now that the parameters have been irrevocably altered. A life lesson all humans have faced at one time or other. Rated PG, this would be a good way for parents to explain how to deal with the emotions their child would feel when faced with a similar moment. For this, and for fear Disney has (probably) replaced “Big Brother,” Ralph Breaks the Internet receives 3 out of 5.