After 2012’s Wreck-it-Ralph had so much fun using arcade games as a world where characters live and work, its sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, comes along and takes the internet as its playground, and what a playground. The animators at Disney portray the insides of the internet as a fun and infectious new world.
Wreck-it-Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Princess Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) became friends and allies in the first film, with Ralph fulfilling his dream of becoming more than just a video-game bad guy. Now, as Vanellope’s best friend, he loves his life. When Vanellope, who is a race car driver in the Sugar Rush video game, shares that she’s feeling bored with her life, Ralph wants to find a way to relieve her boredom, but his solution leads to a broken Sugar Rush game. Now, it’s up to Ralph and Vanellope to save the day by going into the internet, a strange, new world for them both. Along the way, Vanellope finds a new dream to fulfill: racing the fast cars in the online game Slaughter Race.
With its references to multiple websites from Amazon to YouTube, the movie brings us the myriad highlights embedded in the internet. We even get the shady side of things with pop-up ads and viruses. You may want to get every reference on screen as you watch the movie, but the animators pack so many scenes with Disney characters and homages, you won’t catch them all. That’s also due to watching the story unfold. Ralph and Vanellope are fish out of water when in the internet. Seeing them find their way through the confusing world makes for a pleasant but not exceptional story. Giving both Ralph and Vanellope some fears and dreams helps amp up the emotional side of things, leading to Vanellope, after meeting the Disney princesses, singing what every Disney princess sings: a princess “dream” song about what she really wants.
The voice work in this movie is outstanding. Reilly and Silverman deliver their character’s emotional undercurrents, including Ralph's insecurities and Vanellope's unhappiness at hurting her friend's feelings. Gal Gadot as the leader of the racing gang in Slaughter Race and Taraji P. Henson as the talent expert fit perfectly with their characters. A multitude of actors and YouTube stars get their moments in this movie. It all makes Ralph Breaks the Internet an engaging story that has fun with its premise.