This is part of my series “Thoughts on Disney movies,” where I’ve gone back to watch all of the animated Disney features, starting with Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, and then share my thoughts on the blog. Today I take a look at Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Highlights: I really loved Wreck-It Ralph so I wasn’t sure what to think when they announced a sequel, since I’m not typically a fan of sequels. I did enjoy this movie though I didn’t think it was quite as good as the first one. I thought the overall theme of the film was very interesting and something we haven’t seen a lot about in Disney movies – the idea that relationships grow and change, and how to keep friendships when your friends don’t always follow the same path as you. I found that really intriguing and it’s such a realistic topic that I’m glad they focused on it. What do we do when we want something different than the person we’re close to? How can we accept their desire to be without you sometimes and not have those feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and doing stupid things because of it? There were also plenty of laughs in this movie, including the hilarious “princess sleepover scene.”
Low points: “We’re doing a sequel, that’s what we do in Hollywood – and everybody knows that they sequel’s never quite as good.” That’s a lyric from Muppets Most Wanted and every time Disney (or anyone else) makes a sequel to a popular movie it comes into my head because it’s basically always true. The plot itself was just not quite as strong even if the themes and humor was good. Though we laughed a lot, by its nature I think a film about the internet is probably going to become dated fairly quickly. Many of the references were to current trends and memes, and while certain bigger things will be part of history, like YouTube, the little jokes and videos – it mentions doing the floss dance and I’m pretty sure that was so 2018. One other thing that could be improved… not enough Fix-It Felix in this one! He’s my favorite character and we just didn’t see enough of him and Calhoun.
The music: Once again I find myself comparing this movie to the original and the soundtrack just wasn’t quite as strong. I usually tend to favor Disney films that are “musicals” with the characters singing over soundtracks but the Wreck-It Ralph soundtrack is one I really enjoy. Here you’ve got an entertainingly silly song that Vanellope sings called “A Place Called Slaughter Race,” and the main single over the credits, “Zero” by Imagine Dragons, which is okay but not my favorite. The rest of the soundtrack is decent and the song in the post-credits scene is worth sticking around for.
The villain: We are definitely in a period of Disney movies where there’s no “real villain” in the traditional sense. The only sort of villain figure we get is Arthur, a computer virus. It might be a bit of a spoiler, so don’t keep reading if you haven’t watched it, but Arthur is basically a physical manifestation of Ralph’s own insecurities and feeds off of them to duplicate the virus. Though lately I’ve been missing a more traditional villain in my Disney movies I kind of dig this twist because I think it’s a fascinating portrayal of our personalities, insecurities, and even mental health issues.
Fun fact: Ralph Breaks the Internet marks the first movie where all of the Disney princesses appear in one film – and they are all voiced by their original voice actors (with the exceptions of Adriana Caselotti who voiced Snow White and passed away in 1997, Ilene Woods who voiced Cinderella and passed away in 2010, and Mary Costa who voiced Aurora and is currently 91 years old).
Where in the World: As of right now we don’t see too much of Wreck-It Ralph in Disney World, although it does make a few brief appearances – Ralph and Vanellope both appear in the Christmas parade, for example. For awhile Ralph and Vanellope were doing meet and greets in Epcot, though it’s hard to know which character meets will be around once characters return to the parks. Before Disney Quest closed there was an area where you could actually play a version of “Fix It Felix” on an old-school style arcade machine. And there has long been a rumor of a Wreck-It Ralph attraction going where Stitch’s Great Escape used to be, which I would love to see!
My rating: 7 out of 10. I enjoy watching this one but I don’t think it’s going to be a lasting all-time favorite.
What do you think of Ralph Breaks the Internet?