Video game characters Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly (voice)) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman (voice)) are best friends. When Vanellope’s game breaks, the pair head into the internet to find a replacement part before the arcade’s owner removes her game for good.
I consider myself a pretty hardcore gamer and when Wreck-It Ralph hit theaters in 2012, that was my Roger Rabbit. Seeing all of my favorite video game characters pop up was a blast. Throw in a good story and interesting characters and you’ve got something great. While the story of Wreck-It Ralph felt complete, the world was ripe for storytelling possibilities. With the inside-a-video-game box ticked, Ralph Breaks the Internet jumps head first into the next pop culture riddled environment: the internet (duh).
Jumping six years after the previous film, we see that Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) have become the best of friends. However, what they consider to be the perfect life varies greatly, creating some friction in their relationship and the crux of the story. This feels like a natural evolution of these characters. First, we get to see their rocky start in the previous film. Then in the beginning of this movie, we see how close they have become since we last saw them. Naturally, their bond can be strengthened further. But to do so, they have to overcome a conflict and grow together. Disagreements between friends, overcoming them, and becoming closer friends in the end is something almost everyone can relate to.
While Wreck-It Ralph had some pretty great voice casting, particularly in John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch, Ralph Breaks the Internet adds more greatness to that stellar cast. Between her short appearance in the Fast & Furious franchise and the amazing Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot has become one of my favorite actresses to see on a film’s cast list. Her character Shank oozes coolness and a big part of that is how Gadot portrays her. Bill Hader as the pop up JP Spamley was a pleasant surprise. After watching Spider-Man 2 recently, seeing a cameo from Alfred Molina was exciting. Taraji P. Henson as the algorithm Yesss (yes, with three s’s) was a perfect fit. While I might not have know her name, I definitely recognized her voice and personality. However, my greatest satisfaction was seeing most of the voice actresses from the Disney princesses reprise their roles. Nothing beats an original.
This movie reminds me a lot of Tron where the writers and directors envisioned what it would be like to go inside of a computer, or in this case, the internet. As someone who works with computers daily and as the family IT department, it’s fascinating to see what these creators cook up inside their heads for what websites and online interactions we deal with on a regular basis would look like as a living world. All of the easter eggs thrown in for the internet savvy is fantastic, especially those from the good old days of dial-up and chat rooms. Some of the younger audience members might not get a lot of the jokes (particularly the more visual nods) and I wonder how well these references will stand up as the movie ages, but at the here and now, they’re great.
I thought Ralph Breaks the Internet was GOOD 🙂 Following a natural story and character progression, there is a lot here that audiences of all ages can relate to. Great voice casting and an imaginative world is the icing on the cake. While Disney has never had an animated theatrical threequel, I would love the chance to return to the world of Ralph, Vanellope, and all their video game friends once more.
PS, I love that Alan Tudyk is becoming Disney Animation’s John Ratzenberger. What a talented actor!
Cast & Crew
Phil Johnston – Director / Screenplay / Story
Rich Moore – Director / Story
Pamela Ribon – Screenplay / Story
Jim Reardon – Story
Josie Trinidad – Story
Henry Jackman – Composer
John C. Reilly – Ralph (voice)
Sarah Silverman – Vanellope (voice)
Jack McBrayer – Felix (voice)
Jane Lynch – Calhoun (voice)
Phil Johnston – Surge Protector (voice)
Alan Tudyk – KnowsMore (voice)
Bill Hader – JP Spamley (voice)
Taraji P. Henson – Yesss (voice)
Flula Borg – Maybe (voice)
Gal Gadot – Shank (voice)
Hamish Blake – Pyro (voice)
Ali Wong – Felony (voice)
GloZell Green – Little Debbie (voice)
Timothy Simons – Butcher Boy (voice)
Alfred Molina – Double Dan (voice)
Ed O’Neill – Mr. Litwak (voice)