Review: “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is a Strong Follow Up to Original

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“Ralph Breaks the Internet” is the sequel to the hit 2012 film “Wreck-it Ralph.” While following up the success and acclaim of such a beloved film was never going to be easy, Disney has delivered a dynamite animated film as one of the first of their sequels to be released theatrically in years.

Six years have passed since the events of the first film. In that time, the bond between Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and the mischievous Vanellope Von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) has reached a crossroads. One day the arcade where their games are, gets a wireless internet connection. What follows is a “world wide web” of adventure that not only improves upon the first film; but makes one that is easily one of the best animated films of the year. The film begins with a mission to find a spare part for an arcade game and ends on a journey that makes for an emotionally-powerful quest that takes the story to new heights of humor and heart.

While many video game characters that were featured in the previous film do make a return, the main draw of the new characters is an array of fan favorites from all around Disney’s history. Not only does the time spent in the “Oh My Disney” website make for some of the biggest laughs of the film, the attention to detail is incredible. Seeing an X-wing and a TIE fighter buzz Iron Man flying by Kermit the Frog’s head is just the tip of the iceberg. Though the term “thrill ride” may be overused as a source of praise, this movie takes it a step further and makes for what’s potentially the ultimate Disneyland ride in a single 114-minute runtime. Once Vanellope meets the many Disney princesses that have become icons in their own right over the years, there is no shortage of laughs to be had. The film does a good amount of hilarious gags (an extended sequence set in the online game “Slaughter Race” is a riot) balanced with some lighter comedic elements (including a cameo from Princess Merida of the Pixar film “Brave”). On its $175 million budget, the animation captures all the weird and wonderful content of the web, warts and all.

Though there are currently no plans for a third film, it’s clear that “Ralph Breaks the Internet” has endless potential for new stories based on what this film has presented. It’s a film that not only lives up to the high pedigree set by the original “Wreck-It Ralph,” but honors the lineage that Disney has built after almost 80 years. From its opening moments to its final frame, it’s a digital rush of colorful fun.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 Stars

Review by Steven Pryor

At a Glance:

Starring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson and Ed O’Neill
Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston
Rated PG

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