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Ralph Breaks the Internet

Posted in Non-Stationery Reviews

I got to see Ralph Breaks the Internet (RBtI) on Sunday. It was a great movie, totally living up to the expectations generated by the first one.

Spoiler-Free Zone

While watching it, I couldn’t help but notice how much social commentary there was within it. I don’t know if I’ve somehow missed it in previous movies, or if it’s just more prominent in RBtI. From Yesss’s words on the internet comment sections, to the way people are represented via their avatars, there are a bunch of eye-opening moments that make you stop and think for a second.

The adult jokes and the self-deprecating humor were other welcome additions that helped make RBtI feel less like a kid’s movie and more like a movie for anyone. I’m really looking forward to watching this one again later.

Click to Reveal Spoilers

The princess scenes were as epic as I expected. I especially enjoyed the one at the end. “Oh, look, a big, strong man in need of saving.” It was absolutely hilarious.  I also appreciated Disney poking fun at their princess stereotypes. As if the scene featuring the various princess “qualities” wasn’t great enough, the discussion about singing when you look into important water was fabulous, too!

No Villain?

Besides the social commentary, I was most surprised by the lack of typical Disney villain. There wasn’t a “big baddie” working against the heroes throughout the movie. The closest there is to a villain is Ralph himself. Well, his insecurities. The Ralph virus wasn’t being purposely destructive, just like Ralph wasn’t trying to destroy his friendship with Vanellope, that was simply a byproduct of his insecure behaviors.

The ending “plot twist” for lack of anything better to call it, provided a lovely moment of self-realization. Right up until the virus started turning gold, I still expected that Ralph and Venellope would somehow get it through the anti-virus wall. “Putting [it] through therapy” was much a much better, and much more satisfying, resolution.

This Better Be In the Special Features

I found out right after watching RBtI, that there was originally a Golden Girls cameo planned. I can kind of, sort of, maybe understand why it was cut — no, I can’t really — but I seriously hope it’s included in a director’s cut or the special features when RBtI is released on disc. The Golden Girls was phenomenal, and it would have be a great nod to the older moviegoers to include the cameo.

Speaking of Older Moviegoers…

The consistent nods to having to go to work, and looking forward to relaxing after work, spoke to me, as I’m sure it did most working-age watchers. As did Vanellope looking forward to her vacation and planning for it ahead of time.

The way her friendship with Ralph developed over the course of the movie was a great example of how childhood friendships evolve into adult friendships.

Shank was a surprising aid in that evolution. In watching the trailers, I had pegged either Shank or Yesss as the villain, so finding out that they were both major aids to Ralph and Vanellope was surprising enough. But then to have Shank offer such heartfelt, realistic advice was a jaw dropper. OK, not literally, but it did feel like a departure from the typical Disney content. So much of the content in RBtI felt just as applicable to me as an adult as it would be to any child.

Wait, What About Sugar Rush?

If I have one criticism for the movie, it’s that we don’t find out how Vanellope leaving Sugar Rush affects the game. Sure, it was fixed, but surely the kids noticed that their favorite player is no longer available? How did this not create bigger problems?

I’m pretty sure Mr. Litwak would pay attention if his patrons complained that a character randomly disappeared from a game. He’d probably even call in someone to fix it. And if they couldn’t figure out the problem, would he unplug the game, or would it simply become an unsolved mystery?

It appears that the game remains plugged in, as we see the kids racing and being nice to each other, but since Felix and Sergeant Calhoun are present, it must be in the evening. I would have liked to see the arcade-goers’ reactions to Vanellope’s absence.

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