What better way to spend Boxing Day than indulging in some Disney nostalgia with heart, a message for all, guffaws aplenty and stunning graphics? Sure beats dealing with the aftermath of Christmas with drunk uncles and unapologetic grandparents.
Picking up exactly where it left us so happily six years ago with its predecessor, the delightful Wreck-It Ralph (2012), this beautifully designed sequel is a guaranteed Christmas holiday crowd pleaser, and will delight all ages this summer. Our heroes remain unchanged, with the feisty little Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) still revelling in racing fast cars and thumbing her nose at the competition, and big hearted Ralph (John C. Reilly) still smashing up buildings by day as the two meet up at night in Litwak’s Family Fun Centre and Arcade to share fart jokes and root beer.
However, all is not completely rosy for one of the best friends, as Vanellope grows tired of the constraints of her game and the monotony it brings. She isn’t satisfied with a comfortable and repetitive existence and yearns for more, so Ralph obliges by providing a newly wrecked track for her to explore. Unfortunately, his remedy for what ails his BFF causes the machine to break, leaving Mr Litwak with one option to repair the old game – a single part available on eBay. Without it, Vanellope’s game will be removed from the arcade and the friends would be separated forever. So our two loveable protagonists set out on their quest into the arcade’s newly installed WiFi to save Vanellope.
Ultimately a timeless story about friendship, trust and personal growth, it is relatable and valuable content for all. The only villains here are their own insecurities, testing their relationship as they learn to love and let go. The depth and insight is remarkably touching.
There is so much joy to be found in Ralph’s internet. Not least of which are the multitude of delicious Disney Easter eggs scattered throughout. These hit their peak when Vanellope meets the Disney princesses, who eagerly embrace hoodies and sweats as their new attire as they bemoan their stories, which all require big strong men to save them. Their revolution comes and it is glorious. This utterly delightful lesson is reason alone to take your young ones along, while adults will delight in it.
Leaving behind the arcade game sentimentality of the original, Ralph Breaks the Internet grows up as it moves boldly forward to embrace an insightful look into the perils of the internet such as social media bullying from faceless commenters, while also exploring the camaraderie of sharing content when using the platform wisely. The graphics are phenomenal, and the level of detail astounding. But even more so is the megalopolis that is the world of the internet. Featuring infrastructure allowing avatars to travel between high rise structures of YouTube, Google, and right down to the dark corners of the dark web and clickbait, this is still very much an internet with parental controls on and filters firmly in place.
Building such an immense world as the internet itself is no mean feat, and sometimes it feels a tad overwhelming, which then causes the storyline to bounce about disjointedly, leaving the audience feeling like they’re stuck in one of Litwak’s pinball machines.
Regardless, Ralph provides laughs for all ages, and parents will be hard pressed to find something as easy to choose for the entire family when they need a cinematic reprieve from school holidays.