We live in a time where dabbing, challenge videos, and stale memes are thriving and living in perfect unison with one another. You may not admit it at first, but eventually, you slowly realize that these grievances have become the norm in your day to day life. When I heard that Disney was producing a sequel for Wreck-It Ralph, using it as a creative spin and commentary about online toxic relations, I was quite skeptical at first. Just last year, we got Sony’s The Emoji Movie, in which the only positive thing which came out of the film, is that it ended Saudi Arabia’s 35 year cinema ban. Not to mention that Disney is frequently known for over promoting themselves with products in their films. I’m happy to report however, that Disney’s newest outing is pretty good and is surprisingly tame for a film which had all the right to be a commercially viable selling point for marketing and promotion purposes. Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet is a solid endeavor from a studio which keeps on producing mass-marketable slop.
It’s without saying that Ralph Breaks The Internet is a gorgeous looking film, using a wide variety of textures and colors to convey a lively feeling of adventure and pure imagination in the most wildest of digital-set places. This is especially apparent in the Oh My Disney scene, where original 2D Hand-drawn animated characters from original Disney flicks can be seen in the background, wandering around. There’s always a high standard for attention to detail in all of Disney’s recent animated flicks, and with Ralph Breaks The Internet, this further proves their meticulous eye for creative innovation in a 3D platform. Their narrative structure on the other hand? Well, not as creative or as daring as one would hope for.
Walt Disney Animation Studios have perfected their recent plot formula to a T. The formula simply goes:
- Introduce Main Characters
- Introduce Conflict
- Play with Wacky Hijinks and Slapstick Comedy
- Make sure that Two Of The Main Characters Split Up Before The Third Act
- Introduce massive threat after separation
- Have the two characters learn about the power of friendship and teamwork, using their newfound appreciation for one another as their resolution
Pretty simple right? The problem is that they’ve been doing this formula for over 4 years now, starting with Big Hero 6. For the first couple years, the formula worked, until post-Zootopia, where it became a bit too disoriented and mis-used in terms of narrative development. What I loved about the original Wreck-It Ralph is how audaciously new and fresh the film was at the time. With the sequel on the other hand, you can predict every single story beat and character interaction minutes before it occurs, taking out all thematic weight and unpredictability out of the equation. Even with the film’s ambitious message about male fragility and inflated egos on the web, the whole execution of said message feels on the nose and hammered in, rather than a subtle compliment to a film which was never really supposed to be taken all that seriously from the start. Hey, at least Disney tried to do something a little different this time!
Ralph Breaks The Internet may not have wrecked any new ground with the surrounding competition, but the film is still a delightful blast regardless. From its usages of reference humor and clever sight gags, to the wonderful vocal work from the cast, there’s plenty to enjoy here. While not as strong as the original flick, Wreck-It Ralph 2 succeeds in what it sets out to do, and accomplishes it’s goals, while adding more than what was meant to be predicted. Just expect Disney’s PR department to have a field day with this one on opening weekend.
P.S Stay through the credits. There is something truly godlike at the very end
Ralph Breaks The Internet Opens In Theaters Nationwide On November 21st