Movie Reviews

Published on November 14th, 2018 | by Michael Newman

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Ralph Breaks The Internet

Kids growing up today don’t have the experience of a true arcade like some of us old folks do.  Arcades as I knew them were loud (often smoke filled) establishments lined from one end to the other with all types of video games.  Arcades these days reside mainly in pizza parlors with giant animatronic mice and consist mostly of ticket giving, skill-based games like skeeball and flippy coin games.  Well, we now get a little bit of a nostalgic flashback as the Disney juggernaut does it again with Ralph Breaks the Internet, a delightful story about friendship, self-confidence and of course arcade games.

Ralph (John C. Reilly) has come a long way from his time as an arcade villain.  He now spends his days working in his video game “Fix-It Felix Jr.” and his nights having fun with his adorable and talented bestie Vanellope (Sarah Silverman).  Life just couldn’t be better, and Ralph is completely content living a structured and simple life.  Vanellope, on the other hand, dreams of excitement and a change of pace, as she is growing tired of working in her game “Sugar Rush” since it’s always the same tracks and she wins every race.  As the saying goes…be careful what you wish for.  Things soon take a turn for the worse when Vanellope’s Sugar Rush game cabinet breaks causing mass upheaval in the world behind Litwak’s Arcade.  The friends discover that the part to fix it can only be found on E-bay, so the two embark on a journey on the newly installed internet to find E-bay and get the part to fix the game.

Ralph and Vanellope find out that the internet is a vast and strange place and they quickly learn there is a much larger world outside their little arcade.  On the internet there are new places to explore, new games to play and friends whose hearts are as large as the internet itself.  The way the writers and animators portrayed how the actual websites work within the internet was simply spectacular.  They nailed exactly how I believe E-bay works when I’m bidding on all those hard to find Disney items and I’m happy they finally confirmed that there is a Mr. KnowsMore behind the all-knowing Google search bar.   They even gave purpose and heart to the ever-annoying internet pop-up ads and if that isn’t storytelling at its finest, I don’t know what is.  The inner workings of the internet are brought to life in only a way that Disney could, and I loved every minute of it.  

Not only did they superbly animate the World Wide Web, Ralph Breaks the Internet is also full of as much heart and charm as any Disney movie.  The bond between Ralph and Vanellope is so strong that it sweetly radiates off the screen.  There is also depth to the story as we get to see their relationship go through all the struggles and triumphs that form a true and lasting friendship.  In pure Disney fashion, in the end there is a moral to the story where Ralph learns that a true friend is someone who is willing to let go, even when you don’t want to.  The story was sweet as sugar and showed that things can always be fixed as long as you are true friends.  

The animation is top-notch, with so many little nuances that I’m certain I didn’t catch them all the first time around.  The animation in the scenes with the “casual” princesses and the little bit in the credits (you absolutely 100% must stay for the credits) with Fun Bun and Puddles make everything even more perfect.  They also added little extra touches like when the friends go to Tapper’s bar to have a drink of Root Beer, the bartender’s movements are jerky and react exactly as he did in the actual arcade game.  Speaking of characters there are so many represented, you may want to see this movie a couple of times just to see them all.  

Ralph Breaks the Internet takes modern technology and blends it with memorable characters, an incredible story, and more Easter Eggs than you can shake a joystick at.  Everyone from video game fans to Disney movie lovers will find something to enjoy.  Disney definitely has another blockbuster on their hands and it will have no problem sitting proudly next to the likes of Beauty and the Beast or the epic Toy Story films.  In Ralph Breaks the Internet, you will be laughing one minute and crying the next and it once again shows us how Disney can take any topic and turn it into a timeless classic.  Make sure to race to your nearest theater on November 21, 2018 when Ralph Breaks the Internet comes crashing into theaters everywhere.  You’ll be happy that you did.    

5 out of 5 stars

 

By Barnetty Kushner 

 

 

Best friend duo of Vanellope and Ralph are back! It’s been 6 years since the events of the Wreck It Ralph movie. This time, Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) is tired of the mundane and predictable life at the 80s style Litwak’s Arcade. Day in and day out, she races the same tracks, with the same competitors, and spends her evenings hanging out with her best bud chugging Root Beer at Tappers. Ralph, (John C. Reilly) enjoying their simple life,  tries to convince Vanellope that life is great as long as they’re together.  Till one day, Vanellope and her Sugar Rush game friends become displaced after the steering wheel breaks on their game. Rather than replace the steering wheel for $200 on Ebay, the arcade owner makes the financial decision to unplug Sugar Rush for good.  

 

Eager to help Vanellope get her home back, Ralph concocts an idea to venture into the arcade’s newly installed port called “WiFi“ to find Ebay and locate the steering wheel. Little did the two realize the enormity of the World Wide Web which is represented as a huge NYC-type Mecca with all the largest dot coms like Google, Facebook, Amazon as the biggest skyscrapers. Everything you can possible want is at your search engine fingertips.  Not realizing Ebay is a bid and pay platform, Ralph and Vanellope accidentally entered into a bidding war with the cost of the steering wheel skyrocketing to $27,000.  The two frantically try to figure out how to obtain the necessary funds. They find themselves falling for a couple of online pop up get rich quick schemes.  First, they try their shot at getting paid for stealing a car from a Grand Theft Auto type game called Slaughter Race which would garner them enough money.  They also take advantage of BuzzTube, which is a YouTube type platform—the more hearts you get making videos that trend, the more money you make. Sign Ralph up! The zanier clips, the better. 

 

Conflicted, Vanellope can’t stop thinking about how much she loved playing in the Slaughter Race gaming world. Vanellope realizes she no longer wants to go back to her old lifestyle.  She’s ready for new challenges, new adventures, the ever changing world of online gaming with new characters/players all the time, and new friends.  This doesn’t please Ralph, causing him to become insecure in losing his best friend, thus landing him to “Break The Internet”  in true Wreck it Ralph fashion, causing mass destruction and chaos in the internet world.   

 

The script takes not only online pop culture, but Disney pop culture and gives it a quirky spin.  Lots of cameos from some of the most famous characters, and websites in internet history, as well as Disney.  I won’t spoil it, but be sure and stay till the end of the credits.  

What stood out to me most with this film, is that they shy away from using a villain.  The focus is more on self reflection, insecurities, and relationships.   It addresses the importance of friendship and the struggle we all face when change is hard, losing your inner circle can be really traumatic.   

There’s plenty of humor, action, adventure, and touching moments to keep the whole family entertained.   

 

5 out of 5 stars.

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