“Ralph breaks the Internet”: Heroes plunge into the meanders of the Web … and it’s excellent
At the same time trying to ignore advertising. I find the story overflows and abuses advertising content that go from decors to avatars. For almost two hours, I had the impression to see a big infomercial for major brands and especially for Disney. It brings good times and good ideas as I mentioned earlier. But at the same time, it dilutes the story of Ralph Breaks the Internet.
This film is interesting to see, even if it is not wonderful or fantastic as history. It remains an entertainment.
Six years after their meeting, Vanellope and Ralph live in perfect harmony with all their friends in the games of the Litvak arcade. But Vanellope is a bit bored on the three unique racing circuits of her game Sugar Rush. Wanting to create a new course for her friend, Ralph unwittingly causes the destruction of the game’s wheel.
The manufacturer went bankrupt, the latest model available is auctioned on eBay.
Luckily, the arcade has just been connected to wi-fi. Vanellope and Ralph decide to dive into the meanders of the Web to avoid the scrapping of Sugar Rush. But how to make money and pay an item when you are a virtual character?
In 2012, Ralph’s Worlds played on the nostalgia of 1980s video games. It plunging the viewer into arcade games and into the lives of the characters that animate them. This sequel goes into high gear, precipitating heroes into the hive of the globalized Web.
In the screenplay, Pamela Ribon and Phil Johnston are having a great time. At the realization, the second and Rich Moore deliver an excellent animation film, very rich and inventive visually.
When Ralph and Vanellope land in the world-city of the Web. We fear for a moment the product placement, with catalog of signs of the giants of the web (and the many properties of Disney). There is a bit of that, but history is paramount.
A thousand ideas follow one another, pretexts for so many gags or vicissitudes.
Ralph and Vanellope discover how virtual auctions work inside the Web – but misunderstand the “game” rule. They meet a pop-up broadcaster, these ads that parasitize our screens, Ironically named Spamley. They land in Slaugher Race, a Grand Theft Auto-style online game. Where Vanellope will put all her driving science into a chase with the awesome Shank. Ralph will learn how to become a star of viral videos with the help of Yesss, the queen of algorithms (who shares Janelle Monáe’s wardrobe …).
With humor, and casually, the scenario brings a lot of truths about the realities of the virtual. It takes a lot of like to generate a dollar (my director will confirm) and better “never read the comments!” (my colleagues will approve)
There is also a good dose of self-mockery when Vanellope walks in the arcades of Disney.com.
The cameos of famous people multiply there (until the late Stan Lee, unexpected homage following his recent disappearance). When the little anti-heroine fails in the “chamber of princesses” where, from Snow White to Moana, all the Disney heroines are gathered, occasion of three brilliant scenes. When Vanellope claims she is also a princess, the list of criteria enumerated by the brotherhood to verify is a hilarious self-criticism of disneyen clichés.
The classic song where the princess expresses her unfulfilled desire is diverted with superb. Vanellope will understand that she will fulfill her destiny and will receive the help of her new friends – whose attributes become unexpected powers of superheroines …
As in the first opus, the film plays on several levels: a story of adventure to the first degree very well built, but carrying multiple readings and referential gags to the second degree (drifts and benefits of the Net or social networks, the mass culture, the Disney worlds, …)
The other remarkable point of the film is that there is no villain.
These are the events and their intimate flaws that Vanellope and Ralph face. All the characters are in solidarity with their quest. This is not the first of the recent Disney movies that testifies to this evolution – all the more notable in a world where primary Manichaeism is expressed daily – but it pushes it to perfection. One could even read a metaphor of our time: the virus that threatens to destroy the universe of characters feeds on their fears …
Ralph 2.0 (Ralph breaks the Internet in VO) finds what was the salt of the first Pixar movies, Toy Story era. And, while pursuing the “feminization” in vogue at Disney (Shank is a character of modern woman beautifully built, the princesses are not only figurative), the authors bring an extra dimension, beyond the political correctness of convenience . A real upgrade, which marks the maturity of Disney 2.0.
Who says an animated film, says a movie for children?
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, I wonder who really is the target audience. Why? Much of the film takes place in the game “Slaughter Race“. Already the title is not very childish and the universe is rather dark and dull compared to the rest of the film. There is also a moment when one of the characters sings. The words and the visual of the song are addressed to public a little older [teenager and older]. At least, what’s fun about this scene is a recurring joke about having to make a song in a Disney movie. It’s a nice wink.
Rating: PG (for some action and rude humor)
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore
Stars: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot
Written By: Phil Johnston, Pamela Ribon
In Theaters: Nov 21, 2018 Wide
On Disc/Streaming: Feb 12, 2019
Runtime: 114 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Animation Studios
Movies don’t get more timely than Ralph Breaks the Internet – an exhilarating yet dismaying sequel to 2012’s Wreck It Ralph, for my money easily the smartest and most endearing Disney animated feature of recent years.
Conceptually, it’s rather ingenious, with well-aimed barbs at abusive commenter culture and social-media narcissism that adds up to a welcome moral for small fry…
The nuanced friendship between Ralph and Vanellope remains the most engaging part of the film, once you’ve overcome the slight weirdness of a hulking man being best mates with a small girl.
It’s pretty incredible to see how the filmmakers easily and boldly slip concepts right from the therapist’s office into the wild rumpus through the internet.