“I’m gunna wreck it!” says the eponymous character of Wreck it Ralph and (not so) bad guy from fictional video game “Fix-it-Felix.” Coincidentally, that’s what most sequels do to an original story; they wreck it. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2 avoids this common pitfall though, by delivering a story that evokes emotion, enjoyment and laughter with a pointed focus on the main characters, their relationship, a befitting lesson of friendship in modern times and a clever portrayal of the internet.
Just like in real life, Ralph Breaks The Internet picks up six years after the end of the original with the protagonist and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) enjoying their daily life routines together. Well, Vanellope not so much. Early on we see Ralph is content with the monotony of their routine while Vanellope yearns for the excitement of the unexpected. Vanellope’s desire for something new leads to her game getting broken and subsequently unplugged. Faced with homelessness, Vanellope and her best friend are sent on an adventure throughout the internet to find a way to fix her game and return things to normal. Complications arise when the duo's opposing goals come to a head and Vanellope must make a choice with huge implications on their friendship.
The relationship of Ralph and Vanellope take center stage in this story. co-writers Phil Johnston and Pamela Ribon do an excellent job fleshing this out over the course of the sequels 112 minute run time (Which seems a tad too long for a children’s movie). Audience members heart strings will be pulled as they see how big hearted and thin skinned Ralph is in regard to his best friend. Vanellope represents Disney’s continuing recent trend of leading strong dynamic female characters. Juxtaposing this with Ralph, a character who is physically imposing and mighty, yet ultimately a big softie, gives their relationship a fresh feel.
Another enjoyable aspect of Ralph Breaks The Internet is how the animators choose to illustrate the internet and bring it to life on screen. Our social media culture as well as other nuances of the internet are brilliantly represented to a comedic effect. Moreover, one of the most clever aspects of this movie is how Ralph “breaks” the internet in both expected and unexpected ways. Although the sequel doesn’t match the hilarity of the first, the follow up seems to surpass its’ predecessor with more relatable and contemporary themes and lessons.