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Ralph Breaks the Internet

Dec 28, 2018

Disney triumphs about the internet, gaming, and friendship.

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Grade: B+

Director: Phil Johnston (Zootopia), Rich Moore (Wreck It Ralph)

Screenplay: Johnston, Moore, et al.

Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hr 52 min

By: John DeSando

Vanellope (Sarah Silverman): “We are going to the internet!”

Ralph (John C. Reilly): “Super exciting! Just one minor thing: what is an ‘internet’?”

If you have only a passing understanding of the internet and its dominant child, social media, then see Ralph Breaks the Internet. Disney has done another major job interpreting our culture, as it has before with such passing phenomena as arcades. Right down to how viruses operate and how social media direct all things social, this primer is understandable and enormously entertaining.

Of course, this animation is not primarily about the net; it is concerned with the complexity of friendship, exemplified in the enduring love of little Vanellope and very big Ralph. Unlike Beauty and the Beast, this love is platonic and deep. As she pursues a perfect internet game, Ralph must deal with his insecurities (brilliantly parsed like an internet weakness to be exploited by hacker types who promote the virus in her consuming game, Slaughter Race.

Boldly set in The Magic Kingdom, the animation features the collaboration of Disney’s princesses, many with original voices( Vanellope: “Aw, come on! Princesses and cartoon characters? Barf!”). At one point as they survey big Ralph, one says how good it is to find a strong man who heeds help! This sequence along with the culminating musical number, A Place Called Slaughter Race, is worth the admission price.   

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com