Ralph Breaks the Internet... and the Thanksgiving Box Office Record
By Anahi Anaya
After six years of patiently waiting, the calls of Disney’s “Wreck it Ralph” fans were finally answered. On Nov. 21, the hit’s sequel “Ralph Breaks the Internet” was released and a Thanksgiving box office record was broken. Over the five day break, more people went to the theaters than the year prior and the box office racked up around $84.5 million, much more than the predicted $71.8 million. Because the first movie was so charming and attracted an audience of all ages, the theaters were packed with children and adults alike. Through the inclusion of humor, drama and deeper meanings, this sequel is considered a huge success.
The plot centers around the film’s lovable main characters Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope Von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman). Vanellope is tired of the predictability of her game. She is constantly riding through the same race tracks and wants to be challenged. Feeling the need to make his friend happy, Ralph builds her a new track to test out during a race. However, a rebellion-ridden mishap occurs and the wheel of their Sugar Rush arcade game breaks. Mr. Litwak, the arcade owner, tries to get the new piece but finds that it is too expensive. As a result, the game is shut down and the Sugar Rush citizens become homeless. Ralph and Vanellope travel to the Internet through the newly installed WiFi router and rely on the help of “netizens”, the citizens of the internet, to help them find a replacement part for the game console. The characters go through a journey of discovery and encounter all sides of the internet, including pop-up ads, online games, viral videos, and viruses.
Throughout the movie, various themes come into play, such as friendship, loyalty, and the effects of the web. Ralph and Vanellope are closer than ever at the beginning of the film, but their friendship is put to the test when Vanellope takes a liking for Slaughter Race, a dangerous online racing game. The game poses fresh challenges for Vanellope and she makes new friends, including Shank (voiced by Gal Gadot), who is known as the best racer. Vanellope struggles to decide what she wants for herself; a new life with the Slaughter Race citizens, or the predictable life she led with Ralph by her side. This dilemma drives most of the movie and ultimately affects the ending.
Many fans were excited about the rumored scene with Vanellope and all the Disney princesses, and the film did not disappoint. Throughout their search for the game control, Vanellope met with all the past princesses and had an emotional moment where they discussed the stereotypical traits of a princess and how a woman can fend for herself. Their union led to a musical number by Vanellope, making for a new catchy Disney song.
Although the movie had mainly positive reviews, critics emphasized that the film failed to address the effects of the internet. According to the plot and trailers, the film was meant to explore both the positive and negative sides of the world wide web, but this was not executed as promised. The scenes that touched on this were quick and did not dig very deeply. It seems that the directors were more concerned with the humor of the film rather than the internet-centered themes.
Regardless, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is a success and exceeded the expectations of most, if not all, fans of the movies. As a family movie, it does a good job of incorporating humor and messages for all ages alike, so head on over to your local theaters and watch this record-breaking movie with family, friends, or even alone. You are almost certain to enjoy it.
Release date: November 21, 2018 (USA)
Directors: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
Cast: Sarah Silverman, John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Taraji P. Henson, Gal Gadot
Screenplay: Phil Johnston, Pamela Ribon
Production companies: Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures