REVIEW: Ralph Breaks the Internet is an extremely clever eye-popping animation that's full of deeper meanings
PUBLISHED: 14:19 09 December 2018
For an animated buddy-comedy about video game characters, Ralph Breaks the Internet tackles some pretty heavy societal issues.
Though it’s veiled as an eye-popping children’s movie, there’s plenty of hidden meanings to be taken from the second in the Wreck It Ralph series… … it is a Disney movie after all.
Like in the first movie it’s a world full of colourful, recognisable characters (Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac Man and an entire spin-off-worthy cast of feminist Disney princesses) - but this time it’s about being left behind as the world moves on - largely due to advances in technology.
On a quest to save Vanellope’s (voiced by Sarah Silverman) racing game – and to prevent her from becoming homeless), she and protagonist Wreck-It Ralph (brought to life once again by John C. Reilly) are forced to leave the arcade world behind to explore the uncharted and thrilling world of the internet.
What’s most interesting is the way the internet – or at least our perception of it - is portrayed on screen. Conveyed as a high-speed unending metropolis, there’s a SearchBar manned by Knowsmore (a graduate egghead-style character), a constant bombardment of real life brands and salesman at every corner forcing their annoying pop up ads on the audience.
It’s a lot to take in at first, but it’s extremely well thought-out and worryingly realistic of the minefield that is the internet. The movie also asks the question of how much of our online life is actually real?
eBay and it’s onscreen interpretation is cleverly conveyed in particular; with auctioneer characters selling items like a tortilla chip that looks like Beyoncé for $400. There’s even a trip to the Dark Web, which is headed up by a slimy creature who hands Ralph a virus.
Inevitably, there’s a visit to BuzzTube – a platform which Ralph uses to go viral. He soon learns there’s a darker side to online fame though, and accidentally stumbles across the soul-crushing comments section.
It’s a cleverly ironic reflection of the thousands of gifs and memes we scroll through on a weekly basis which fade out of our memory within minutes - a tough reflection of the fleeting 15 minutes of fame idea that’s now more pertinent than ever before… Overall, it’s extremely clever, beautifully animated and, at times, genuinely emotive.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2 is now showing at The Light Cinema in Wisbech.
Visit www.wisbech.lightcinemas.co.uk for screening dates, times and tickets.