Sometimes the sequel is better than the original, and that is the case with “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Disney’s follow-up to 2012’s “Wreck-It Ralph.” In a sharp contrast from this year’s lame cash grab “Incredibles 2,” this charming sequel is a creative, sweet adventure tale of loyalty and friendship that will delight adults and kids alike.
When an overenthusiastic patron breaks the Sugar Rush video game, Ralph (John C. Reilly) and his buddy Vanelloppe (Sarah Silverman) must risk it all and travel into the world wide web to find a replacement part to save Vanelloppe’s home. The duo meet all sorts of citizens of the internet to help navigate their way, including trendy online entrepreneur Yesss (Taraji P. Henson), egghead know-it-all KnowsMore (Alan Tudyk), and the tough as nails Shank (Gal Gadot). The simple story serves the film well and although basic, it never feels like a throwaway sequel plot. It’s a film that can stand on its own.
This is a film that feels crafted for 40 year olds fans of the Mouse. Hardcore Disney devotees will be greatly rewarded in the form of vintage Easter eggs and if you “get” the references, you’ll have a much better time. There are a couple of scenes that feature cameos from classic Disney princesses, and they are absolutely hilarious if you’re a fan. There are still plenty of generic, dumb parent jokes and slapstick humor for the kiddos, but the best gags are the inspired ones (like the inspirational musical number in a Grand Theft Auto style video game).
The animation is bright and colorful, and the film looks like it is designed for 3D. It falls apart a bit towards the end with a too noisy and too busy climactic action scene, and the film’s extended ad for eBay feels dated, but overall this is a solid animated winner for Disney.