Monday With Mildred: “Ralph Breaks the Internet”

Ralph Breaks the Internet movie poster

Ralph Breaks the Internet

This is the movie to watch if you’re hungry. It’s so full of Easter eggs you’ll have to loosen your belt. The filmmakers stuffed this so full of sight gags, in jokes and funny sound quips you are forced to watch it more than once to try and catch everything. You will fail. Watch the featurettes on the making of this movie, they’re almost as funny and you will be even more amazed.

Ralph Breaks the Internet is the sequel to Wreck it Ralph, which introduces us to a video arcade straight out of the 1980s. Ralph is the Donky Kong-type baddie in a game and he gets tired of being the bad guy, leaves his game and hijinks ensue. He meets Vanellope, the little girl and bad ass driver in the Sugar Rush driving game across the room. In Breaks, they’ve been best friends for a while and when he decides to spice up her life he ends up putting her game in peril. Typical Ralph, the big galoot. Luckily, the arcade owner has just that week decided to hook up to this thing called the internet, which has passed the arcade by all these years. Ralph and Vanellope sneak past the arcade’s security guard, who sounds a LOT like John Wayne, get stuffed into packets and rocketed through wires and cables till they enter the immense, insanely frenetic and sometimes dangerous world we access but never actually set foot in.

The first thing they do is try to ask for help at the KnowsMore booth after navigating past the ads that pop up in front of them and other denizens who insist they click the button on their sign. After finally getting past insistently guessing their questions before they can ask them, he sends them on a mission to make money on the internet. Easy, right? Past Stormtroopers, Nick Wilde, Mickey Mouse, the Moana chicken, and Stan Lee, Ralph makes his way past a pile of debris including the wreck of The Dial-Up Express RR car into the dark underbelly while Vanellope has a tete-a-tete with a room full of Disney princesses before finding her way into a driving game innocently called Slaughter Race.

In Disney’s internet, there is a lot to see and do, and like the real internet nothing ever really goes away so there is a deeply layered and historical feel to something that isn’t forty years old yet. It gets its looks from the west coast home of the internet in the One Wilshire building, the pop up ads look awfully familiar (“Get rid of belly fat!”) and the big entities like facebook sit next to ones that are easily recognized as a pastiche of the real thing. One is BuzzTube, where Ralph is assisted by the head algorithm, Yesss in working the internet to his advantage.

My favorite scene is when Vanellope finds herself in the Disney princesses’ dressing room. After their initially violent reaction to the stranger they bombard her with questions and discover she’s also a princess (of a sort) with lots of similarities:

               “Do you have daddy issues?”

               “I don’t even have a mom!”

               “Neither do we!!”

The princess from Brave watches the interaction sitting rather butchly in a chair then lets loose with indecipherably Scottish dialogue. She’s from a later movie, they tell Vanellope.

Every character is impeccably voiced. They hired a world champion auctioneer for one scene, and I loved the Jane Lynch’s character just as much in this film as the first. I know CFR doesn’t care for Alan Tudyk but he’s amazing as KnowsMore. You would never guess Vanellope is voiced by a grown woman, and if you ever wanted to hear Gal Gadot sing, here’s your chance.

The film is so layered and has so many in jokes and Easter eggs that I can’t help but wonder if they even fashioned one of the later, more dangerous characters on a mid-80s Clive Barker Books of Blood anthology story called In the Hills the Cities. If Disney is reading this, let me know. I know the people who made this aren’t afraid of a little darkness, because I’ve seen the hilariously black humor mid end credits scene.

I love this movie and I hope you make a point of watching both this one and Wreck it Ralph, though I think is one is funnier and you don’t really need to see the first one to enjoy Breaks. If you’ve spent any time on the internet you will laugh. If you know anything about computer games you will laugh. If you’ve ever watched a Disney movie or a Disney-owned movie you will laugh.

LINKS:

Ralph Breaks the Internet | Official Trailer 2

CFR: In Addition: I haven’t seen this movie yet and now I want to more than ever. Below is a special surprise for Mildred. The Vanellope scene she wrote about above.

Vanellope Meets Disney Princess | Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Animation HD

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