Details: More information can be found at https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5848272/ and https://movies.disney.com/ralph-breaks-the-internet-wreck-it-ralph-2
Ralph Breaks the Internet is the sequel to Wreck It Ralph, an animated movie about sentient, retro video game characters. Ralph Breaks the Internet is a mostly predictable children’s movie with a surprisingly meaningful message that only happens in the final third of the movie. I don’t think I’ve seen many, if any children’s films that have conveyed that kind of message. Other than that, this is mostly a referential movie in the same vein as Shrek.
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Ralph messes up and must go to the internet in search of a solution to his mistake. Along the way, they run into various well known aspects of the American internet and learn a meaningful lesson of growing up and letting go.
The first two-thirds of the movie are exactly what you expect. It’s constant references to various large internet companies like Google, Ebay, etc. There are constant jokes about internet related things like pop ups, the dark web, video games (of course), and more. The references are comedic and not accurate to real life obviously. Huge portions of the internet are ignored. Porn makes no appearance even though it’s like 90% of the internet.
You should also keep in mind that Ralph Breaks the Internet is made by Disney, so there is a huge portion of the movie spent on Disney references. While it’s a predictable inside joke, it is still amazing to see so many Disney princesses together with the original voice actresses playing their roles.
All these internet jokes and inside references were largely redundant for me… at least until the last third of the movie where the message and heart of the movie took place. The basic message is that if you love something, you shouldn’t try to own or control it. That is obsessive and unhealthy. If the object of your affection wants to be free, you should let it be free. In other words, if you love something, set it free.
It is a unique message and one often not communicated to children. Part of the reason is that a lot of people are obsessive and controlling. Parents often smother their children and lord authority over them. This is also an ideological pillar in many non-American families as well. In my opinion, it is selfish and unhealthy for parents, for best friends, for romantic partners or anyone else to obsess over another person like this, especially when the other person wants you to back off. There’s a touching scene near the end of the movie that reminded me a lot of a parent letting their children go to school for the first time. It was moving and really helped hammer in the sentiment.
Overall, this was an all right movie. Many of the jokes fell flat for me. There are a lot of shiny lights and physical humor that I think kids will enjoy. The old Disney references were nice for an old fogey like me. I think what makes this movie unique is that message. You just don’t see a lot of children’s films convey a message like that.