“Ralph Breaks The Internet” Breaks Almost No Disney Tropes



In the DC Comics continuity, there’s a place known as ‘Bizarro Earth’. Essentially, Bizarro Earth is a place were opposite versions of people and places reside. For example, Bizarro-Earth Superman (a brute simply dubbed ‘Bizarro’) is a thick-skulled supervillain with ice vision and heat breath, as opposed to regular Superman, an intelligent superhero with heat vision and ice breath.

The reason I bring up this fictional planet is because I feel it’s very applicable to this film. Ralph Breaks The Internet is, more-or-less, the Bizarro Earth counterpart of the maligned Emoji Movie. Perhaps it’s a bad comparison – the true Bizarro Earth counterpart of The Emoji Movie would be nothing short of a masterpiece. The comparison lies more in the overall concept both film present: a world within the internet.

Ralph Breaks The Internet, for all its flaws, does what The Emoji Movie couldn’t in creating an engaging world within the internet. The overall design of it is creative, and the incorporation of internet norms (i.e. click-bait, views, comments, viruses) into the world is fun.

Unfortunately, that’s about all Ralph Breaks The Internet has going for it. The remainder of the feature is devoid of any distinguishing qualities, being yet another ‘meh’ animated film that will likely be forgotten in a month.

I appear to be in the minority when I say I haven’t loved Disney’s recent films. I enjoyed both Frozen and Moana, but didn’t really care for Tangled, Zootopia, and the first Wreck-It-Ralph. None of the latter offerings were bad – just resoundingly average, and a far cry from the Renaissance-era Disney films so many compare them to. The same can be said for this film.

If you’ve seen, or at least are familiar with a lot of Disney films, you’re going to guess the ending to this film within the opening ten minutes (not necessarily the beat-by-beat ending, just the broad strokes of it). In addition to predictability, the film adheres to the typical sequel issue of erasing previous character development. Any lessons learnt by Ralph or any other returning character have either been forgotten or discarded, leading to the film annoyingly reteaching them.

John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, and the rest of the cast do fine jobs. Both have done better, but they’re perfectly serviceable here. The animation is, aside from the aforementioned internet world, far-and-away the best aspect of the film. The animators truly outdid themselves here, perfectly blending 80s-style arcade animation with modern day.

Ralph Breaks The Internet isn’t bad. In fact, due to poorness of this year’s animated output, it’s probably the best animated film of the year so far. I may have been a tad harsh on it. I suppose the message that I’m trying to iterate is that this film is not, in any shape or form, special. And to some people (or a lot of people, judging by the box office), that might be fine. But, if you’re asking me, a rewatch of The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast (1991) would be a better decision for those wanting to watch a Disney film.

Ratings Key:

★ – Bad (e.g., Godzilla ‘98, Pixels, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Justice League)

★★ – Mediocre (e.g., Incredibles 2, Watchmen, Alice in Wonderland, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle)

★★★ – Good (e.g., Creed II, Batman, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Pretty In Pink, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective)

★★★★ – Great (e.g., Jurassic Park, The Empire Strikes Back, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Social Network)

★★★★★ – Amazing (e.g., Dr. Strangelove, The Terminator, The Dark Knight, Back to the Future, Skyfall)