The loveable video game “villain” returns in a brand new adventure that goes beyond the arcade as Ralph Breaks the Internet arrives on blu-ray this week. Is the Disney sequel worth picking up, or is it Game Over? Come inside for our full review!
I didn’t get the chance to discuss my thoughts on Ralph Breaks the Internet when it arrived over Thanksgiving, even though it’s one of the few films last year I went to the theater for...And I honestly don’t know why I didn’t! Between the holidays and everything else, it slipped through the cracks. With the film’s home entertainment release, however, I’m able to remedy this oversight and can explain a bit about why I loved this movie.
Wreck-It Ralph is one of my favorite modern Disney animated films, so I was very eager to see how the sequel would try and recapture the same magic. Fortunately, Ralph Breaks the Internet goes in another direction and doesn’t seek to recreate the same kind of film the original was. Sure, there are a few similar story beats (this time it’s Vanellope who’s dissatisfied with her lot in life), but on the whole it’s a very different experience.
When Vallenope’s game breaks (literally) her and Ralph journey into the Internet in order to find a replacement part to keep her game from being shut down forever. In order to do so, however, they have to find clever ways to make money online, from in-game bounty hunting to viral meme creation. The result are some hilarious jokes that not only poke fun at internet culture, but also at Disney/the movie itself.
There’s obviously more that goes into the film, but if you missed out on it in theaters, I don’t want to spoil the whole thing. If you have already watched it, then you’ll be happy to hear that the jokes and overall film still holds up nicely. In fact, there were several minor things (the backgrounds are packed) I missed the first time around that made the second experience even more fun.
What holds up best, however, and what I enjoyed the most about the film the first time around, is its primary theme. The overall message in Ralph Breaks the Internet isn’t about being comfortable and accepting of who you are (as the first movie was), but instead about how to accept change and being accepting of OTHERS for who they are. Ralph’s attempts to control Vanellope and keep her close nearly ruins their friendship, and the Internet in general, so he must learn what it means to be a supportive friend and accepting the circumstances.
It’s a powerful message and something I feel is super important for everyone (kids especially) to experience. It showcases the problem with “toxic” relationships and the benefits in learning to let go. It stood out to me when I saw it in theaters and it’s still just as strong seeing it on the smaller screen at home.
While the marketing for the film before its launch focused on the humor and sight-gags (which are still hilarious), the film stands strong on its story of friendship and thematic elements. For me, that makes it more than worthwhile and will endure even as some of it’s meme-based jokes fall out of style.
Sight and Sound
Visually speaking, Ralph Breaks the Internet is absolutely stunning and DENSE. Every frame of this film is packed to the brim with details that are easy to miss, but make the digital world feel alive in a very real way. Couple that with Disney’s impressive animation and it’s just a gorgeously detailed flick. Fortunately, the blu-ray HD transfer makes all of this stand out in crystal clear detail.
The variety of colors shine brightly, while the blacks are deep, keeping everything crisp and sharp. It, simply put, looks amazing on the TV at home and I can only imagine the 4K release (I was sent the blu-ray version for my review) is even more amazing.
The sound transfer is also great, and thrusts you into the middle of the bustling internet world, and the dangers of the Slaughter Race. From a technical perspective, this blu-ray brings the goods and spotlights the already impressive look and sounds of the film.
The Bonus Features
As always, Disney has loaded up a plethora of bonus features (on a separate disc) into their blu-ray release of Ralph Breaks the Internet:
How We Broke the Internet – Go behind the scenes at Walt Disney Animation Studios to get an in-depth look at how the filmmakers brought a world to life that billions of people visit every day but never actually see – the internet. Take a front-row seat as the team reveals the inspirations for the story and what it took to bring it to the screen. Discover all that went into developing the characters of the film including netizens like KnowsMore as well as characters like Double Dan. See the lengths the team took to create the car chase scenes in Slaughter Race and much, much more.
Surfing for Easter Eggs – Surf the web for the near-countless Easter Eggs, inside jokes and references hidden throughout the movie.
The Music of Ralph Breaks the Internet – Take a look at the music of Ralph Breaks the Internet with appearances by Imagine Dragons, Julia Michaels, Alan Menken, Sarah Silverman and more.
Deleted Scenes – Five deleted scenes with intros from directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston. Scenes include Into the Internet, Opposites, Domestic Hell, Bubble of One & Recruiting “Grandma.”
BuzzzTube Cats – Many videos were created by the animators to fill the screens of the Internet world…and lots of them are of cats! Check out the BuzzzTube to watch this hilarious cat compilation.
Music Videos - “Zero” by Imagine Dragons and “In This Place” by Julia Michaels.
The primary making of featurette is a half-hour long, making it feel fairly comprehensive in terms of behind the scenes material and showing how the film came together. The Easter Egg feature is nice as well, showing you many of the hidden gems throughout the film you more than likely missed. In all, it’s a pretty solid set of special features for fans and movie lovers to enjoy, adding in more bang for your buck.