James Cole Clay has been working as a film critic for the better part of a decade covering new releases, blu ray reviews and the occasional drive-in cult classic. His writing is dedicated to discovering social politics through diverse voices, primarily focusing on Women In Film and LGBTQ cinema.
James C. Clay // Film Critic
Rated PG, 111 minutes.
Director: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
Cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Taraji P. Henson, Gal Gadot, Bill Hader
Available Tuesday 2/26 on Blu-ray, 4K and Digital through Disney Home Entertainment.
Admittedly, the WRECK IT RALPH films are not my thing. The glitchy, hyper-sugared brand of animation is stressful, and it appeals a bit too much to child-like sensibilities. However, that’s not to say the sequel, RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET, isn’t without its creative triumphs. For a film that lacks in the story department and becomes a bit repetitive with how “cute” the Internet can be, there is a ton of creative energy put into this project.
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET follows the now reformed video game villain Wreck It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and his friendship with Sugar Rush Princess Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) on an adventure through the inter webs to save her racing game, Sugar Rush, from being unplugged. The film is filled with viral gags and an impressive voice cast, which includes Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson and Bill Hadar. However, this sequel doesn’t amount to much more than a frivolous piece of filmmaking made for kiddos.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Surprisingly these features provide an excellent look behind the momentous task of making a CGI animated film.
Surfing For Easter Eggs: Disney absolutely loves throwing hidden references to their characters and films in unexpected moments. It’s a way to give nods to the fans and pat themselves on the back. This little feature takes us through all the hidden references to the Disney catalogue in RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET.
The Music of Ralph Breaks The Internet: Hands down the most interesting documentary in the film. As the creators call it finding “The sound of the internet” is seemingly impossible, but composer Henry Jackman discusses music theory and bringing the unconscious sounds to life. Hearing and seeing the blueprint of sounds come to life is, dare I say, a bit magical.
Buzztube Cats: The internet loves cat videos. This is the place where Disney meets viral cat videos. It’s mostly a novelty feature, but it is a cute enough way to spend the next 107 seconds of your life.
How We Broke The Internet: It must be tough to actualize “the Internet,” as it’s an amorphous blob of information. This special feature goes deep into how the story team at Disney gave the internet a physical representation. Now as we have established, this movie isn’t my thing, but it’s fascinating to see brilliant minds at work. The making of this film was no easy task. Disney has all the resources in the world. It may look easy on the surface, but this feature shines a light on creators who often don’t get any spotlight. It’s not just directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston who put in all the work; we get a look inside the creative process of head of story Josie Trinidad and co-writer Pamela Ribon.
Deleted Scenes: Making an animated film is a laborious process, and before anything can be put into animation, the story has to be perfectly calibrated. These features show the storyboards with commentary by directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, who provide context for why the scene was cut. Either way, this is yet another look behind the veil of the animation process.
Our interview with directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore: