My opinion right after watching the movie
My opinion right after watching the film is that I kind of got what I was expecting from it. I knew that the pop-culture references were not going to be over-the-top or irritating, and that the film was going to take a more characterized place. It pushed some boundaries that I was not expecting, and was enlightened when they went in that angle. I had a lot of fun, but at the same time, I was underwhelmed with the new characters, the older characters not Vanellope or Ralph be completely sidelined, and the pacing in the first half could have been better.
A bit before the film was released in November 2012, it was stated by Rich Moore that there were ideas of a sequel, and most of the crew were open to return for a sequel. The rumours kind of grew from there, and confirmation was made in 2014 when composer Henry Jackman that the script was already written for the story, and voice actors reprising their roles. It was confirmed in March 2016 that the sequel would be about travelling through the internet, with a release date of March 2018, but it was pushed to November.
There were 2 different versions of the script; one being that Vanellope would become internet famous and self-absorbed, with Ralph getting arrested and breaking out with someone to save Vanellope from herself. The second version involved Ralph being internet famous, and challenged by a virus-villain. Ultimately, it was their goal to focus on Vanellope and Ralph’s friendship, and the theme of “change”, instead of the internet being anything more than the setting of the film. A lot of the more negative and serious elements of the internet was included in the film, after the success of Zootopia, which covered racial and gender issues.
The movie starts with Ralph (John C. Reily) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) hang out all nights after their shifts, and go through many games via extension chord, where Ralph is satisfied with his life. It has been 6 years since the first film. Ultimately, the WIFI is plugged into the extension chord, and Vanellope is curious about it especially due to knowing her game in and out, and wanting to learn something new. Of course this leads to the rising action, which takes place the following morning when Ralph enters her game, and makes a detour route. Vanellope drives through it (causing the kid playing the game to lose control and to break the game), and due to the wheel of the machine being too expensive to buy, and the game not making much profit anyways, it is plugged out of the extension chord.
So they make their way into the internet and it’s cool to see that people become icons on the internet, and to see all of the brilliant world building (which Wreck-it Ralph has always been good in). Vanellope and Ralph make large bets of money for the steering wheel, but they have absolutely no concept of money, and bought it for $27,000 to be shipped to the arcade address. They have no credit card number, and need to buy it in 24 hours, or else they will lose the item. An ad person appears, causing them to approach him to make the amount of money they need, which causes them to ride go to the game Slaughter Race. We meet Shank (Gal Gadot), who does anything to make sure that no one wins her car, and of course problems arise when they steal the car.
Ultimately, the Slaughter Race crew end up speaking to Ralph, and are very understanding of their dilemma, so they create a viral video, and are suggested to go to Buzztume, where someone called Yesss (Taraji P. Henson) will pay them if their video goes viral. I like how they tackled on the obsession with likes and viewership in this movie, and how people get consumed with trying to trend all over again to saturate the market.
Ralph ends up in a room that is designated to Buzztube comments, and while he sees a bunch of positive comments initially, he sees the negative ones, and becomes depressed. Yesss approaches him, and comforts him about the good and bad of the internet, while he rants about how the only heart that counts, is Vanellopes. Ultimately, he is told that he has the amount of hearts needed to buy the steering wheel, which he contacts Vanellope about. Speaking of Vanellope, she finally has her “I Want” song, and we learn that she wants to stay on the internet to be a part of the unpredictable Slaughter Race.
He calls her again, and overhears her talking to Shank about wanting to stay, since it is unpredictable, and could never tell Ralph due to not wanting to break his heart. Ralph does not understand that friends do not have to have the same dream, and wants to make the Slaughter Race seem boring to her. This leads to him wanting to cause a virus in the game. Overall, the game starts to glitch, and she thinks it’s her fault. Ralph goes in to save her, or else she will due, and we……. ultimately have the stupid “liar’s revealed/friends pointlessly fight” that’s in every movie. After their fight, and Vanellope throwing the necklace she made for him away, the virus creates duplicate, and more insecure versions of himself.
The Ralphs get out of control, and start to destroy the internet. He has to end up deleting the other Ralphs, and we have the climax where the two of them have to take on all the Ralphs. Honestly, it was kind of anticlimatic, but we see Vanellope willing to sacrifice herself so Ralph will be let go, but Ralph tells the virus that it’s not good to hold a friend back. The virus goes away by Ralph fixing his insecurities, and the Disney Princesses saving him from falling with their powers.
I already covered above that Ralph and Vanellope are the only important ones to discuss in this film. e literally see Calhoun for one scene, and Felix for two scenes that did not include the epilogue, and both were in the very beginning. Seeing them adjust as parents would have been interesting, but they outright neglect it. I guess it is preferable than just forcing them to have screen time (ala Marlin and Nemo in Finding Dory), but still disappointing. Yesss is cool enough, but she was only there to really support Ralph, and the same thing for Shank to Vanellope. Neither one of them were very present either to really stand out.
I really do not have much to say about the animation, since it’s exactly what you would expect from Disney, this franchise, and an internet-travel movie. A bunch of details, and a bright colour-scheme with some cool character designs. Everything is really good.
The score for this film is not as memorable as it was in the first film, and I think it’s not set in a specific place, outside of the internet, where the first film was stuck in select games. What really brought this film up was Vanellope’s “I Want” song.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on November 21st, it has (as of December 22nd 2018) made $159 million domestically, and $131 million in other territories, adding up to a worldwide amount of $289.8 million. It topped the weekend charts for the first 3 weeks, and had the second-largest Thanksgiving opening, behind Frozen. Critically, it did well with people claiming that it is good that they focused on the main relationship, and offered some good jokes/puns, but most people thought it was still not as good as the original, and some even saw the film as kind of cheap.
29/40 = 73%