Writers and directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston introduced us to to an unorthodox bad guy in 2012 with “Wreck it Ralph” and have once again won us over with the long awaited sequel “Ralph Breaks the Internet”. The original cast is back- Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly); Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman); Felix ( voiced by Jack McBrayer) and Calhoun (voiced by Jane Lynch) and the newbies- Yess (voiced by Taraji P. Henson); and Shank (voiced by Gal Gadot) add to the excitement of the new adventure.
I had the opportunity to sit with them during a tour stop in Philadelphia and see the story unfold in their eyes. Recall during, “Wreck it Ralph” that Ralph no longer wanted to be the bad guy but had dreams of being a hero. He sets out to do so by earning a medal which is later taken by Vanellope. In a series of twist and turns the two ultimately team up and become best friends.
Why another arcade? Although it starts there, the writers realized that it had to be contemporary and quickly came up with the idea of plugging in a router to show their gateway to the superhighway.
“If the kid likes me, how bad can I be” We can't define ourselves by what our friends think of us. Vanellope is a great best friend but what if she doesn't like him one day? This is when Moore and Johnston realized they had more work to do and Ralph had more growing. Healthy relationships are important. We want relationships that are equal and open.
Why the Monster? It was the easiest way to show what Ralph's self doubt and insecurity could do to a relationship. It also fueled the grip that Ralph held on Vanellope and was a piece of what she felt inside unable to be honest.
I am a princess too. It doesn't matter where you come from, you can be a princess and follow your dreams. A common Disney theme but the movie adds a human modern day touch to it. “Oh My Disney” reminded me instantly of the “Dream Big Princess” campaign and I quickly alerted the writers that this could be a new movie in the making.
The film shows a funny romp of what powers the internet- search engines, pop up ads, social media and I especially love the reminder to not read the comments. The creativity led to many laugh out loud moments and a few tears.
Have your tissues ready because both writers agree that an emotional ending is earned based on the love shared between Ralph and Vanellope. It's also a great opportunity to discuss relationships. “The simple fact is, relationships take hard work and nurturing. In a world where we are so encamped and polarized, I think it's not bad that people think just because you think differently doesn't mean we can't have a dialogue.”
It's a great movie for the family but don't leave once the film ends. Stay for the bonus during the credits.