This sequel to Wreck-It Ralph picks up in real-time, six years since we last saw Ralph and his gang of video game friends. Ralph and Vanellope have spent the last six years worth of nights hanging together in various video game machines throughout Litwak’s Arcade via the power bar interface. Although repetitive, their lives are content until Vanellope tells Ralph one night of her wish for more challenging race tracks in her game. Ralph’s attempt at trying to fulfill Vanellope’s wish causes her arcade game Sugar Rush to break physically in the real world. Their only hope to save Sugar Rush from the trash pile is to acquire the broken part from a place called “eBay,” where they venture via the new Internet connection at Litwak’s Arcade. Soon, Ralph and Vanellope are transported to a vast new infinite world where all our 2D interactions with the Internet are visualized with a 3D interpretation of the web. Along the way, Ralph and Vanellope encounter everything from online avatars, pop-up ads, memes, the dark web, and an online MMORPG called Slaughter Races which introduces the veteran racer Vanellope to a whole new world of racing challenges. Ralph, who sees Vanellope as his first one and only best friend, feels threatened by Vanellope’s growing love of Slaughter Races which might potentially end their friendship and possibly the rest of the Internet.
One of several new characters Ralph and Vanellope meet is Shank, the extremely cool and rebellious top NPC driver from Slaughter Races, voiced very appropriately by actress Gal Gadot, who starred in the Fast and the Furious frachise before being cast as Wonder Woman. Shank quickly earns the respect of Vanellope and vice versa. Despite her tough exterior, Shank is quite the softie, ultimately helping both Ralph and Vanellope during their rough times. There is also Yesss, voiced by Taraji P. Henson, the head algorithm of the website BuzzVideo, who tries to help Ralph become a viral sensation. Watching Ralph do ALL the Internet ‘things’ we all know and love drew several giggles from the audience. Even though Yesss seems all business, she does help Ralph later deal with Internet bullying.
The depiction of the Internet in 3D is insanely ingenious, insightful, and quite hilarious. I would never have imagined an interpretation of computers interfacing with one another to be shown in such a manner. I can’t even imagine how Disney acquired the permission to use several popular websites by actual name in the movie. All the big websites from eBay to Google, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, the IMDB, SnapChat, Instagram, and Amazon are there. The best one depicted, of course, is the one represented by the parent company, OhMyDisney.com, which just lets the production team go wild with all the Disney owned properties they can squeeze on screen. There’s even a very timely cameo of avatar Stan Lee among the Disney crew. After Vanellope encounters the Disney Princesses (as seen in several trailers), Vanellope, through the magic of Disney, even gets her own Disney Princess song composed by Disney Princess songwriting legend Alan Menken himself!
For you post credits watchers, there are two small post-credit scenes. The first happens right after the main credits and the last after all the credits roll. The last post credit scene, appropriately, is a meme. Almost no one stayed for the last post-credit scene, at least for my viewing.
I wish I didn’t have to wait so long for this sequel, but it was definitely worth the wait considering how many things have changed on the web in such a short time period. The ending is one big test of the strength of a friendship, which, like all things, must evolve over time if friends are to remain friends. It’s quite the valuable lesson.