Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #57: Ralph Breaks the Internet

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So occasionally I will actually watch movies made for grownups and recently Ms Mouse and I saw Rocketman, which I can best describe as “Bohemian Rhapsody but not terrible”. Apart from quality the two movies are scarily similar but then I suppose that’s just the nature of musical bio-pics. They all follow the same pattern: You  start out with our protagonist living in grim, post-war Britain, all cobble-streets, glass milk bottles and tuberculosis. You have the unsupportive parents saying “Yew’ll nevah make nuffin o’ yoself” and then the moment where they decide to rename themselves from Rodney McBorningname to Elvis Stardazzle and then fame, fortune, a sleazy manager played by a Game of Thrones alum, rises, falls, break-ups, breakdowns and a moment where the protagonist’s oldest and dearest friend from childhood reads them the riot act.

What does this have to do with Ralph Breaks the Internet? Because if the Disney canon was a musical biopic, this movie would be the point in the story where Elvis Stardazzle is slumped over a table in a trashed mansion covered in a thick layer of cocaine and groupie juice, having driven away all the people who ever loved him with his massive ego and unwillingness to see how far he’s gone off the rails.

Guys, I’m not going to toy with you on this. I fucking hate this movie. My brother, the Unscrupulous Mouse, declared this the worst Disney canon movie since Dinosaur and, while I can’t agree, I really want to.  Can I sit here and tell you that animation is worse than Chicken Little? No. Can I tell you that it’s worse directed than Home on the Range? Well…I mean…no. No I can’t do that. What’s wrong with Wreck It Ralph 2 isn’t anything to do with the animation or direction or voice cast but with an attitude of insufferable all-encompassing smugness that sets me little mouse teeth right on edge. Everything from that FUCKING title to the instant datedness of the references to the obnoxious “what you gonna do about it?” reminders of the Disney corporation’s near cultural stranglehold on every nook and cranny of pop culture. I hate it. I hate this. I hate what Disney’s become.

So the movie begins exactly six years after the last one and literally nothing has changed. Ralph and Vanellope are still best friends, Felix and Calhoun are still happily married and everything’s great because the last movie had a happy ending with every little thing tied up neatly and ain’t that a promising start to a new story?

See, Wreck it Ralph 2 is the type of sequel that used to be very common but is becoming a much rarer beast; a continuation of a story that was never intended to be continued. It’s easy to forget in this era of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and Marvel’s ongoing multi-movie Wagnerian opera on Magic Glowing Rocks and the Men Who Love Them that standard operating procedure in Hollywood used to be make a movie, then if it made money make a sequel narrative logic be damned. Which is not to say that you can’t make a good movie continuing the story of a film that was all nice and wrapped up the first time around. Pixar have made something of an art-form of that. I thought Toy Story 2 was going to suck, I really thought Toy Story 3 was going to suck and part of me even thinks Toy Story 4 is going to suck despite all evidence to the contrary.

But it’s a harder plough to row, or something. Basically, it means you have to spend time unpicking a perfectly good happy ending.

So Mr. Litwack, who has somehow managed to maintain a video arcade as a financially viable enterprise in 2018, has finally decided to give them there interwebs a try and has connected his arcade to an online server. The game characters are confused as to what the internet is, and Sonic the Hedgehog helpfully explains that “the internet is an online community where human beings go to shop, and play games, and socialize.

“It’s a mad, dangerous place, where they will rip you to pieces if you show up with the wrong teeth.”

Yeah, I’m sorry. I call bullshit. There is literally no computer game character less suited to make the “the internet is such a cool place!” pitch than Sonic the Hedgehog. If this movie was honest, the second that server showed up Sonic would be huddled in a ball in the corner screaming “Oh God! No! The furries! Don’t let them get me!”

Anyway, Surge Protector shows up and tells them to stay off the internet and do something healthy, like play video games i.e. do their darn jobs.

Ralph is loving life but Vanellope is finding the horrific monotony of being the digital plaything of unthinking god-children day in-day out to be a bit of a bummer and asks Ralph if he ever gets bored and Ralph replies that of course not, he could never be sick and tired of his game’s routine. I mean, who would even do that? Not Wreck it Ralph.

However, he does decide to surprise Vanellope by creating a new track for her in her game. During a Sugar Rush race, Vanellope discovers the new track and is so excited that she actually wrests control of the game from the human player.

IT BEGINS.

The girl who’s playing the game tries so hard to regain control that she ends up breaking the game’s steering wheel. Litwack is able to find a replacement online but it’s too expensive so he decides to take the ol’ Sugar Rush game back behind the woodshed and put it out of its misery. Realising that the game is about to be unplugged, all the inhabitants of Sugar Rush are forced to flee for their very lives. So, to recap: Because of Vanellope’s reckless and unpredictable actions, the entire game world of Sugar Rush has been destroyed and its inhabitants made homeless.

Well. I think someone deserves an apology.

The resulting refugee crisis is quickly and easily dealt with as these things so often are with the homeless game characters being re-housed without anyone make much of a fuss about it. All that remains are the fifteen racing characters led by Taffeta Muttonfudge, played in the original by Mindy Kahling and by Melissa Villaseñor hereWhy was Kahling replaced? Not a clue, but I’m convinced it goes all the way to the White House. Anyway, Calhoun and Felix decide to adopt the racers despite the fact that they were coded by Satan himself. This little subplot goes more or less nowhere, folks.

Anyway, Vanellope is feelin’ kinda blue what with having doomed her entire world, but Ralph has an idea: they’ll go on the internet themselves and order a new steering wheel for Sugar Rush, thus saving the game (literally).

I have to say, I do like the movie’s visualisation of the internet, and I don’t even have a problem with the fact that it doubles as advertising for pretty much every major app and website Disney could get their grubby little tentacles on. I mean, there’s an episode of the Simpsons where they introduce “Steve Mobs”, the founder of “Mapple” (because it was Season 20 and the fucks the writers had once given had receded far into the mists of legend) and I always find that kind of thing intensely distracting. So I don’t mind that Google and YouTube exist in this world. It does irk me a little that somehow there are sites like “KnowsMore” and “Buzzztube” that exist alongside Google and YouTube and do the exact same thing. Ah well, maybe this universe just has better anti-trust laws.

Ralph and Vanellope ask KnowsMore, a search engine voiced by Alan Tudyk, where they can find the steering wheel they need. By this point I’m not actually sure that Tudyk isn’t an old-time Disney voice actor who was cryogenically frozen and woke up in a strange new world. He just brings a classic quality to his voice work. I also love the design, very fifties Disney.

They head over to E-Bay and bid for the steering wheel but, because they’re computer game characters with no concept of currency larger than a quarter, they end up over-bidding with no way to pay for it and if they can’t scrounge up the dough in 24 hours they’ll lose the wheel. So now we have our ticking clock. Well actually, we already had our ticking clock, with Litwack planning to get rid of Sugar Rush, but now our ticking clock has a ticking clock. To raise the money, they turn to a shady spam-bot named J.P. Spamley who promises to help them make money by playing video games. Since making money by playing video games is literally their entire reason for existing, Ralph and Vanellope are all in.

Their first job is to steal a car from a MMORPG called Slaughter Race which is like Grand Theft Auto without the gentle humanism. The car is owned by the game’s boss, Shank, voiced by Gal Gadot.

“Wow! Legendary voice actor Gal Gadot! But she has one of the most iconic and recognisable voices in the history of animation!”

“Down boy! Heel! Heel!”

“What the fuck Mouse?”

“I know.”

“What even the fuck?”

“I know, I know.”

Nothing against Gadot as an actor but let’s be honest. This is celebrity voice casting to a degree that even Dreamworks at their worst would be embarassed by.

“Nah. Shame is for the weak.”

The pair almost succeed in jacking Shank’s car but get caught by Shank’s gang. Shank is impressed enough with Vanellope’s driving skills that she offers to show them how to make money by making videos on the internet.

Not like that. They record Ralph getting blasted in the face with a leaf blower on Shank’s smartphone which they then upload to BuzzzTube, the “Senor Spielbergo” of video platforms. This video of Ralph getting blown (not like that) is utterly pointless, devoid of any intellectual merit and asinine to the point of being medically dangerous. It, of course, becomes a massive hit.

Ralph and Vanellope head over to BuzzzTube where they meet Yessss, the algorithim that decides what chunks of digital gristle rise to the top of the trough on any given day and ask for her help in raising the money they need to buy the steering wheel. Ralph says that he’ll do anything, no matter how stupid, degrading, immoral or dangerous to become famous on the internet and Yessss is all “welcome home”.

“Alright you gotta listen to me. You know how you make it big online? PUPPETS.”

This next sequence is…

Okay, you remember Moana? Sure you do. Great flick. Remember though how there was one part of it that we all swore never to speak of again?

“It’s called tw…”

DON’T SAY IT we all remember that part, right? Okay. Take the awful, cringe-inducing crapitude of that one line of dialogue and stretch it out to minutes on end and you have the sequence where Ralph appears in multiple pastiches of famous YouTube videos and scores of hyucking office drones just eat up. If I wanted to convince aliens to nuke the human race from orbit, I’d show them this clip. Honestly, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think this was the most searing inditement of humanity in general and internet culture specifically that had ever been put to film. Perhaps Phil Johnston and Pamela Ribon are our Prophet Jeremiah, exhorting us in fiery tones to repent and turn to the rightgeous path before it is too late? If only. It’s honestly remarkable to watch a movie literally dating as you watch it. I wonder if this will even be comprehensible to people watching five years from now?

So Ralph becomes a viral sensation much like Ebola, and Yesss mobilises an army of algorithims to draw an ever larger army of drooling cretins to watch Ralph’s audio-visual effluent. Vanellope wants to help but Ralph doesn’t want her going back to Slaughter Race so instead he sends her to Oh My Disney! where Oh My! Disney!

“What?”

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

“Just touch it. You know you want to.”

“NO! PUT IT AWAY!”

“C’mon, just touch it.”

“I AM MARRIED.”

“What’s going on…OH MY GOD!”

“SWEETIE PLEASE IT’S NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!”

“He came on to me! He’s been coming on to me for years!”

“Somehow, deep down, I always knew.”

It’s a hell of a thing to watch a multi-billion dollar media conglomerate just straight up stroking itself in front of you like a famous comedian about to be hit with a hashtag. Anyway, after Disney finishes rubbing our faces in the fact that it owns Star Wars, Marvel, the Muppets, the works of AA Milne and the entire Western canon from Beowulf onward we get to that scene. You know the one I mean. This scene is to Wreck it Ralph 2 what the Milk Bar scene is to Clockwork Orange. The one thing that everyone remembers. The crown jewel. The virtual raison d’etre of the entire movie.

The Princess scene.

Oh. How I loathe thee.

It happens during the Oh My Disney sequence (the worst scenes in this thing nest within each other like the devil’s’ own matroyshka dolls) when Vanellope finds one of those “What Disney Princess Am I?” apps (I’m Ariel. I mean. I imagine that’s what I’d be. If I ever took the test. I wouldn’t. Obviously.)

Vanellope arrives just as some random little girl is getting told that she’s Snow White.

“Oh. Goodie.”

So kids, this is what your beloved Disney princess are doing now that their movies are over. Toiling away in a tawdry virtual sweatshop, waiting in a backroom to be summoned forth to earn a few clicks for Uncle Walt.

So Vanellope has to give some stormtroopers the slip and ends up in the Princess hutch where the other princess’ ask her questions to determine if she’s actually a princess. Which she says she is even though a) she renounced her crown at the end of Wreck it Ralph, 2)   she was a queen not a princess and 3) what’s my girl Eilonwy gotta do to get some love?

“Its fine! Its fine.”

Oh, but hey, did you know that a lot of the Disney Princess movies had some regressive gender politics? You did? Because you’ve got a working brain and access to oxygen? Well how about the Disney corporation just hammer the point home for like ten minutes, how’s that sound? Prepare to have your minds blown with the stunning revelation that OMG MOST DISNEY PRINCESSES DON’T HAVE MOMS.

Watching Disney try to show how woke it is by mocking the older princess movies was kinda fun when they did it in Enchanted (if you’re into that kind of thing, ya sick animal) but, guess what, that movie came out a dozen years ago. We also got it in Princess and the Frog, Frozen and Moana (Tangled more or less just got on with telling its story and didn’t bother). These tropes have been pretty thoroughly deconstructed by this point. To put it another way; this dead horse is now a fine horse powder.

Secondly, after taking all this time and expense to transcribing all the Princess designs into CGI and wrangling all the living original voice actors (with the perfectly fair exception of Mary Costa who’s probably a bit old in the tooth to be voicing the 16 year old Aurora), what do they do? How do they use this historic opportunity of uniting all of the canon Disney princesses (plus Merida) in one epic tale?

They have a slumber party and talk about clothes.

How far we’ve come.

In conclusion, this is humanity’s greatest crime.

Counterpoint, the fact that Merida is this weird interloper that no one understands or really knows why she’s there? Yeah, okay, that got a chuckle.

On the advice of the other Princesses, Vanellope goes and stares at a puddle until she starts hallucinating. You know. One of those puddles on the internet. The internet puddles?

This leads us into the movie’s only pre-credits song (thank God for small mercies) A Place Called Slaughter Race. 

Now, I regret to inform you all that some legalistic churl has taken the footage for Am I Feeling Love? off YouTube so you’ll just have to take my word for it that, damn it, it’s no Am I Feeling Love?

Firstly, it’s Sarah Silverman singing and “Sarah Silverman singing” is a sequence of words that I’d expect to see in the Book of Revelation after the words “And Lo, I beheld…”

But let’s be honest, Idina Menzel, Jodie Benson and Paige O’Hara tackling this as a trio Supremes-style couldn’t make this musical turkey fly. Family Guy has done better parodies of Disney songs than this. Yeah, I said it.

Meanwhile, Ralph finally gets enough views to translate into enough money to buy the steering wheel but makes the mistake of reading the comments on one of his videos where he learns that everyone thinks he’s stupid and hates him as is only right and proper.

Ralph’s self-esteem then gets another blow when he tries to get in touch with Vanellope and overhears her talking to Shank about how much she wants to be part of Slaughter Race. Oh yeah. She just wants to leave her game and join another game. Which, spoiler alert, she eventually does and everyone is just cool with it. I remember a time when somebody Going Turbo would have scandalised the entire parish! Now it’s just perfectly normal. They’ll be marrying each other next, you mark my words.

Ralph is so upset by this that he goes to Spamley to ask his help in shutting Slaughter Race down. Spamley takes him to the Dark Web where a worm named Double Dan gives him an “insecurity virus” named Arthur to infect Slaughter Race with. How Arthur works is that he finds insecurities in data and then replicates them throughout the entire programme. Unfortunately, this proves catastrophic for Slaughter Race as Arthur replicates Vanellope’s glitchiness which causes the whole game to crash. Yeah, so remember when we were told that Vanellope wasn’t actually a glitch and she just seemed glitchy because King Candy tampered with her programming? No, turns out she really is a glitch.

“Well? I’m waiting.”

Vanellope is furious at Ralph because he almost got her killed (fair) and throws the candy medal she made for him into a bottomless void full of relics of the internet’s past like Napster, MySpace and a version of The Onion that’s still culturally relevant.

Arthur, meanwhile, escapes from Slaughter Race and sees Ralph, who’s now 100% insecure and duplicates him over and over until he becomes a rampaging swarm of Ralphs who threaten to overrun the entire internet. Yessss rescues Ralph and Vanellope from the horde and Ralph looks down and says “Wow. From up here I can see how I come across as needy and clingy and self-destructive.”

Writing.

Okay, fair’s fair. As a metaphor for how the internet amplifies people’s insecurities and turns them into rampaging narcissitic monsters this is actually pretty good. The core of RBTI is actually strong, I just wish so much of it’s running time wasn’t Disney giving itself hairy palms. Anyway, the Ralphs merge into a massive Uber-Ralph and Vanellope offers to stay with the monster if it will just stop its rampage and whatnot. But Ralph, realising that he can’t let Vanellope do that, talks to his own insecurities and gets the monster to understand that if you love someone you have to let them go and yadda yadda you know what the deal is. The monster melts away and Ralph gets rescued from certain death by all the Disney Princesses in the most overly elaborate way possible. Oh, and Ariel and Pocahontas have super-powers now whatever, I don’t even care.

And the movie ends with Ralph and Vanellope starting a new long distance friendship and Ralph assuring Felix that everything’s going to be alright.

Or will it?

Dun dun dun.

***

My friends, I regret to tell you that everybody’s wrong. Rotten Tomatoes is wrong, the movie-going public that flocked to see it were wrong and the Academy were wrong for nominating it for Best Animated Feature. Thankfully, at least, it didn’t win because if Into the Spider-Verse had lost to this pile of crap that would have been my super-villain origin. Infuriatingly, there is a decent movie here with some actually pretty clever things to say about the internet and how we live our online lives. But it’s just buried under a pile of smug, self-congratulatory wank, asinine fanservice and instantly dated memes.

“Hey, maybe you should put in another twenty year old Simpsons gif while you fling your stones from the window of your glass house.”

“Quiet you.”

It’s not the worst movie in the canon, but it’s easily the one for which I have the most contempt.

Animation: 15/20 

Excellent as usual, but I’m docking a few points for re-used art assets from other movies, whatever the fuck they did to Cinderella’s design and because I feel like it and it’s my blog so there.

Leads: 05/20

Ralph Breaks his Character.

Villain: N/A

On the internet, the villain is us.

Supporting Characters: 03/20

It’s like a Twilight Zone episode where you die and go to heaven and all your favourite characters are there but they’re awful and you realise oh wait, this isn’t heaven.

Music: 07/20

A Place Called Slaughter Race just pipped Lack of Education from The Fox and the Hound for my Least Favourite Disney Song (Non-Sequel Category). On the plus side, I do kinda dig Zero by Imagine Dragons. Okay. I definitely dig it. Okay, it rocks. Okay, I want it played at my funeral, happy?

The first stinger

 Baby Moana (seriously, they just re-sued the character model) sits watching the movie on a tablet and complains to her mother that the movie was missing a scene that was in the trailers. Her mother suggests she plays a video game. She does, and then Ralph appears in the game and keeps feeding the bunny pancakes until it explodes like Mr Creoste, presumably scarring her for life.

And the audience went

Look, I’m as game for a good old fashioned “small child traumatised” joke as anyone but not in a DISNEY MOVIE. Jesus! This is the worst cause of misjudging the tone since Dreamworks put a prison-rape joke in Puss and Boots (oh yeah, you forgot about that, didn’t ya?).

The second stinger

The movie pretends that we’re going to see a teaser for Frozen 2 and instead we get Ralph rick-rolling us.

And the audience went:

 

Yeeeah. Movie, you’re assuming that after watching you I have any enthusiasm for Frozen 2 left.

Hey, was that Stan Lee?!

That was Stan Lee, as an avatar in the Oh My Disney! sequence.

Hey what’s Than…

Nah man, we’re done. We’re done.

FINAL SCORE: 38%

NEXT UPDATE: 27 June 2019

NEXT TIME: Be honest, if any US president was going to build giant killer robots, it was going to be Nixon.

 

48 comments

  1. My biggest problem is this turns on the moral of Wreck It Ralph. Instead of being about finding the good in your current life and accepting it this teaches to abandon it and go Turbo. It should have at least mentioned Turbo.

  2. See, this has gotten me real scared for Frozen 2, because I love the trailer’s whole Lord of the Rings vibe and its visuals and everything but uh…after this movie their focus on sequels has me worried about the path Disney is going down. This has been the second Disney Renaissance and now it feels like the Spanish and German armies are sacking Rome and it’s all coming to an end. I was born at the end of the last one. I grew up during the dark ages of Home on the Range. I saw Dinosaur in theaters. I don’t want to go back.

    1. As a Disney Fan who can now explain that they were born a year or two before those bronze doors were hung up on the metaphorical baptistry (inaugurating the Disney Renaissance – no, not that one, the one with fewer pixels) please allow me to thank you for inspiring & demonstrating the proper use of such an excellent metaphor!

      Let’s just hope that we can at least look forward to a Disney Enlightenment, rather than a Long 19th Century of the Animation World (with the House of Mouse as the Honourable East India Company).

  3. Would I be remiss in assuming you wrote this review under a self-imposed challenge to never once mention A Certain Sony Movie like everyone else who’s been trashing this?

  4. See? I told you guys. It’s just like watching the latest shameless fanservice anime, and it leaves you feeling just the same afterwards.

    Not that I happen to know a lot on the subject or anything.

    I wouldn’t be too worried about Frozen II. Unlike this one, that one seems to carry itself over with dignity and some aplomb so far.

  5. You know, “Disney Princesses are basically just corporate mascots who spend their entire post-movie existences not having new adventures or enjoying their happily ever afters but instead serving as digital indentured servants who exist only for photo ops and brand integration” sounds like something someone who hates Disney would write. Disney themselves wrote it. You think Mickey ever does a thousand year stare in the mirror and doesn’t recognize the mouse staring back at him?

    I found this movie more forgettable than offensive. Like, I left the theater thinking I had a decent time, but by the time I got home the experience had melted like sugar in the rain. Still think Frozen 2 will be good; you could tell from the trailers that Ralph 2 wanted to be a smirking exercise in self-wankery, and it delivered on that. If F2’s seemingly epic tone is similarly honest, we should be okay.

    Ah, DOFP, the last good mainline X-Men movie. You’ve still got enjoyable movies after that with Logan and the Deadpools (that should be a soul group), but as far as the team movies go, savor this one.

  6. Hot take and feel free to disagree but is the ‘datedness’ of this film any worse than the production design/backgrounds of 101 Dalmatians?

      1. The sixties gave us Adam West’s Batman, this decade gave us Gotham. The sixties win in a slide.

  7. Never seen this. I was thinking about it but never really felt compelled too. I liked the first one but did not feel the need for a second one. Which, to be fair, you could probably say for most animated movies and there are still some good sequels, but it is still pretty rare. It seemed like a made for DVD sequel, just much better made and with some good stuff in it. And this, along which Frozen 2 for sure, are just made for them to get more money. But I might feel differently if I actually watched it, but again, not really compelled too.

    I don’t know how well Frozen 2 will do but even though the trailers look great I’m still super burnt out on Frozen in general. I liked it well enough but not nearly as much as the general hype for it (Frozen along with Tangled are my least favorite of the Revival era, which is an extremely unpopular opinion especially with Tangled but uuuugggg….)

  8. Is it weird that we have a character called Yessss and my first reaction is that she should look like that Frank Nelson-looking guy who goes “Yessss?” from the Simpsons?

    After seeing “Saving Mr. Banks” I had no doubt that the Disney portion of this film was going to go full on circle-jerk with the amount of properties they own. I’m almost surprised they didn’t have some digital avatar of Uncle Walt come in and fix everything before proclaiming, “That’s right peasants. Disney can fix everything because owns everything. Now prostrate yourself you sheep.”

    Speaking of masturbatory gratification, I’m curious to see what your take on Mystique will be on the upcoming X-Men films.

    1. There are two very different stages of Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique: When she still cares about doing the character and then when she stops giving a damn.

      1. I was thinking more along the lines of the studio propping her up as the most important thing in the X-Men-verse because they got her right when she was becoming famous due to the Hunger Games.

        That’s probably what contributed to her “stops giving a damn” phase.

  9. A little disappointed you hated this so much. I loved it. And no additional points for how great Yesss and Shank are as supporting characters? Sigh…

  10. I’m reasonably certain the late Ronald Reagan has at least a shot at pipping Richard Nixon to the post in any “Giant Robot” stakes race and am utterly delighted that it never occurred to me to watch WRECK IT RALPH the second.

    Alas that this particular course of seconds turned out to be more Richard II than Charles II …

  11. Having seen BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY & ROCKETMAN one would definitely agree that the latter is a significant improvement on the former (presumably because it had one on-form director from start to finish and also benefits from being an actual musical rather than a movie about a band); I still can’t really agree that the former film was Terrible (Flawed but mainly enjoyable would be my verdict).

    Actually I’ll be gobsmacked if ROCKETMAN doesn’t make the transition from screen to stage with ease & grace; to my eyes it has the West End & Broadway written into its very fabric.

  12. Ah, the old ‘sequel that seems like fanfic of the first one.’ With a liberal helping of ‘how do you do, fellow kids’.

  13. Gee Mouse, it sure was a shame you didn’t have a new Disney movie to review this time! Oh well, we’ll just have to watch some other Disney movies that DON’T HAVE SEQUELS in the meantime. I think I’ll watch Wreck-it Ralph, a perfectly good movie with a perfectly good ending that would never need a follow up in any way! It’s one of my favorites! I sure am glad it’s a self- contained movie with great characters who undergo a complete arc!

    *Collapses into a crying mass on the floor*
    If I ignore it it will just go away, if I ignore it it will just go away, if I ignore it it will just go away…

  14. So we got this instead of a Zootopia sequel, because the world couldn’t use some furry allegorial social commentary right now….
    Well, you know what they say: If you clown around with that Copper hound, you’ll wind up hanging on a wall.

  15. Good to see you don’t like this movie – you clearly have taste 🙂

    The thing is, this movie had potential! Ralph relies too much on his friendship with Vanellope – she is the only person he feel comfortable expressing his emotions to. That is something that a lot of men (maybe the majority of men) struggle with.

    The movie doesn’t explore this aspect of toxic masculinity though – Ralph’s dependence on Vanellope is framed as a personal weakness, not the result of a society that makes it very difficult for men to express themselves. Ralph spent years alone in a dump, shunned by others – of course that’s going to make him insecure!

    You could also have connected this to the Felix and Calhoun subplot – they are parents now, and they need to be emotionally available to their adopted children. It’s draining – how are they going to find time for themselves as a couple?

    TL, DR – make the story about emotional labour, and how parenthood and toxic masculinity affects it!

    1. But he *didn’t* rely too much on Vanellope at the end of the first film, though, and that’s what annoyed me so much. Ralph had the Nicelanders, the characters he brought into Fix-it Felix (like Q-bert) and the Bad-Anon support group, as well as Vanellope. She was his best friend, and a big part of his life, but she wasn’t his sole social or emotional outlet. And Ralph turning into a flaming ball of insecurity at the thought of her leaving meant that none of his character growth from the first film carried over to the second.

      1. That’s true, but I don’t think it’s unbelievable that Ralph might have grown closer to Vanellope in the years since the 1st movie and let his other friendships wither.

        The other issue is that Vanellope and Ralph aren’t the same age – in the 1st movie, Vanellope is kind of a brat, and Ralph becomes a surrogate father to her. It’s why he destroys the racing car – “I’m doing this for your own good!”

        In the 2nd movie, the scripts treats them as equals, which is a little jarring since Vanellope (like Peter Pan) will never grow up.

  16. Another stumble for Disney’s canonical sequel movies. I was worried about the attempt at pop culture “cleverness”, but yiiiiikes it looks even worse than I’d imagined.

    What really worries me is that the next few years look like a blend of sequels and unnecessary live-action remakes, with a very heavy emphasis on the latter; we sure seem to be exiting the Restoration years. Here’s to the hope that Fro2en avoids the Disney Sequel Curse.

  17. God this fucking movie. I wanted to turn this movie off with 40 minutes left. I paid extra to see the HD version. God damn this movie. No class, no charm.

  18. Yeah…you hit the nail right on the head, Mouse. I went to see this movie in theatres, thought it was fine, then promptly forgot about it until you announced you were taking a look at it. I have a feeling history will only look unkinder upon this film as the years go by. It’s just not one of those things that’s meant to last, I guess.

  19. I haven’t seen this one but I have seen the Frozen 2 trailer. It really felt like I was watching a Marvel trailer and that gave me a great idea. Have the ending of Frozen 2 be Elsa putting the teseract into that church in Norway Red Skull gets it from in First avenger. Let Disney use its brand synergy for my amusement.

  20. I’m sorry, Mouse, I, uh, liked the Disney princess scenes best. But to be fair, I think it was 75% that I am deeply attracted to Jock!Mulan and 25% that I found Ralph very unlikable in this movie and have always been lukewarm on Vanellope so every time the princesses were onscreen, it was a moment of, “It’s my friends that I actually like!!!!”
    Also, gosh, I *hated* that first stinger. So nasty and meanspirited. And Ralph was already unpleasant in this movie so having him horrifically murder a bunny was just the icing on the “I hate this character” cake.

  21. Hey Mouse: knowing absolutely nothing about Dark Phoenix other than that it apparently underperformed financially, will you be reviewing it as one of the X-Men films?

  22. Honestly, my biggest problem with this movie is how it treats Ralph and Vanellope. It’s not my ONLY problem, mind you. The only things from this movie was the swipe at how shit Merida is and them at least having the class NOT to make the obvious joke about Sonic’s online fandom. This movie is wall to wall start to finish problems. But the biggest one was the two leads.

    This is straight up, full on character assassination. It literally feels like this movie was made by people who haven’t even seen the first one because neither Ralph nor Vanellope are anything like themselves. In the original, they formed a bond so solid that their lives were overall improved for having met each other. So you’re telling me that six years later, it becomes a clingy co-dependency? Who the fuck wanted to see these characters end up this way?

    Ralph goes from a jaded and reserved yet decent and intelligent enough person to a pathetic, obnoxious, creepy, simpering manbaby who is so fucking stupid he makes modern day Homer Simpson look like Stephen Hawking. When he said he’s never felt bored of his life and when he put the virus in Slaughter Race, I was literally sitting there in the theater saying to myself “The Ralph from the first movie wouldn’t do something like this.” Through these two actions he literally became everything he didn’t want to be in the first movie. That isn’t even getting into his frankly incredibly unsettling obsession with Vanellope.

    Vanellope wasn’t exactly the most mature character in the first movie, but here she becomes full on self centered and impulsive, only considering Ralph’s feelings for a few minutes at best before completely ditching him and leaving him waiting for hours. She suddenly just decides to leave literally everything and everyone she knows, everything and everyone that depends on her, with barely a second thought. No one’s gonna miss her? Isn’t she the fan-favorite in her game? Isn’t she just dooming Sugar Rush again by not being around? Why is she allowed to go Turbo to begin with? Why is Ralph completely reviled for doing it yet him trying to keep Vanellope from doing it is seen as clingy and desperate? Why is it that Ralph is the one who has to learn a lesson when Vanellope is the one making the selfish, impulsive, lifechanging choice?

    Like, this dynamic makes no sense. Why is Vanellope tired of routine while Ralph is a slave to it? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Vanellope now able to explore the arcade freely is excited about all the places she’s gotten to go over the years while Ralph is falling back into his old doldrums? That’d make a lot more sense than completely contradicting Ralph’s entire character motivation!

    This sucks because Ralph and Vanellope were once two of my absolute favorite Disney characters, now I can’t even look at them anymore. THIS is how they end up? THIS is what all they fought for in the original ended up amounting to?

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