Ralph Breaks the Internet, the fun sequel to 2012’s Wreck-it Ralph, is now in theaters and I’ve already seen it twice! After attending the red carpet premiere of the film and taking the family to see it, I’m thrilled to share my no-spoilers review from a parent perspective.
About Ralph Breaks the Internet
Video-game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and best friend Vanellope (voice of Sarah Silverman) leave the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game. Their quest takes them to the vast world of the internet, a world Vanellope wholeheartedly embraces—so much so that Ralph worries he may lose the only friend he’s ever had.”
As you might expect from a movie set in the internet, there is A LOT going on! You’ll be bombarded with visuals and activity, much like you are online. Though that might be tiresome for some, the details and animation that went into making it believable (and hilarious) are next-level! Truly, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ work here is mind-blowing! There are so many internet details and Disney Easter eggs that you can see the movie multiple times and not catch it all! With that in mind though, if your kids are young and not really online – they’re not going to get 90% of the internet themed jokes. Those are all there for teens and adults who really use the internet frequently. We saw the movie with an age range of people ages 6-67 and the humor hit best for those in the middle range of that age span. The adults were laughing a lot more than the kids.
One of my favorite things Disney sometimes does is have “meta” moments and poke fun at itself. The first time I can really remember seeing this done well was with Enchanted. It is one of my favorite Disney movies because of it (SO funny) and Ralph Breaks the Internet takes this satirizing, meta humor to the next level as well. There are MULTIPLE places where this happens throughout the film (including the credits so be sure to stay ALL the way through). But my favorite are the scenes with the Disney princesses! Pamela Ribon did a BRILLIANT job coming up with this idea and writing it (you can read more about how the Disney princesses came to be in the film here). So brilliant – so good! Hard core Disney fans are going to notice SO many fun details, all the way down to the music. The princess moments are actually my favorite in the whole movie!
Is it OK for kids?
Just like the original Wreck-it Ralph, the movie is rated PG and is similar in terms of the overall level of jokes that will go over their heads, scariness, and crude humor. The internet jokes are similar to the gaming jokes in the first one (though, I’d say that there is more of that in this movie than the first). There is no bad language, but you do certainly get the words like “stupid”, “buttload”, etc. The potty humor that was there in the first one is there again. So, if they’ve seen the first movie and did ok with it, I think they’ll probably be fine with this one.
With that said though, there are a few things that kick this movie up a notch for me in terms of potential scary areas or issues for parents. This scene gives you one idea:So, there are really a couple of villains of sorts in the film. This guy is just gross. But there is an element of darkness (including the dark net) to this one scene that some kids might find scary. The bigger concern for me though (literally and figuratively) is the way in which the internet actually breaks…and the creepiness factor of the main “villain”. It’s something that I can see some kids being scared by and/or not really understanding. Our littlest guy (6) did seem a bit scared during that scene. But didn’t seem bothered by it after. Parents also should be aware that the game “Slaughter Race” in the movie is a sort of glamorized, Disney-fied version of something like Grand Theft Auto. It’s clearly a dark and violent game. Elements in that might scare some younger kiddos (you can see a few parts in the trailer) and parents who aren’t keen on letting kids play video games like that might not like that aspect of the movie.
Also, the movie might be a good starting point for talking about issues about the internet. At 11, 8, and 6, my kids aren’t really online. They don’t have phones, social media accounts, etc. So, they really don’t have the framing to understand A LOT of the movie. And there was one part in particular that really got me. Ralph happens upon some social media comments and true to real life, many of the comments are awful & ugly. So that sort of thing might really raise some questions for younger viewers and potentially be good talking points for families.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fun sequel that families can enjoy together this holiday season. Age and level of experience with the internet will greatly impact individual reactions to the film, but there is likely something everyone can find entertaining and enjoyable in it. I also think there are some good takeaways – about relationships, insecurities, and technology/social media.
Be sure to stay through the credits for TWO fun scenes!
Disclosure: Disney hosted me in LA in order to attend screenings and to participate in group interviews & media events. As always, all opinions, experiences, and love of Disney are entirely my own!