Disney sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 bounds into Cineworld on 30th November, and the first reviews are in.
We re-join arcade game baddie Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and his racing BFF Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) on a journey into the wilds of the internet. This allows for a mash-up of all your favourite Disney characters including an assortment of princesses, Star Wars stormtroopers and lots more.
So what have critics made of it? Good news – it sounds like we've got another Disney family classic on our hands, starting with this from The Hollywood Reporter's Michael Rechtshaffen: "Deftly defying expectation, the inevitable sequel to 2012's... Wreck-It Ralph, absolutely crushes it. A turbo-charged satire that swaps out Gen X video arcade nostalgia for our current, all-consuming social-media-fuelled obsession, the endlessly inventive Walt Disney Studios Animation follow-up impressively levels up with laugh-out-loud consistency."
"It’s a poignant buddy movie that’s sincere in all the right places but knows better than to take itself too seriously," writes Peter Debruge in Variety. "While the 2012 project was an inspired example of easily expandable world-building, this more-clever-than-expected follow-up skips the obvious next step – simply exploring the other games that share the same power strip – and sets out to conquer the relative vastness of cyberspace instead."
Writing for IGN, Jim Vejvoda praises the movie's sequences that poke fun at parent studio Disney, with the onslaught of Disney princesses a sly example of bite-the-hand-that-feeds humour. "The inarguable highlight of all this Mouse House-mocking is the significant role played here by a large contingent of Disney princesses," he says. "The Ralph sequel gets its biggest laughs in sequences where all the cliches and outdated elements associated with these animated icons are royally and uproariously sent up and addressed head-on. These are the moments – funny, yet substantive and cuttingly insightful – that will remain in the collective memory long after Ralph Breaks the Internet leaves theaters and many of its meme jokes lose their relevance."
Empire's Jonathan Pile is another journalist who praises that same sequence: "The highlight, however, is Vanellope’s trip to ‘Oh My Disney’ (a real website) — it’s the funniest section of the film, especially her encounter with the studio’s roster of Princesses, as the studio sends up its own creations but also fights back against the most common online criticisms of its female heroes. Sharp and knowing, it’s also a triumph of animation and characterisation."
For all the movie's candy-coloured surface and buddy comedy shenanigans, many critics have noted its astute observations of online culture. New York Times writer Bilge Ebiri is one of them: "Somewhere amid the film’s ornate imagery and deliriously irreverent humor, we might begin to realize that we’re watching a terrifying, incisive satire about the ways that a life lived online makes monsters of us all."
Fear not, however – the movie still has the charm where it counts. Dana Schwartz gives an enthusiastic thumbs-up for Entertainment Weekly: "Ambitious, beautifully animated, and clever to a fault, Ralph Breaks the Internet breaks free of the pitfalls of most sequels by never forgoing heart for the sake of bigger franchise pyrotechnics... It only seems reasonable that the sequel extends that meta-textual lens to the movie as a whole: what if an Easter-egg filled movie with delightful pop culture references was aware that its appeal was being an Easter-egg filled movie filled with delightful pop culture references?"
That's the verdict from some of the critics, and it won't be long until you can cast yours. Click here to book your tickets for Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, opening in Cineworld on 30th November.