Before 2018, Disney had precisely one sequel in their animated canon: The Rescuers Down Under. While countless Disney movies have found sequel on home video, those aren’t actually a part of the canon. Rather, they’re simply individual sequels created by a B studio that no longer even exists. It’s quite interesting, then, that modern Disney seems to have embraced the prospect of canonical sequels in earnest. Not only has Frozen 2 been announced, Wreck-It Ralph just got an actual follow up through the form of Ralph Breaks the Internet. It is in no way a first for Disney, but it does set a modern precedent.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is quite a fascinating movie as well. Although it never comments on it, the script is clearly aware of its nature as a sequel. It plays with concepts and ideas introduced in the first in a way that only a sequel could. More importantly, its premise completely throws away everything the first movie had established. It easily could have been its own intellectual property, but it wasn’t. Does that make the film bad? Not really. Just interesting. Naturally, in a film about the internet featuring an existing character who had nothing to do with the internet, Ralph Breaks the Internet ends up home to quit the few hidden details.
30 Ralph Breaks The Internet Is Technically A Musical
Of the eight mainline Disney films to be released this decade, only three have actually been musicals. Although Disney was not always so gung-ho with the musical format in their earlier days, the Disney Renaissance more or less established a formula around music. Naturally, Ralph Breaks the Internet was expected to be another non-musical film.
For the most part, it is. Roughly 95% of the film plays out like, well, a regular movie. There’s an accompanying score, but the characters don’t sing their thoughts. Except for one scene. Near the middle of the film, Vanellope has a traditional Disney Princess song. It’s even penned by Alan Menken! That alone technically makes the movie a musical.
29 Ralph Breaks The Internet Breaks The Modern Disney Twist
Tangled, Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia all have the exact same antagonist based twist roughly two-thirds of the way through their film. While each movie very much has their own identity with their own plot, not a single one deviates from revealing an establishing heroic character was the villain all along at the end of act two.
Ralph Breaks the Internet does away with this twist entirely. Moana more or less avoided it, but Ralph’s latest adventure solidifies that Disney is effectively done with their new formula. In a way, it makes perfect sense. Audiences were always predicting the twist from as early as BH6. It didn’t have much more leg room.
28 There Is No Villain The Second Time Around
Interestingly, there is no central antagonist in Ralph Breaks the Internet. Even Moana, which notably subverting its own villain’s role by the end, still had clear and identifiable antagonists. The same simply cannot be said for this internet trekking adventure. Arthur perhaps comes the closest, but he’s more of a force of nature.
You can't have a bad guy twist without a bad guy.
It works to the film’s benefit that there is no tangible villain, ultimately, as the plot deals quite heavily with Ralph’s own insecurities. There Is no person for him to overcome, because he needs to overcome his own faults first. An identifiable antagonist would have diminished the message of the movie.
27 “Ralph Breaks The Internet” Has Multiple Meanings
Titles have meaning, naturally. The first film puts quite a bit of stock into its title, turning Ralph’s name “Wreck-It” into a moniker he was not particularly proud of. Moving into the second movie, it’s only natural that the title yet again features two meanings. While, yes, Ralph does break the internet with viral videos, he also literally breaks the internet.
Near the end of act two, Ralph gets his hands on Arthur, a virus, from Double Dan. Unleashing said virus causes a chain reaction where Ralph breaks the internet. Not just that, the virus manifests itself in his form meaning that Ralph figuratively and literally destroyed the entire internet.
26 Double Dan Is Clearly The Globglogabgalab
The Globglogabgalab is one of those internet oddities that quite frankly makes little sense. The star of a series of videos where his grotesque form sings his name, there’s little to discuss or analyze. Or at least that’s what we hope so. Despite his relative obscurity compared to other memes, he does find a reference in the film.
Double Dan, the dark net resident who bestows upon Ralph his very own virus, is visually quite similar to the Globglogabgalab. Both are flesh monsters who live in a dark lair. Honestly, that’s kind of it, but that’s also enough to make the connection. There’s no way Disney didn’t lift Double Dan’s design from the Globglogabgalab.
25 Stan Lee’s First Cameo Since His Passing
Stan Lee’s passing is sadly still rather reason so it is highly unlikely Disney actively intended his cameo to pay respect to the father of all things Marvel, but it nonetheless marks the first cameo Stan Lee has been in since his passing. Granted, he has no lines, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Simply seeing Stan Lee in an identifiable form- on the internet at that- is a reminder that his legacy will live on. He is a man so iconic that he can generate an emotional reaction just from a visual perspective. It’s a sweet, tender cameo that goes by fan, but it’s a nice reminder of how much he has contributed to the media world.
24 The Credits Spoil The Stinger
Before Marvel Studios more or less popularized the after credits scene, said scenes were most notably called “stingers.” A stinger would come at the end of a movie, episode, or story to basically recontextualize the ending. Naturally, in a post-Marvel world, the latest Disney flick has a stinger.
Sadly, because of how credits work, the stinger’s subject material is actually spoiled during the title crawl. Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” is credited, but the song never appears in the film proper. That’s because it was saved for the credits. Hopefully, you aren’t an attentive credits watcher.
23 Wreck-It Ralph Is An Anthology Series At This Point
Although both films feature the same principle leads and play off of each others’ arcs, they very much focus on vastly different settings with different themes. It is not unusual for a sequel to more or less ignore its predecessor’s foundation to better establish an identity for itself, but Ralph Breaks the Internet goes quite far.
We can't wait for Ralph Hosts the Emmys.
At this point, the world of the arcade and the internet are so vastly different that they may as well be part of an anthology series where each film focuses on a unique aspect of media consumption while commenting on the humanity of growing. Perhaps the next film will see Ralph in a more cinematic setting.
22 Fix-It Felix Blatantly Had A Cut Plot
Although the first movie was very much about Ralph and Vanellope, Fix-It Felix did serve as a tritagonist of sorts. Over the course of the movie, he and Ralph gradually build a genuine bond. Despite acting opposite each other as hero and villain for years, they grow to care for their counterpart as actual friends.
Going into the sequel, it’s only natural Felix play a rather major role. After all, he was one of the three crucial pillars of the first movie. Although the follow up does establish a plot for him- one where he starts and raises a family- it was ultimately cut for added time on the internet. It does result in a rather hilarious gag at the end of the movie if nothing else.
21 Disney Couldn’t Get The Rights For Mario Characters
Despite its emphasis on video game characters and old-school gaming culture, the first film notably did not include the father or modern gaming himself: Super Mario. At the time, it was stated that Nintendo and Disney simply could not agree on a proper portrayal of the plumber, but the sequel paints a new picture.
Disney just doesn't have Nintendo money.
Notably, the first movie had Bowser where the second now does not. In light of Nintendo’s motion picture deal with Illumination, it’s quite clear that Nintendo barred Disney from not only including Mario this time around, but Mario characters outright, creating a dissonance of sorts between films.
20 Ralph Breaks The Internet Is Marketing Genius
Despite a few notable exceptions in the early-2000s (and pre-Renaissance era,) Disney has always been great at marketing their own properties. It’s hard to imagine a future where a modern Disney film does not go on to gross a ludicrous amount of money- more than the mouse himself could hold.
Ralph Breaks the Internet, in particular, is a stroke of genius on Disney’s part. Not only can they capitalize on an established character for a sequel, the internet backdrop effectively allows them to sell out space for in-film ads that both make sense and act as a realistic interpretation of the internet.
19 Product Placement Never Overstays Their Welcome
While this style of storytelling could very quickly lose its luster in large part due to how commercially predatory it inherently is, Disney actually shows a considerable amount of tact when it comes to effectively merchandising the entire internet. Every name drop makes perfect sense and the only prominent real-life fixture in the movie is eBay.
A surprisingly tactful approach from Disney.
This is best seen in which video website the writers chose for the main plot: their own. Instead of using YouTube or a real-life equivalent, the writers decided not to dilute their own script with an actual website. That shows a lot of restraint and demonstrates that, despite the emphasis on in-film marketing, the story very much has a sincere heart.
18 Vanellope’s Arc Undermines The First Film
Although Ralph Breaks the Internet is, for the most part, a good sequel, it does blunder when it comes to Vanellope’s character arc. In the first movie, Turbo is seen as an undeniably bad character who left his own game, thus abandoning his world in favor of his selfish desires. In the second film, Vanellope is seen as an undeniably good character who leaves her own game, abandoning her world in favor of her own selfish desires. The only difference is that Vanellope is a protagonist and Turbo wasn’t.
17 The Disney Prince Cameo Everyone Missed
Thanks to incredibly aggressive marketing, we’ve known for months now that Ralph Breaks the Internet would feature all the canon Disney Princesses in a single scene that would comment on what it means to be a Princess while placing Vanellope in a setting where she realistically does not fit.
With so much focus on the Princess cameos, it’s hard to miss the REAL cameo: Prince Naveen. The frog himself from Princess and the Frog is the same frog Tiana uses at the end of the movie to kiss Ralph on the lips at the end of the Princess “action” scene. It’s quick and goes by fast, but the most interesting cameos always do.
16 Aunt Cass Is The “Sassy” Single
Ralph Breaks the Internet may be the darkest movie in the Disney canon to date if only because it actually acknowledges the seedy underbelly of the internet in a rather self-aware and honest manner. Early on into the film, when Ralph and Vanellope first enter the internet, they get an ad for “sassy” singles in their area.
Hilariously enough, the “sassy” single herself is none other than Aunt Cass from Big Hero 6. While this is just a little reference alluding to fan perception surrounding Aunt Cass, it does mean that, in-universe, Cass’ photos are either being stolen for these ads or she’s an adult model.
15 Calhoun Had An Entire Scrapped Arc
As is the case with Felix, Calhoun had an entire arc that was ultimately cut from the film likely due to time constraints. Unlike Felix, who did get to have a condensed version of his original storyline and arc in the film, Calhoun more or less goes through the movie without much spotlight.
Concept art for the movie reveals that Calhoun would have had a series of flashbacks involving her as a child, growing up with her mother, and Calhoun herself eventually ending up pregnant with twins. This is such an in-depth storyline that it only makes sense it was cut for time even if it would have benefited Calhoun considerably.
14 The Film’s Resolution Is Out Of Place
Pulling off a ubiquitously happy ending is a challenge for any story, in large part due to the fact that most stories raise the stakes so high that it is often difficult to level the playing field enough where “happily ever after” finale makes sense. Unfortunately, Ralph Breaks the Internet is no exception, messing up its ending with a throwaway line.
Stakes need to matter all the way to the end.
In both movies, it is established that a character will be erased permanently should they be caught in a reboot for a game they aren’t a part of. This is a major plot line. At the end of the second movie, Vanellope jumps to a new game, but mentions offhand how her code is now a part of that game, undermining a massive stake the series had established.
13 John C. Reilly Didn’t Voice Ralph In All The Ads
Disney is typically pretty good about ensuring their actors stick around long enough to record everything they need to. This applies to both the films themselves and marketing. In the case of John C. Reilly, though, he was not able to stick around for the entire marketing process for whatever reason.
As a result, some ads for the film feature Ralph voiced by someone who blatantly does not sound like John C. Reilly. Some voice clips are even straight up lifted from the Wreck-It Ralph video game. John C. Reilly is a rather prolific actor so it does make sense to some extent that he wouldn’t be able to voice all his ad lines.
12 All The eBay Auctioneers Are Voiced By Actual Auctioneers
It’s always nice when a movie lifts from real life for its minor details. This detail is perhaps as minor as it gets. During the eBay portion of the film, Ralph and Vanellope walk in on some auctions. As expected, these auctions play out like real life auctions with virtual auctioneers listing off items. Funny enough, these virtual auctioneers are played by real life auctioneers, giving the scene an added dose of reality despite the utterly absurd premise. Is it particularly meaningful? Not really, but it’s a cute detail.
11 This Is Snow White’s First Film Appearance Since 1937
In the mid-90s, Disney went all in on diluting their brand for the prospect of money. Disney sequels became a staple of the VHS experience, churning out low-quality films to generate some quick revenue. As a result, many established properties found “second comings” of sorts through the practice. Except Snow White.
Always keep the classics in reserve.
Perhaps due to the respect of being the first film in the canon, Snow White never returned in a sequel. In fact, Ralph Breaks the Internet marks her first cinematic appearance where she actually has lines and a presence since her debut film. Honestly, this could not mark a better return for the character. The alternative would be a Disney sequel.
10 Kylo Ren Was Barred From Being In The Film
Kylo Ren is one of the best Star Wars villains to date if only due to the fact he simultaneously manages to be compelling, intimidating, sympathetic, and utterly pitiful. He is such a nuanced character that you could analyze one single facet of his personality without touching on anything else. Naturally, Disney wanted to parody this.
Unfortunately, not wanting to see Kylo Ren made fun of, LucasFilms denied Disney’s request for Kylo Ren. In a way, it does make sense. The Sequel Trilogy is not done yet and Kylo Ren has been built up as an imposing antagonist. Making fun of him before the ninth episode could potentially undermine his image.
9 The Stormtrooper Scene Is A Straight Up Star Wars Scene
References are always cute and a movie like Ralph Breaks the Internet effectively thrives off reference humor. While seeing a Stormtrooper is honestly enough to elicit an emotional response from Star Wars fans, Ralph Breaks the Internet does something quite rare. It makes good use of its reference.
Star Wars in its purest form.
Rather than just lingering on the Stormtroopers and calling it a day, a small scene where the Stormtroopers try to capture Vanellope plays out. From the score, to the angling, to the dialogue, this is very much a scene that would feel totally at home in the Original Trilogy. It’s the kind of reference others should strive for.
8 Ralph Breaks The Internet Marks The 90 Year Anniversary Of Steamboat Willie
Although the movie was not released on Steamboat Willie’s actual birthday, 2018 does mark the 90th anniversary of the short. 90 years ago, Walt Disney basically created the Disney canon and ushered in an age of mainstream Western animation. What better way to celebrate that feat with a movie that can acknowledge every single Disney property ever made? Interestingly, the movie does show quite a bit of restraint and does not reference Mickey Mouse explicitly, but Mickey alone does not define Disney so the film does still work as a quiet tribute to the studio’s humble origins.
7 The Disney Store Spoiled The Film With Merch
With every passing year, it seems as though avoiding spoilers is only getting more difficult. With the advent of the internet and a news cycle that prioritizes instant knowledge above all else, it is painfully hard to ignore spoilers. Sooner or later, it’ll happen to you. You may not care. You may care a lot. Either way, it’ll happen.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is no exception, but its spoilers come from merchandise. It’s amazing just how much merchandise can actually spoil. Avengers 4 has ALREADY been spoiled by toys. Speaking of toys, a toy spoiled that Ralph’s heart medal would break in half by the end of the movie, causing him and Vanellope to share two halves of the whole.
6 Disney Infinity Was Initially A Plot Point
Movies take quite a bit of time to create. We can safely assume that Ralph Breaks the Internet was in production for a good few years before its recent release. After all, an animated movie needs a script, voice over work, and actual animation. All these details take time to hone to perfection.
The plot for Ralph 3 anyone?
In such a referential movie, this did result in the script needing to abandon a plot point: Disney Infinity. A crossover video game that ran for a few years, Disney Infinity was canceled quietly a while back. As there’s no real point in addressing a failed Disney product, it was cut from the film.
5 This Is The First Disney Movie To Feature Pixar Characters
Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, Disney and Pixar very much had their own identities independent of one another. They were competing studios and where Disney brought the quantity, Pixar brought the quality. How things have changed. Since then, their relationship has gotten a lot closer, to the point where it’s hard to distinguish the two.
This is actually referenced in the Princess scene where Merida is called out for being “from the other studio.” Not just that, Buzz Lightyear actually makes a brief cameo before said scene, marking the first time in the Disney canon where Pixar characters have been featured in a Disney film.
4 The Princess Scene Was Trimmed Down
Not surprisingly, the Princess crossover scene was used as one of the main selling points for the film. This scene was thrown at viewers so often, that it only makes sense some fans would find it the least interesting portion of the actual movie. After all, they’d already seen it all. Literally, too, as the actual scene is trimmed down.
Too much of a good thing is never a good thing.
In the marketed version, the scene is a bit longer. A few of the Princesses go into detail about trivia about themselves like Jasmine actually being allergic to cats. In the film proper, however, this scene has been omitted. We can only assume that time constraints caused the team to cut the fat out of the marketing juggernaut.
3 The Original Title Was Too Long
As we’ve established, titles are important. A good title can signify what a movie is about while also alluding to events in a creative way. Originally, as the film is a sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet was titled Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet. Does the title make sense? Absolutely. Is it a good title? Absolutely not. Disney took a risk in choosing the subtitle, but it ultimately paid off as it allowed the movie to have its own identity.
2 Most Of The Original Voice Actresses Come Back To Voice The Princesses
Animated cameos are cool and all, but the fact that the movie references so many old characters brings into question the subject of voice acting. If you’re going to feature an animated character from a previous film, should you hire the original voice actor?
Obviously, the answer should be yes, but this is actually a question the film never needs to answer as most of the original voice actresses do come back. Of course, some have unfortunately passed away since their films, but all the actresses who could return did return to voice their respective Disney Princesses.
1 Ralph Breaks The Internet Will Not Age Well
Disney has always been good about ensuring the longevity of their intellectual properties. Very rarely did they ever slip so deeply into pop culture that their movies aged poorly. Even Aladdin and The Hunchback of Notre Dame which rely on pop culture references as a basis for humor (less so in the case of the latter) still hold up well.
Time will not be kind to Ralph's second outing.
The same will not be the case for Ralph Breaks the Internet. This is not to say the internet will somehow lose its relevance- it never will- but that much of its humor relies from content that is relevant now. Moving forward, the entire viral video section will be more a reminder of how the internet used to be than an actual funny sequence.