Diana Panuncial, E23 Staffer

“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” the sequel to “Wreck-It Ralph” from 2012, released Nov. 21 and grossed $55.6 million over Thanksgiving weekend and $84.4 million since its premiere, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” follows redeemed video game villain Wreck-It Ralph and “Sugar Rush” star Vanellope Von Schweetz. We see the same dynamic that we fell in love with in the first movie between them in the sequel, though their friendship faces some obstacles this time around.

The plot centers around Ralph and Vanellope’s venture into the internet after her game, “Sugar Rush,” is broken and all of the characters in the game are left homeless. To repair the game, the two enter the Internet in search of a broken part, but end up in a “Grand Theft Auto” styled game called “Slaughter Race.”

“Slaughter Race” is a violent racing video game where Vanellope realizes she likes more than “Sugar Rush.” This desire for a change in scenery (something bigger than her same-old video game) along with Ralph’s reluctance to let their friendship go, drives the plot and sets up themes of friendship, growing up, and leaving home.

The “breaking” of the internet comes in as a double meaning. Several familiar platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, Google, and more are shown to us and allow the audience to relate more to the film in the sense that, although you’re aware that these are animated movie characters, it’s nice to know that they are being exposed to the same technology we are. It makes the world feel much more immersive, and is a change from what we saw in the first film, which played on the nostalgia factor of old-school video games we know and love.

The second part of “breaking” the internet comes in Ralph’s destructive behavior when he learns that his friendship with Vanellope is challenged. Avoiding spoilers, this is a creative technique for the filmmakers, as he literally breaks the internet.

New supporting characters Shank, Knowsmore, and Yesss are immediately memorable on screen. Shank feels more of a plot device for Vanellope, but Knowsmore and Yesss have logical roles as characters on the Internet. Fix-It Felix, Calhoun, as well as other loved characters in the original film are less prominent this time, but return for memorable and funny moments.

Visually, the film is spectacular and shows off Disney continuing to spearhead 3D animated movies. It is colorful, vibrant and makes the world of the Internet seem much more fun than it is in real life. The Disney princesses (and some other notable Disney characters) appear in the film and are pleasant to see in this 3D animated style. It is also quite impressive for the film to utilize different styles, making each character unique to their video game or “world” they’re from.

Overall, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” has the same charm of its original and might arguably be better than the first. In “Wreck-It Ralph,” we are introduced to Ralph and Vanellope, but are just discovering their dynamic. In “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” we already know the pair and are looking for them to get into a different story, which is exactly what we get.

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