Weekender Bahrain, Saturday, January 25 2020

Ralph fails to break new ground

admin 02-Dec-2018

Ralph fails to break new ground

A review of Ralph Breaks the Internet by Ahmed Zayani 

Who doesn’t love themselves a good Disney animated feature? From a young age, I had a certain fondness for the productions and offerings of the House of Mouse and have always made an effort to go out of my way and indulge myself. While the classics will always be there and the late eighties early nineties period brought about what is known as the Disney Renaissance which featured some brilliant films not only by animated standards but by those of traditional film as well, the period that followed was hard to stomach. During that time, questionable films such as Treasure Planet, Home on the Range, and Chicken Little graces our screens, begging the question whether this was the same studio that Walt & Roy, the Brothers Disney, dedicated their lives towards. Sure, Jeffery Katzenberg was a huge part of the studio’s success and his loss to DreamWorks may have worsened things, but that shouldn’t have led the studio down this dark road. Fortunately, the new century brought on some much needed change. Long time Disney CEO Michael Eisner was ousted in favor of Bob Iger and with him came the appointment of John Lasseter, the former Head of Pixar, to oversee Disney’s animation studio. With the release of The Princess & the Frog, the studio saw a rebirth of sorts, with films that have artistic merit being released on a more regular basis, thus resulting in a new age for Disney animation.

Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, Ralph Breaks the Internet is the sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph and follows the titular video game character (voiced once again by John C. Reilly) as he and his best friend Venelope Von Schweet (voiced by Sarah Silverman) must journey out of the comfort of the arcade and into the internet to find the necessary needed to fix the Sugar Rush gaming cabinet. There was much hype about this sequel prior to release. It followed one of Disney’s more popular films in recent years and the trailer (which I’ll get to in a bit) created ALOT of buzz. Suffice to say, Ralph Breaks the Internet failed to reach those lofty expectations, though that does not mean it’s a bad film, not by any extent of the imagination. On the contrary there’s a lot to love about this sequel; the voice talent are all on point here, with Reilly, Silverman, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, and yes; even the charisma vacuum that is Gal Gadot all giving pretty good performances.But the highlight of the film by far is the one all the trailers sold to death; the inclusion of all Disney Princesses. Not only were the princesses included but all the living voice actresses were brought back to reprise their roles, a thing which further excited this oversized Mouseketeer. This scene is by far not only the best scene in the film but my favourite of the year of any production. It was funny, endearing, and came with enough nostalgia punch to make me wonder why Disney never considered bringing all these characters together till now.

It’s a shame that the film couldn’t maintain the same quality though as the whole production felt half assed beyond that one scene. The main problem here is the story where the stakes did not feel really that important. Things seemingly fell into place and the whole thing felt unnecessary. I have no objection to a series scaling down as it goes a long, but at the same time I ask that they give me something, anything to grasp on & care about. The film also comes across as illogical at times. It’s the kind of movie to watch with your brain firmly shut, the moment you start questioning things though the whole things comes unravelling at the seams.That said, I still did like Ralph Breaks the Internet and would go as far as to recommend it to fans of Disney and animation. It’s just a shame that the movie never reached the heights I expected of it.

The movie is currently playing in all leading cinemas including Vox Cinemas, The Avenues.

Verdict: 7/10

For more cinematic intel, follow Ahmed : @theahmedzayani

The Five: Favourite Disney Animated Sequels

  • Rescuers Down Under
  • The Return of Jaffar
  • Toy Story 3
  • Monsters University
  • An Extremely Goofy Movie