6 years ago, Disney gave us a movie that appealed to audiences of all ages. For kids, it was just another exciting animated world to dive into. For adults, the movie was a nostalgic trip to arcade games. The real charm, however, was the immense amount of imagination and creativity in the movie. They were able to truly immerse its audience in the bizarre setting of the movie – gaming arcades. With its sequel Ralph Breaks The Internet, Disney has done the same thing again. But this time, with the internet.
A movie more for adults than for kids
Ralph Breaks the Internet is full of pop culture references. The name itself is a reference to Kim Kardashian’s viral Instagram caption “#BreakTheInternet” in 2014. From references to Bob Ross paintings (which you may recognize from the memes) to stormtroopers to Jasmine straight up asking Vanellope if she has daddy issues, the movie is jam-packed with pop culture references that kids will probably not fully understand. There was even a pop-up advert that crowds Ralph when he arrives at eBay, saying “desperate housewives in your area are dying to meet you”. Clearly, Disney understands perfectly well that a movie which explores the Internet as its own world would appeal way more to young adults. So, it’s really no wonder that the movie caters so well to young adults. Not just with non-kid-friendly jokes here and there, but with cameos too – from Eeyore to C3PO to Stan Lee.
Girls can drive – and be the best at it!
Ralph Breaks the Internet breaks many stereotypes through its characters. The most revolutionary one is Shank. She is the most badass racer in the most dangerous online racing game. While Vanellope was also a female racer since the first movie, Shank being female was even more groundbreaking. The game she is in is much more aggressive and masculine compared to Sugar Crush- a comparatively childish and feminine game. On top of this, Yesss, who is the head algorithm of one of the biggest video sharing sites online, is also female. A Disney animated motion picture featuring such strong characters who are at the top of the ladder in their respective fields is sure to change the perception of women in the boys who watch this movie. Moreover, since racing is a particularly male-dominated field, this is sure to be a kick in the face for anyone who still thinks along the lines of “girls can’t drive/race”.
Another way that Disney addresses gender roles is through the inclusion of Disney princesses. Disney has a terrible reputation of portraying their princesses as damsels in distress. The scene where Vanellope meets the princesses addresses exactly that. It shows that Disney is self-aware that they have been imposing traditional gender roles in their works. More importantly, it spells out what is wrong with the trope. What’s even better is that Disney takes this self-awareness one step further by actualizing how strong and independent its princesses really are. While this itself is certainly not enough to make up for the “damsel in distress” trope that Disney itself has put out for so long, it certainly makes a stand for the characters who we perceive to be weak and dependent on males just for their feminine traits.
For the first hour, the movie is certainly interesting in the way it presents the world of the internet to us. The movie manages to engross its audience in its imagination as well as it did in with the setting of the first movie. It certainly portrays the internet as realistically as possible. In terms of entertainment, the movie excels. But unlike the first instalment, it let us down in terms of emotions. We ended up with a somewhat predictable movie with the character arcs falling flat and feeling a little forced. But other than this, the movie was definitely enjoyable and had a fascinatingly intricate setting. If you’re looking for something light to entertain you for two hours, head over to STAR Cineplex to watch the movie and Ralph Breaks the Internet will not disappoint you.
Get your tickets here.