Disclosure: I received complimentary admission to Ralph Breaks the Internet in exchange for promotion and review of the movie. All opinions are my own.
Disney movies do a great job teaching life lessons in their stories usually touching on tough issues facing kids, teens, and lately even adults. Ralph Breaks the Internet life lessons include how to handle changing friendships, our own insecurities, and owning up to our mistakes.
Ralph Breaks the Internet Life Lessons
In Ralph Breaks the Internet, video-game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) leave the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game, Sugar Rush. Their quest takes them to the vast, uncharted world of the internet where they rely on the citizens of the internet—the Netizens—to help navigate their way.
Lending a virtual hand are Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), the head algorithm and the heart and soul of the trend-making site “BuzzzTube,” and Shank (voice of Gal Gadot), a tough-as-nails driver from a gritty online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race, a place Vanellope wholeheartedly embraces—so much so that Ralph worries he may lose the only friend he’s ever had.
Their quest to save Vanellope’s game brings up several tough choices and we can learn a lot from their adventure!
We Make Mistakes that Can Hurt Others
Ralph, in his attempt to keep Vanellope in Sugar Rush and in his life, does something stupid. The thing is, he is doing it in what he views as love. He loves Vanellope and wants to be her friend forever. He becomes selfish. In a way, Ralph is the villain in this movie. We can be villains. We can hurt others even without intending to.
Disney movies in the past always have very easy to recognize villains. The Evil Queen, Maleficent, Mother Gothel, and others all started their stories being evil. In the older movies, that is all that we see. In Ralph Breaks the Internet, there is no set villain. Wreck it Ralph had Turbo, and while we didn’t see that he was the villain towards the end, the movie focused on the struggle with him. Ralph is the villain and the hero in this movie, similar to Maui in Moana.
Once Ralph realizes the error of his ways, he is able to save the day and be a hero again.
Our Insecurities Can Harm Our Relationships with Others
We strive for normalcy. When routines and comfort zones get shaken we tend to panic. When Ralph becomes insecure about the future of his friendship with Vanellope he does something that not only potentially physically harms her but others as well. Vanellope gets angry and justifiably so. The scene where she finds out what he did is sadder than the scene where Ralph breaks the car in the first movie. In that scene, Ralph was coaxed by King Candy. In this movie, the damage was Ralph’s fault, his fault only.
Digging even deeper the movie shows us that we can’t place our value in one person alone. At one point Ralph gets some bad feedback from others. He holds his Hero cookie medal from Vanellope and says I am ok as long as I have her. I see where is coming from though. He spent most of his life being ignored and despised by others, he bonded with Vanellope and maybe never developed his own self-worth.
Distance Doesn’t Weaken Friendships
Vanellope falls in love with Slaughter Race. She wants to stay there and decides to do just that. Ralph overhears her talking to Shank from Slaughter race and feels horrible. He loves their routine of living life together and he always wants it to be that way all the time.
In the end, Vanellope does stay in Slaughter Race and Ralph learns that he still is great friends with Vanellope. They stay connected via the internet and plan to get together occasionally. It is not the distance apart that weakens friendships but rather lack of commitment to communicating on a regular basis.
The internet makes it possible to stay connected with those not living in our backyard.
Ralph Breaks the Internet Review
Walt Disney Studios have really been kicking up their sequel game. Usually, a sequel is blah or in many cases pretty awful (Cars 2, I am talking about you). Ralph breaks the internet is pretty awesome.
The movie is almost scripted for adults with some things in the movie to keep the kids entertained as well. There was so much humor in this movie. Not like, a simple laugh but holding your stomach and missing the next line funny.
Another element that makes the movie really great is all the great pop culture references. There are new ones, but also ones that would go completely over a child’s head like seeing an AOL logo.
I really loved this movie and can’t wait for it to get out on video so I can watch it again and again. Between the lessons, the comedy, and the heart of the film it is sure to be a hit!
Tip: Be sure to stay until the VERY end of the credits for an extra special end scene.