REVIEW: ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ takes viewers on a cyber ride full of joy, laughter — and Disney princesses

Vanellope von Schweetz (foreground center), voiced by Sarah Silverman, poses for s selfie with Disney princesses in “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”

Alex Novak

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” is an entertaining, animated thrill ride that remains action-packed and delivers a heartfelt message that will resonate with moviegoers of any age.

Arriving around Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays, as is custom during this time for Disney to release a blockbuster film — a tradition that has delivered hits “Frozen,” “Moana” and “Coco” in recent years — this film is sure to be the most popular movie of the Christmas season.

The film is a sequel to the 2012 smash hit “Wreck-It Ralph.” Viewers join Ralph, the lovable giant voiced by John C. Reilly, and his best friend, Vanellope von Schweetz, voiced by Sarah Silverman, as they take us on an adventure to the internet in search of a part to save her game from being discontinued at their arcade.

The story is one of even larger scale than the first one, as the characters travel through electrical current to the newly installed internet at the fictional Litwak’s Family Fun Center and Arcade. They attempt to buy a new steering wheel for the game Sugar Rush after a player breaks it due to Ralph’s well-intentioned changing of the race track for Vanellope, who is feeling frustrated by its predictable nature.

Once there, the film ascends into a full-force joy ride through the expansive internet, exploring the good and bad sides of it, and straining Ralph and Vanellope’s friendship nearly to the point of breaking.

It has a plot full of terrific themes that prove universally relatable. Ultimately, the film delivers a story of friendship and the limits it can surpass if strong and true enough, along with good ideas going horribly wrong and the internet’s effect on relationships.

The animation is once again superb, especially in how it captures the vastness of the internet, a bittersweet posthumous Stan Lee cameo and the game Slaughter Race, which immediately invigorates Vanellope’s desire for more uncertainty in her life.

The film also accomplishes the daunting task of incorporating recognizable aspects of the internet such as search engines, the dark web, eBay and YouTube, which is parodied as the bee-owned BuzzzTube.

Along with featuring Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel in the film, all of the Disney princesses meet Vanellope, which makes for one of the most entertaining scenes of the film. There are also plenty of other famous video game characters like Sonic the Hedgehog and Pac-Man.

Sharp animation shines in “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” as does the film’s score, written and conducted by Henry Jackman, who also returns from the first film. Jackman pulls in the audience and builds their emotions right alongside the characters, leaving an impact that is truly heartfelt.

Imagine Dragons is at the forefront of the movie with its accompanying hit single “Zero,” from the band’s new album, “Origins.”

Solid voice acting performances further the story’s grasp, including returning stars Reilly and Silverman and new additions Gal Gadot, Taraji P. Henson, Jane Lynch and Alan Tudyk.

Co-directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore deliver a fully entertaining, emotional and thought-provoking arc that is exceedingly enjoyable.

Alex Novak is an entertainment reviewer. Contact him at [email protected].