Story

Ralph Breaks the Internet is a sequel to the 2012 movie, Wreck-It Ralph. In this new movie, arcade game characters Wreck-It Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (voice of Sarah Silverman) are good friends who like to hang out when their video arcade has closed for the day. Although Ralph is content, Vanellope is getting bored with doing the same thing day after day. She craves some adventure.

One day, Ralph decides to help Vanellope by carving a new track in her video game Sugar Rush. Although Vanellope loves it, the new track causes the game to malfunction and the steering wheel comes loose. Sadly, this arcade game is so old now that spare parts are impossible to find, and Sugar Rush is destined for the scrap heap.

When someone in the arcade finds an eBay listing of the steering wheel, Ralph decides that he and Vanellope must enter the world of the internet to find eBay and win the wheel. This begins a wild adventure that thrusts Ralph and Vanellope into the confusing and endless world of the internet. Here they must navigate social media, cyberbullies, pop-up click bait and online gaming, and then find the way back to their arcade.

Themes

Friendship; adventure; the internet; social media and online companies; cyberbullying; internet gaming

Violence

Ralph Breaks the Internet has some violence. For example:

  • There is frequent but mild slapstick, animated violence. For example, one of the Sugar Rush racers throws an object at the security guard and breaks his glasses.
  • When Ralph gets angry, he tends to wreck things by smashing them.
  • A ‘pop-up blocker’ punches a man in the face.
  • When Ralph and Vanellope enter the game Slaughter Race, they encounter characters who are killing each other with weapons.
  • A large monster version of Ralph tries to capture and crush the real Ralph.

Sexual references

Ralph Breaks the Internet has some sexual references. For example, two characters have been married for 15 years and they talk about wanting to ‘spice up’ their marriage.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Ralph Breaks the Internet shows some use of substances. For example:

  • Two characters hold cans that look like beer cans.
  • Every day after work, Ralph and Vanellope meet at a bar and have a ‘root beer’. Although this drink isn’t alcoholic, it’s served in a bar-like setting in beer glasses. It looks almost identical to adults sitting drinking beer in a pub.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

There is frequent, extensive and blatant product placement in this movie. Brands and companies shown include Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, eBay, Apple iPhones, Snapchat, Foxtel, YouTube, Facebook, Google, Netgear, National Geographic, Twitter, Kickstarter, PayPal, Tumblr, Instagram, Mashable, Star Wars, Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Pinterest.

Coarse language

There is some very mild coarse language and toilet humour in this movie.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fun and fast-paced animated movie. The two central characters, Ralph and Vanellope, are quirky, caring and lovable. They show us what a good friendship looks like. This movie does have blatant product placement throughout, however. It sometimes feels like one of the movie’s main aims is to familiarise children with major online companies and brands.

Although most children are likely to enjoy Ralph Breaks the Internet, this movie does have some scenes that children under eight years might find a little scary.

The main message from this movie is that friends don’t need to have the same dreams and aspirations. A strong friendship can withstand differences.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • being cautious about the internet
  • being adventurous and brave
  • letting your friends have different interests.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:

  • taking risks
  • being jealous or possessive of your friends
  • using the internet safely
  • responding appropriately when people say mean things about you online.