The final Ralph Breaks the Internet trailer has been released and, the second flick from the Wreck-It-Ralph franchise is officially set to hit theaters on November 21, 2018.
Which means, we are in less than a month away from another great Disney movie release!
For those not familiar with the story of everyone’s favorite old school arcade game bad guy turned hero and his kid bestie, Vanellope, let me catch you up to speed,
Breaking It Down: Wreck-It-Ralph in a Nutshell
(and yes, there will be spoilers, because come on, it came out 6 years ago, you should’ve seen it by now)
In Wreck-It-Ralph, Ralph, video game “villain”, with wicked cool hair, is typecast as a bad guy because he plays one in his game. Sick of being controlled by The Man and oppressed by stereotypical fallacies meant to perpetuate the status quo, Ralph decides to take his destiny into his own hands and leaves his game in a desperate effort to prove he’s more than just who he plays in his game.
Things go bad, he finds himself in an alternate universe (another game), where he encounters Vanellope, a similarly misunderstood and underestimated young street racing arcade game girl also on a quest to prove herself. Unaware of the impact his disappearance has had on those he left behind, Ralph allies with Vanellope to help her achieve her goal (she wants to win a race and prove her worth) while also hoping to achieve one of his own (he wants to get his stolen medal back so he can do the same).
Eventually, Ralph is misled by someone with ulterior motives causing him to betray Vanellope (seemingly for her own good) and ruin their friendship, only to later discover the betrayal attempt to redeem himself by saving his young friend and her dream, but ultimately finding himself falling to his death atop an erupting mountain. It’s all very dramatic.
But, don’t worry, he lives, otherwise where the heck would part 2 come from?
Ralph Breaks the Internet But He Builds It First
As multifaceted as Ralph and Vanellope’s first big screen go round was, you’re in for even more in the second film when they take on a bigger, deeper, wider world: The Internet.
At the onset of this film, we find Ralph and Vanellope home again in Litwak’s arcade. Vanellope’s game, Sugar Rush, breaks and requires a replacement part to keep it, and our favorite kid racer, from being retired for good. To obtain the needed part, Ralph and Vanellope go to the only place you can find stuff from the 80s outside of your grandma’s basement: The Internet.
Before you get all wrapped up in the fun of Ralph Breaks the Internet, can we just stop for a moment and think about the depth of this thing?
I mean, we are talking about bringing the actual Internet, the World Wide Web, with all of its layers and crevices and twists and turns, to life.
When I spent a day at Disney’s Animation Studios getting behind the scenes looks and info about the creation of this film courtesy of the story artists, writers, producers, and directors in charge of doing just that pretty much everyone in the room had one basic question…
We all agreed that, for it to work, they needed to do it in a way that was authentic, believable, and real enough for people, young and old, to relate to and make sense of.
And, since we are talking about Disney masterminds here, they had one thing to say about that…
Welcome to The Internet
As is the case with any medium of storytelling, setting is a major factor in your overall character development and plot progression. It needs to be built, brought to life, and made believable in order to leave your audience with an experience that is meaningful and memorable in a positive way. As the film’s producer, Clark Spencer noted, the really wanted to make their Internet feel like our Internet, “to make it feel more authentic and more like the real Internet that you and I use.”
Spencer explained further that they basically took the Internet and turned it, all of it, into an animated urban center filled with everything you need and want to live, “When you think of the fact that the Internet is made up of millions of websites, you start to envision that the Internet world could be similar to a major metropolis, such as New York, London or Los Angeles, that’s made up of different districts, like shopping, media, social media, or financial district.”
Which is more challenging than it sounds.
Building an enchanted forest or a school playground, or even a future world where technology has followed an imaginable progression and simply enhanced life as we know it, is one thing. Those settings can be connected to concrete objects and places and experiences we all have now and then expanded upon to become fantasy.
But, the creators of Ralph Breaks the Internet had a much bigger task on their hands: building an entire world, filled with people and places and things and ideas that we all know to exist abstractly, but have never needed to wrap our minds around in a real way.
They created those tangible elements of the Internet out of these various concepts and experiences and destinations that humans have a general understanding of, or misunderstanding of, as the case may be.
A site like ebay might be easy, right? It’s not hard to imagine what a real life auction featuring all of the random things money could buy might look like in real life. I mean, we’ve all seen Storage Wars, right?
It may hold all of the answers to life’s most important questions (including “will puss filled boil on neck kill you”), but creating a massive library with stacks on stacks on stacks of encyclopedia Britannicas still just makes sense.
But, take something more abstract, like an algorithm, for example –we’ve all heard of them and kinda know what they do, but also not really. We get that, for the Internet to be this magical place that delivers us just what we need when we needed and quickly, we need these algorithms in our lives. But, we aren’t exactly sure how they accomplish that, and are even a little spooked by the fact that they can.
Yes, I’m talking about you, Facebook. Get out of my yard.
It is those unknowns that are the most challenging, but also the most fun, because while it’s hard to imagine what something you don’t really understand looks like, it’s also pretty fun to try.
Rising to the occasion, the creators pulled it off with the character I think we all are going to love, YESSS. She is “what the Internet is—constantly changing, always moving, always aware of what’s going on, what’s the next thing.”
Basically, an algorithm brought to life, she takes Ralph and Vanellope under her ridiculously trendy wing, and helps them figure out how to use the Internet to get what they need in a way that only someone who truly knows the Internet can.
So, what you’ll see, when you go to the theater on November 21st to see Ralph breaking the Internet is the result of hours and hours of research, countless heated debates, four years, thousands of work hours, and, wait for it… no less than 283,839 storyboards.
Prepare to be amazed.
Ralph Breaks the Internet, starring John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, and Taraji P. Henson as YESSS, is set to be released on November 21, 2018 in theaters across the country.