Ralph Breaks the Internet is the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph and is the 57th animated feature from the Disney Studios. It is directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, who helped make Wreck-It Ralph and Zootopia. In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Ralph and Vanellope need to keep Vanellope’s game Sugar Rush from being scrapped. The duo journey into the Internet to find a rare replacement part that can fix her game.
Co-Directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore explained the process, that brought Ralph Breaks the Internet to the big screen. “Rich and I first started talking about revisiting the characters of the first Wreck-It Ralph back in 2014. That's when we wondered if there were more stories to explore with Ralph and Vanellope,” said Johnston.
“And we weren't going to make a sequel though unless there was a very good reason to do it. And for us that came when we started to talk about transporting these two misfits, misfit characters, from their small town, the arcade where they live, to the expansive world of the Internet. And we could immediately see the opportunities for comedy or conflict between our two main characters. And that's where we started to get really excited about this idea.”
The Internet Is…
“Now. When it came time to imagine the world of the Internet, we took a few different approaches early on in our process,” Johnston said. “We started by asking ourselves, how are we going to make our animated version of the Internet feel like the Internet that you and I use every day?”
Moore continued, “So, one of the very first things we did was talk to our animation team and ask them to explore the majesty and grandeur of the Internet. And we said, you know, you can do whatever you want.” “Blue Sky guys, no borders, no limits,” Johnston added. “And our team of animators, who are truly the best in the world, we gave them this free rein to do whatever they want. What is the Internet?” said Moore. “It was then through this extensive research that we learned. The Internet is apparently nothing but cat videos.”
Ralph Breaks the Internet will not be just fun and cat-videos. Talking about the more serious side of the film, Moore said, “I mean it's a tricky balance as you know. And to some extent [we] were emboldened by the work on Zootopia and knowing that audiences are okay, and actually eager, for a more sophisticated kind of approach and family films to tricky subject matter. Like in Zootopia it was racism. And this one we're dealing to an extent with online bullying and trolling.”
“But more on an emotional level with Ralph. Just self-doubt and insecurity. And all those things that I think both parents and kids can relate to,” Moore continued. “We are dealing with those emotions that kids and parents feel when you're trolled. When a stranger belittles you and how that makes you feel and how having a true friend and people who love and support you can get you through that.” Moore finished, “So, hopefully in talking about it and using characters like Ralph and Vanellope to be our eyes into that, we’re at least helping start a discussion between parents and kids.”