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It's Christmas Day and truthfully, it's been ages since I've seen and enjoyed anything new worthy of note from Disney or Hollywood's animated film industry and what better ways to satisfy my experience for the threesome (no, not what you're thinking folks) between Disney characters (which apparently includes Marvel and Star Wars now), 80's arcade games, and Internet Apps, than this flick. I remember watching the first Wreck It Ralph and boy was that a fantastic animated film seeing as I was truly intrigued by the concept of a Disney film portraying a mish-mash of old arcade video game characters and their own original characters interacting with each other in a unusual story unlike any other in the modern world pop culture.
So for the actual review, Wreck It Ralph 2 is obviously a sequel to a story centered about two resident arcade video characters who are living their lives inside of the machines doing their usual business in entertaining all the players coming into Litwak's Arcade Center, Ralph, whom is a big brute who's tired of being the "villain" in a game about wrecking buildings, and Venellope, a little cutesy princess girl (riddled with glitches) inside a candy-themed racing game and this time, the story focuses more on a newfangled technological medium known as the Internet as the primary setting for our main characters.
It all starts off normal when Ralph and Venellope have been blossoming their newly forged friendship (for about six years) and just as Ralph is being a pretty merry dude with his own life, Venellope has quite a different sentiment about her own, feeling somewhat discontent with her own game Sugar Rush becoming repetitive for her tastes and wanting something new and exciting, which becomes the catalyst for the entire movie's greater plotline and a tale that goes from portraying a seemingly minor mishap where Sugar Rush's controller gets broken because of Ralph messing with the game and creating a new track for the player to an outright existential crisis when Venellope is faced with the utter realization that the world she knew is going to be lost and terminated for good after Litwak himself was about to sell the game upon knowing he couldn't afford the only spare part left on Ebay. And around this time, the denizens of Litwak's Arcade machines are getting a glimpse of a bigger newer world that is the Internet and the drive to obtain that spare part from Ebay is what brings our main heroes, Ralph and Venellope to a whole new dimension like no other and they both journey to seek what they obtain to save Sugar Rush and end up playing what they thought was some game to get a prize by shouting a higher number (which the practice of "bidding" is unfamiliar to them) and they win only to end up getting themselves into an even bigger predicament by having to find ways to acquire a ridiculously huge sum of money to pay for the part within 24 hours and Ralph and Venellope mets someone and goes into some very shady parts of the web such as an online racing game with a very dark and gritty atmosphere with dark and gritty characters called Slaughter Race where they unexpected met some new friends.
And from there, you can see our protagonists Ralph and Venellope traverse through many places on the Internet and discovers new places they've never seen before, like a parody of YouTube and a place filled with Disney princesses, which brings new personalities for the characters to explore and express and along with many bumps and bruises along the way, Venellope's quest for searching and longing for a new world that fulfills her wishes and destiny also turns into a typical series of aesop's about friendships and betrayals in a time of impending disaster and destruction when Venellope is forced to choose between her old life and the new life that she found and when Ralph is forced to reflect upon his insecurities and take responsibility for his actions in a cruel world.
So overall, what are my true feelings about this film? Well I enjoyed nearly every bit of it and it gave me a feeling of excitement and optimism on Christmas. The action and story of this movie is in every bit as fun and wacky as you'd expect with a lot of twist and turns of emotional drama with the characters and I see the things that Ralph and Venellope encounter for the first time in the Internet such as Pop-Up's and Viruses as fictionalized metaphors for the risks and dangers of getting yourself into the darker parts of the real world for whatever desires you have and the whole plot as a feeling of emptiness and hollowness and coming to terms with reality, no matter how bitter and shocking it is. I feel in some ways that the movie related to some certain feelings I've held in the past. And I enjoyed how the film transitions from being all lighthearted to being a dark tale for something that's straight out of Disney along with all the wonderful cameos and pop cultural references related to video games and Disney characters thrown into the mix. The cast is pretty well-rounded and the dialogue is funny and decent and the pacing and development is a bit long. Although I'm going to be pretty blunt, the movie started off exciting but got a bit anti-climactic towards the end and I still preferred the first Wreck It Ralph movie for its exclusively video arcade-based setting and the nostalgic excitement that went along with it over this sequel and while it's nowhere near the best animated film of all time for me, I'd certainly say it's one of the best I've seen in the past 6 years, but the lack of a Mario cameo is still well... lacking.
Without further ado, I award this movie a score of approximately 9.4 out of 10.
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