(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Ralph Breaks the Internet)
Doug (vo): Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet. Isn't that...just what you wanted from a Wreck-It Ralph sequel? So many video game characters introduced, so many more teased, and then you're...not giving them, they just kind of go somewhere else, like if they made a sequel to Roger Rabbit, you don't see any more new cartoons characters, you just see Roger become a new music star? (An image of a singer with Roger Rabbit's head Photoshopped in is shown) I don't know. You know what? Who cares? It's a different direction, and good for them. They're not gonna repeat the exact same thing over and over, they're gonna actually go somewhere different. Okay, fair enough. What wild ideas do we have?
Doug (vo): Well, it looks like Vanellope's game Sugar Rush is about to be turned off because the wheel is broken. Fix-It Felix and his sergeant wife offer to look after the kids that were left behind in Sugar Rush, and, boy, this is gonna be so funny...we're not gonna show any of it. Not even sure why it's introduced into the story. But, whatever. It's discovered that a new wheel is on eBay, and Ralph and Vanellope can go through the Internet to purchase it, but in doing so, they overbid with money that they discover they don't have. So it's their job to search the Internet to find a way to make money, and they do so almost disgustingly easy. Ralph becomes a YouTube star, and Vanellope discovers she actually likes this different game and doesn't really like Sugar Rush anymore. So, okay, guess that motivation's kind of down the toilet, so now what's the motivation? Well, Ralph doesn't like that she wants to leave her old home to find this new home, so he goes to the Dark Web, tries to sabotage her plans, but in doing so, he kind of spreads the virus of himself and starts taking over a whole bunch of the Internet, and there's a bunch of hims all around, and, yeah, while that image of all of them together is gonna haunt my nightmares, it kind of seems out of nowhere, and not fully fleshing out a good idea, because it's only kind of starting with it halfway through.
Doug (vo): In fact, the first film kind of seems pointless. Vanellope's whole thing is that she wants to belong, she's an outcast, and she wants to be a part of the group in this game. Now, she just doesn't want to anymore. She's sick of it. I mean, okay, I like the idea of a Disney movie talking about the importance of moving on, it's just that...every Disney movie now is about the importance of moving on, even if it kind of goes against what the previous film was about. You know what the previous film of Wreck-It Ralph was about? Coping. Life's not how you like it. You know what? Deal. If you can't force change around you, adapt to the good things that you admire, and he finds something to admire. He finds importance. Now it's like he's learning it all over again, but in the middle of the movie.
(Various clips focusing on several aspects of the Internet are shown)
Doug (vo): And the idea of showing Ralph's insecurities build on the Internet is a smart idea, but it doesn't even begin to touch the surface of what could be talked about in an Internet movie, because it's a Disney Internet movie. If you're gonna make fun of the Internet, you can't be a Disney brand. A PG isn't gonna do it. You need to go PG-13, maybe even an R. When Ralph looks at the YouTube comments, oh, yeah, that's totally what they would say. Oh, yeah, this is the most amount of jokes we could do with this. Even the Internet world they create looks like every Internet you've seen in tons of other shows and movies, Futurama, The friggin' Emoji Movie. There's nothing new to it, and it's not even satirizing that much. They just sort of say Twitter exists and YouTube exists. Um, okay. Well, what jokes are you gonna do with it? Not much, because you're Disney.
(Footage focusing on the scenes where Vanellope visits the Oh My Disney website and her meeting and bonding with the Disney Princesses is shown)
Doug (vo): The best jokes in the movie, weirdly enough, are when Disney is whoring itself out. Vanellope finds the Oh My Disney website, and while that's not really funny, she does get wrapped up with the Disney Princesses, which is all the original voice cast. The jokes here are surprisingly pretty solid, poking fun of their cliches like how they always have to look at water to be inspired, and...actually, I never thought about that. I guess they do...but also poking fun of cliches that other people have said they partake in, but they don't always, and they're finally getting a little tired of it. I give credit that Disney gave a little pushback on that. But not only were a lot of these scenes already shown in the trailer, almost to an obnoxious degree, but they have little to do with the story. They give her a little bit of advice, and then she's off to figure out her own thing, but we're there for a little bit of time.
(Various clips resume showing)
Doug (vo): And on top of it all, it's just not that funny. It's kind of like modern day Simpson writing, they just kind of say something exists, and because The Simpsons says it exists, that's somehow supposed to make it humorous. It's the same thing here. They acknowledge these Internet memes exist...okay, cool, but how does it tie in to anything? Where's the satire? What are you making fun of? You just showed Overwatch exists. Okay. What do you have to say about it? How does it connect to anything else? It doesn't. Just showing a clip of it is supposed to get a laugh. That's why the princess scenes work, 'cause they're at least making fun of what everybody knows about them instead of just showing them and going away. The only other scene I can think of kind of getting a laugh is Vanellope singing a song about how she wants to be in this wonderful place, like the Disney Princesses usually do, but the place is kind of an awful, terrible, violent place. Again, that wasn't too bad, but everything else feels like it's a seed of an idea that's never given any water. And it's not surprising why. Wreck-It Ralph was video games, mostly retro video games. This is the Internet, and, yeah, while there is kind of a connection, it's not a strong enough connection that Disney can really satirize it. Futurama can satirize it, 'cause it's made for adults. Disney, if they still want to keep that super-friendly family brand, can't. And a part of me gives them credit for holding on to that brand. There's a lot of wholesomeness to it, there's a lot of value to it, and they work within it very well.
Doug (vo): But this is not one of those examples. This is where the brand actually gets in the way of the humor, which wouldn't be too bad if there was a more fleshed out story and characters, but they're really aren't...at least in my opinion. But I don't know. A lot of critics seem to love it. I tried watching it again, and I just couldn't get it. I didn't see good humor, I didn't see good commentary, I didn't see good characters, I didn't see a good story. It just wasn't...good. But maybe there's people out there who do. Maybe there's kids out there that do. Maybe this is somehow a way that kids can connect with their own insecurities on the Internet and how it can get out of control, and, yeah, if it does it for them, great. It's a good lesson to learn. But for me, I don't think it's fully taken advantage of. It was a big hit at the box office, it was a big hit with critics, but it definitely wasn't a big hit with me.
(A scene showing off the whole wide world of the Internet is shown)