A Glorious Glitch
Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet offers stunning CG visuals, lovable characters and a lot of good-natured fun
Having celebrated its 95th anniversary this year, Walt Disney Animation Studios boasts almost a century’s worth of experience in drawing audiences into the magical worlds dreamed up by its legion of in-house ani-mators. But Ralph Breaks the Internet, the studio’s 57th ani-mated feature and a sequel to 2012’s box-office-wrecking Wreck-It Ralph, is possibly its most challenging since Walt himself oversaw the completion of Snow White and the Sev-en Dwarfs in 1937.
At first glance, the CG-animated, tech-themed film is about as far from the pastoral landscapes of Snow White as you can get (although — spoiler alert — the raven-haired Disney princess does in fact make a cameo), but both features are, in their own way, pioneers. As was the case for Walt on Snow White, there was no cinematic blueprint for what directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston set out to depict in Ralph Breaks the Internet, which sees the eponymous loveable oaf reunited with adorable gal-pal Vanellope von Schweetz on another high-octane, high-fructose adventure, this time in the sprawling metropolis of the World Wide Web. Despite the profound effect the Internet has had on the world since it was launched to the public in 1983, it has nev-er been depicted on screen before in any tangible way. “We did actually have a board of all the cities that we could find in sci-fi movies,” recalls art director Matthias Lechner, who was one of the first members of crew to come on board the film. “And the directors told us not to do any of that. It wasn’t supposed to read as a sci-fi city, because it’s the Internet.”