Wreck it Ralph was director Rich Moore’s first film for Disney. It was a fun and inventive movie, full of great potential and lots of heart, yet marred by lackluster storytelling, extraneous jokes, and veering away at the last minute from actually engaging with the very strong contexts (ostracization and bullying) it had been heading towards. My opinion has shifted gears over the years to where I now find it a solid movie, if one that still feels like it could have reached higher.
So, for me it was a great delight when Rich’s next film (along with Byron Howard and Jared Bush) came along to find that these weaknesses had all been addressed – the storytelling was buttery smooth, the humour well integrated, the puns turbocharged, and in absolutely. no. way. did the movie avoid the profound and difficult inquiries it was grappling with. It was moving, it was beautiful, and it was, of course, Zootopia, a film I may have written a thing or two about…
Now, two and a half years after Zootopia and six years later from the original comes the sequel to Ralph (directed again by Rich along with Phil Johnston). As was the tradition, I avoided as many spoilers as possible, watched the original to get ready, and headed to the theatre opening weekend to catch a showing. Would Ralph Wreck the Day (in a good way) again?
(Spoilers Ahead!) Continue reading