Ok. I’m a little less disturbed by the official trailer of Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 than I was the teaser (images of “Bunny gets the pancake” still haunt me), but I am impressed at the level of savagery the studio allows towards some of their most valuable IP. The Princesses. Whoa.
Cinderella will cut you!
Daft Punk propels Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Venellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) into the World Wide Web for another Who Framed Roger Rabbit?-like tour through popular culture. As was the case with the first film, directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston poke a little fun at the characters we love, but they’ve really sharpened their knives this time around.
As Ralph and Veneloppe take in the sights, we see just how much of Corporate America controls our day-to-day lives. Amazon looms like a Star Destroyer over Corellia, YouTube and Facebook mark the skyline of the Social Media District, and Google towers over everyone like the bright, beaming overlords that they are.
The Searchbar autofill is a touch aggressive, eager to steer you down a path of spending that will leave you crippled and broke on the floor of Nordstrom Rack. When Venellope pushes Ralph aside to request a destination that is “super intense and really nuts” the only answer can be “Oh My Disney.”
Muppets and Star Wars and Marvel, oh my indeed. X-Wings and Tie Fighters flirt overheard as Stormtroopers descend upon our heroes. In one single shot, Disney laughs at their cultural supremacy. Who can compete with a Winnie the Pooh/Lucasfilm mashup?
Venellope flees to a star-studded restricted area. Time for Moore and Johnston to revel in the neverending atrocities fueling the Disney Princess origin story. Fearing an invasion by an outsider, Cinderella cracks her glass slipper like a bottle of Miller Lite, Jasmine brandishes her lamp, and Pocahontas goes Apocalypto with a war club.
Venellope’s only chance of survival is to fake it till she makes it. “I’m a princess too.” Oh yeah? “Do you have magic hair? Magic hands? Do animals talk to you? Were you poisoned? Cursed? Kidnapped or enslaved? Do people assume all your problems got solved because a big strong man showed up?” Ouch. That’s a whole lotta truth bombs exploding.
The trailer concludes with Ralph hating on the title of his own movie. “Wreck the Internet” would sound better, but “Break the Internet” is “like the thing.” So, Disney’s gotta do what it’s gotta do to be relevant. You don’t own cyberspace without knowing how to placate and cater to the citizens.
For me, these last two Weck-It Ralph trailers have been a mini-trip to the psychiatrist’s office. Here is Disney having a mess load of fun with their kingdom. Ruthlessly fileting their dominance in our lives, and allowing us to laugh along with them. Behind each chuckle is a little bit of darkness, but if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.