May 19, 2022

The Movie Man: ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ Offers Existentialism for Kids 101

In this sequel to 2012’s Wreck it Ralph, the title character and his adorable best friend, Vanellope, venture beyond their familiar arcade community into the world of the Internet.

And this depiction of the Internet is a tangible and personified version of the World Wide Web, akin to a thriving city with anthropological beings embodying many things with which we are familiar, such as algorithms and search engines (including a frustrated reminder to say “thank you” when your search engine brings you what you were seeking.)

There are some philosophical themes in these movies, at least entry-level for the younger crowds screening them (despite reading Dostoyevsky at a book club meeting later on, the film does not exactly go into themes from The Grand Inquisitor about whether we are responsible enough to handle freedom).

Vanellope ponders what the meaning of everything is beyond their games, the stark reality of being 0’s and 1’s, and wanting more, while Ralph expresses, not only contention, but joy with what his life is.

The previous film tackled the issue of personal identity and worth, with Ralph wanting to be more than just the “bad guy” character and Vanellope being included in her game.

This installment now tackles the issue of friendship, and what being a true friend really means: whatever is best for your friend, regardless of how it affects you. (And this is where memories of my Catholic education came to mind, reminding me that the real definition of love is to will the good of the other).

While the Wreck it Ralph movies have not demonstrated themselves to be Disney’s most groundbreaking movies in recent years (the plots can seem familiar at times), they still prove to be highly entertaining and filled with unique, lovable characters.

And Disney did have the joy of referencing itself by bringing Vanellope to Oh My Disney to see numerous iconic characters and environments, making everything more enjoyable. And the theme of Girl Power is brought up when she takes refuge in the Princesses’ dressing room, which will delight numerous girls (young and old.)

For the sake of pure entertainment, I would definitely recommend this film to viewers of all ages. It is not necessary for Disney to break ground through every film they release, but they certainly know how to make a good time at the movies.

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Kevin Ganey.

Kevin Ganey

About the Author: Kevin Ganey has lived in the Lyme/Old Lyme area since he was three-years-old, attended Xavier High School in Middletown and recently graduated from Quinnipiac University with a degree in Media Studies. Prior to his involvement here at, he worked for Hall Radio in Norwich, as well as interned under the Director of Communications at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center. Kevin has a passion for movies, literature, baseball, and all things New England-based … especially chow

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