Ralph Breaks the Internet Cast Talks About Online Life
At first it seemed like the end of Disney’s Wreck-it Ralph was truly the end for the characters. Wreck It Ralph (John C. Reilly) was happy and content after finding a best friend in race car driver Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). Then directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston started thinking about the last line of the movie where Ralph says, “Because if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be?”
“And it seemed at the time, it’s so sweet,” Moore said in a recent press conference. “It’s a wonderful sentiment. But then as we continued to kind of pick at it, we said, that’s really, really dysfunctional. That this guy is defining himself by what his best friend thinks. And it’s a great best friend. But what if she were not to like him someday? What would that lead to?”
It leads Ralph and Vanellope going on a grand adventure into the Internet in Ralph Breaks the Internet. While Ralph finds comfort doing the same thing day after day, Vanellope is bored and wants more out of her life, but when Ralph tries to shake things up for her, a disaster happens and they are thrust into a big and scary world of search engines and chat rooms.
Ralph becomes an Internet sensation and also discovers the good and bad sides of an online life. John C. Reilly was asked about the social commentary in the film and he talked about the moment he realized that Ralph Breaks the Internet is about more than two friends on an adventure, it’s about the time we live in now.
“Our relationship to this technology, its power, and its effect on us, we don’t even quite understand yet. It’s as powerful as like a nuclear bomb. But it uses other means. So it was really exciting in the context of an entertaining Disney film to be able to talk about some of these issues in a really, really real way. Its effect on people, why do we crave the anonymous acceptance of people we don’t know? All of this stuff. The way we’re bombarded with commerce on the Internet.
“So we made this fun entertaining story. But I think certainly you must have asked this question for this reason. That you come away from the film thinking about some of the most important issues of our time,” Reilly said.
And that’s what’s so great about Ralph Breaks the Internet; it’s about things kids are dealing with right now. Where is my place in the world? How do I manage a life of technology with a personal life? Why are people on the Internet so mean?
Sarah Silverman has been on Twitter since the beginning and has 12 million followers.
“It’s a gateway drug,” she said agreeing with Reilly. “For a comedian, it’s a great place to try out jokes or like places where you just have a funny thought and you want to put it out there or whatever. But then it became the place where I take in my news. And now I wantonly look back on the times when I was funny on it,” she said.
But it’s like anything, Silverman said. Consuming too much isn’t good. “But I think there’s a lot of good in the Internet. It’s brought the world a lot closer. It’s made it a lot smaller. And then of course there are terrible things about it. A lot outside misinformation, this new world of chaos. And lack of knowing what is true, I would attribute to the Internet. But also learning truths about other people that I would have never known. Culturally. Like waking up to my own white privilege had a lot to do with the Internet for what it’s worth. But yeah. It’s a very complicated relationship, the Internet, that we all have. And we have to try to find a healthy balance.”
My favorite part of the movie and one of the most shared trailers is when Venellope meets the Disney Princesses (wearing comfortable clothes!). She even gets her own song. It was dream come true for Silverman when partway through the filming she was told she would get her own song.
“…I couldn’t believe it. And the music was written by Alan Menken and I got to meet him and work with him and rehearse with him. And he played mSomewhere That’s Green for me to sing from my favorite. He wrote Little Shop of Horrors, my favorite. And of course it’s like this Disney icon of iconic songs. But, yeah. It was incredible. Then we recorded with a whole orchestra. Like you see in old-timely movies. He was crazy. It was really the thrill of a lifetime.”
Just being in a Disney Movie was a bucket list item for Taraji P. Henson who plays Yess, the woman behind viral videos in Ralph Breaks the Internet.
“I just thought she was incredible. I mean, when Rich and Phil brought her to me and explained her, I was like, This is a no brainer. She’s a go getter. She’s the head of a company. She’s no nonsense. She has heart. My favorite scene is when Ralph finds himself in the comment section or the comment room. She comes in and she tells him, It’s not you, it’s them. They’re mean. They’re hurt, so they’re hurting you. It grounded the film for me and it grounded the character for me. Made her multi dimensional. And then getting to voice with amazing actors. I mean, it was just a no brainer for me.”
Ralph Breaks the Internet is in theaters everywhere.