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Wreck It Ralph VS Ralph Breaks The Internet

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Owen Maxwell
Is it better to hit the arcade or go play online? We're going pixel-by-pixel to see which film gets the highest score. Plots are going to be under a microscope, so a SPOILER ALERT is in order. Our video includes Ralph and Vanellope's friendship, laughs, and more! Join MsMojo as we pit Wreck-It Ralph against Ralph Breaks The Internet.
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Wreck-It Ralph vs Ralph Breaks The Internet


Is it better to hit the arcade or go play online? Welcome to MsMojo and today we're playing versus mode with “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”

We're going pixel-by-pixel to see which film gets the highest score. Plots are going to be under a microscope, so a SPOILER ALERT is in order.

Round 1: Ralph and Vanellope's Friendship


When Vanellope and Ralph first meet in “Wreck-It Ralph,” their loud personalities clash a lot. Thanks to their own flaws, however, the pair easily see each other for the misunderstood people that they truly are. Through building a cart together, Ralph and Vanellope support each other and find the self-worth they've been missing. Their friendship takes some tough love, but this ultimately lets both heroes grow as people. Though there's certainly an inspiring message about compassion, their story is much more about embracing your own faults. It's in this necessary lesson about understanding others that Ralph and Vanellope save the day, and finally become happy in their games.

During their stay on the internet, however, Vanellope quickly falls in love with the fast and violent world of Slaughter Race. The prospect of losing a friend hurts Ralph, and his selfish attempts to keep Vanellope only push her away. By exploring jealousy and dependency, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” shows how easily a friendship can become toxic when love is misplaced. When he sees how happy Vanellope is, Ralph realizes that sometimes being nurturing means giving people room. The visual interpretation of Ralph's insecurities as a virus is also equally strong as a joke and a powerful metaphor as well. Rather than maintaining an idyllic friendship, Ralph and Vanellope's real-life emotional struggles flesh them out into believable protagonists.
With as many goofy insults as tear jerking moments, both films build on the heartwarming friendship between Vanellope and Ralph. “Wreck-It Ralph” shows how outcasts can find a place in the world, but ultimately focuses more on each character individually. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” takes their story one step further with difficult life lessons, however, and is much more emotionally satisfying.

WINNER: Wreck-It Ralph 0 / Ralph Breaks the Internet 1

Round 2: Laughs


With an entire arcade to play around with, “Wreck-It Ralph” is undeniably centered around gaming humor. That said, its scenes pack in enough jokes that gamers and noobs alike could find something to laugh at. Though the film definitely front-loads a lot of its comedy, each joke in the second-half is a pleasant surprise. The “Bad-Anon” scene hilariously dissects video games while leaving fans giggling at the realistic help-group advice. Felix and Sergeant Calhoun are so defined that you laugh at their reactions as much as their commentary. The sharp writing of “Wreck-It Ralph” also spilled over into some sneaky bits of graffiti and world design.

To lampoon the entire online community, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” keeps its humor coming at every turn. All the constant joking, however, can be tiring at times, and this leaves some jokes less deep than others. Disney does make great use of its properties, though, and offer up some side-splitting moments that its Marvel and “Star Wars” characters can't fit into their own films. The Disney princess scene also offers hysterical fan-service with some truly clever commentary. By turning websites into real places and people, the film delivers tons of brilliant gags. With a much tighter focus on its comedic side, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” rarely leaves any scene too serious.

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” certainly brings the quantity, but its jokes rarely leave a lasting impression. Moreover, the timeless humor of “Wreck-It Ralph” will likely hold up better than of-the-moment internet jokes. By more well-thought-out bits, “Wreck-It Ralph” has us laughing much more consistently.

WINNER: Wreck-It Ralph 1 / Ralph Breaks the Internet 1

Round 3: Exploring Their World


To develop video games into an entire livable space, “Wreck-It Ralph” establishes how all its sprites interact together. The art team also does a great job of converting 2D graphics into 3D worlds so that each game looks stunning. Several characters are even animated at different frame-rates to reflect different gaming eras. The power strip not only allows sprites to meet, but also carries its own set of rules to emphasize its place in everyone's lives. Though most of the movie takes place in “Sugar Rush,” the arcade gets a lot of detail. Along with its fairly accurate look at game code, “Wreck-It Ralph” translates how acting out can make a character's game unplayable.

As soon as Vanellope and Ralph arrive online, there's a sense of wonder to the sprawling city in front of them. From modems, to pop-ups, to the dark web, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” gives a thorough realization of the internet. The animators' reimagining of famous websites allows the web to feel both livable and hilarious. With avatars showing people surfing the internet too, the hub between websites is truly its own interesting space. Online polls become public events and Twitter is turned into its own beautiful tree of birds. Though some places are more captivating than others, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” does a great job at keeping its whole world lively.
Though “Wreck-It Ralph” develops the tiny details of an arcade, it narrows itself down to just a few games. The digital city of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is truly astounding and keeps each take on web culture interesting. For its scope and artistic vision, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is a creative triumph.

WINNER: Wreck-It Ralph 1 / Ralph Breaks the Internet 2

Round 4: Characters


“Wreck-It Ralph” introduces us to Ralph and Vanellope, with all their heart and anger on display to the audience. While both of them start off fairly selfish and frustrated, they grow into more interesting people by making more friends. Fix-It Felix and Sergeant Calhoun seem one-dimensional at first, but they eventually become utterly lovable and hilarious in their own right. Background characters from each arcade cabinet help communicate the attitudes of their games as well. Classic sprites like Q*bert and Sonic get minor roles in the film as well. King Candy is also a very deceptive villain, and the fact that he used to be Turbo enriches his role in the story.

Throughout Ralph's online journey, we see so many new people that it's hard to give anyone more than a scene each. Spamley is comically shady but means well, while people like Double Dan are essentially gone as quickly as they appear. Though Yesss has to be a little in-your-face to match her viral video role in the film, she is contagiously excited whenever she's on screen. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” excels, however, with its strong female characters, especially when Shank enters the film. Even the Disney princesses talk about empowering women, and they end up saving Ralph in the movie's finale.

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” offers a lot of characters, but the audience just never gets enough time to connect with them. By focusing tightly on a few interesting people, “Wreck-It Ralph” assures that we actually care about its smaller roles. “Wreck-It Ralph” takes this round.

WINNER: Wreck-It Ralph 2 / Ralph Breaks the Internet 2

Round 5: Story


Along with a healthy dose of arcade nostalgia, “Wreck-It Ralph” does a great job of building a plot from a simple premise. While the movie begins with Ralph's quest for a medal in his own game, he travels into completely different cabinets. Each moment feels important and well-paced, while the slowest sections of Sugar Rush focus on growing relationships between characters. “Wreck-It Ralph” also weaves in twists from story notes that initially seem fairly trivial. Ralph comes to terms with his role as a bad guy and learns about the importance of good friends. Though it's pretty straightforward, Ralph's first outing is fun and efficient at telling a story.

In an effort to find a new steering wheel for “Sugar Rush,” Ralph and Vanellope head to the web. Since they have to earn money to pay for the wheel, most of the film revolves around all the websites they visit to get cash. Though it makes for a much funnier and more visually stunning movie, the story feels unimportant. If anything, the emotional friendship between Vanellope and Ralph steals the show, and outperforms the laughs at times. This does mean, however, that certain moments of the movie drag on and feel like excuses for jokes. As ambitious as its concept is, there's too much ground to cover in “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”
There's a lot of heart to “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” but that can't make up for its scatterbrained plot. With an exciting and to-the-point story about personal growth, “Wreck-It Ralph” knocks this one out of the park.

WINNER: Wreck-It Ralph 3 / Ralph Breaks the Internet 2

Though “Ralph Breaks the Internet” is certainly a worthy sequel, “Wreck-It Ralph” keeps his medal with a score of 3 to 2.
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