Remember when Disney only deigned to release sequels to its most popular animated features—Aladdin, The Lion King, etc.—directly to video (VHS specifically)? Now, its sequels, including this most recent feature, prove to be some of the company’s most creative, allowing talented animators and storytellers to add depth to already-built worlds. In Ralph’s second adventure with BFF and talented racer Vanellope (v. Sarah Silverman), the reformed villain so wonderfully voiced by John C. Reilly literally accomplishes the titular demolition.
While much of what happens in Wreck-It Ralph 2 rehashes the irrational emotional decisions driving many a feature—live-action or animated—the creativity surrounding these familiar plot points is phenomenal. Co-directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston imaginatively repurpose Disney properties like their legendary princesses and Star Wars to tell a familiar Disney tale of friendship and living one’s dream. If Ralph 2 does anything weakly, it is criticizing the modern online culture it pleasantly satirizes. Were Ralph to focus its vast computing power on a story as inventive as the world it commands, it would be an all-time high scorer rather than a one-year placeholder.