Six years after the title video-game bad guy of “Wreck-It Ralph” went on an epic hero’s journey, he goes viral in a Disney animated sequel that matches the first film’s charm, ratchets up the emotions but lacks the same originality.
Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is as much a lovable lunkhead as ever in “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (★★★ out of four; rated PG; in theaters Nov. 21), yet the follow-up centers on best friend, Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), realizing her dreams.
Times are just peachy at Litwak’s Arcade for Ralph and his 8-bit friends, though they’re a bit too fine for young Vanellope. She has grown bored being the resident princess of her game “Sugar Rush” and yearns for something new.
Ralph takes that as her needing some improvement in her game to fulfill her need for speed, but his intervention leads to the wheel breaking on the “Sugar Rush” machine. The good news: Litwak’s has just gotten Wi-Fi, so Ralph and Vanellope head into cyberspace to track down a replacement part on eBay.
Being video game characters, they don’t have any money, which leads them to the shady world of J.P. Spamley (Bill Hader) and click bait clickbait for cash. High jinks ensue across the web from there: Vanellope falls in love with the online game “Slaughter Race” while Ralph, who’s as disconcerted by the Internet as she’s inspired, learns the power of “likes” and cat videos with trendy guru Yesss (Taraji P. Henson).
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