‘Ralph Breaks the Internet,’ as well as perceptions of changing relationships

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” introduces us to beloved characters, old and new, that wrestle with the prospect of changing relationships and how to deal with them.

As the rise of the Internet brings millions of people around the world closer together, Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) find that the Internet may be the one thing to drive their friendship apart in Disney’s new film “Ralph Breaks the Internet.”

With Vanellope’s glitch now adapted to the candy-filled racing game called Sugar Rush and Ralph’s occupation as a ‘bad guy’ no longer ostracizing him from the characters of Fix-It Felix, Jr., life in the arcade seems to be perfect for the pair. One day, when Wi-Fi is introduced to the arcade’s power strip, Vanellope and Ralph find that there may be more to life than simply playing in the games for which they were created. Disney explores this conflict with a fresh story and a delightful cast that emboldens all of us to face our insecurities and embrace change in a healthy way.

The movie’s supporting characters contribute to the entertaining plot. It features the excellent voice talent of Gal Gadot, better known for her role in “Wonder Woman” as a daring Amazon warrior. In the gaming world, Gadot embodies a fearless racer named Shank who is practically undefeatable in the online racing game Slaughter Race. Her bravery and loyalty to her racing mates easily wins Vanellope’s admiration. For me, seeing a role model with an intimidating, leather-jacket aesthetic who simultaneously serves as a down-to-earth companion was thrilling and heart-warming, all at the same time.

Perhaps the most alluring characters in the entire movie were the host of Disney Princesses prepping in a pink, lush lounge for rounds upon rounds of Buzzfeed quizzes. This may be one of the first times that we have seen all of the princesses animated together in several scenes throughout the same movie, and Disney did not disappoint. The princesses boldly defied the stereotype of damsels in distress needing to be saved and their interactions with one another are sure to make you laugh.

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” confronts a deeper issue that is probably relevant to thousands of students across college campuses everywhere — as paths diverge and passions take us to different places, the way our relationships look may change, especially as our differing paths lead us to new relationships altogether.

This moral, albeit fairly obvious in the characters’ dialogue, admittedly made me feel a bit uncomfortable while I was watching. Granted, I’m a pretty emotional person and getting teary over a Disney movie at 19 years old isn’t something I would normally brag about. I think what truly set me on edge, though in a good way, is the fact that I’ve recently been feeling guilty for how moving away from home has made my connection to my friends and family feel different — even strained — at times.

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” teaches us how we can deal with this insecurity and what can go wrong when we allow it to make us paranoid to the point of controlling the people in our lives we love most. Change, even when it involves the relationships that we have spent years building and developing, is natural and meant to be accepted, no matter how much it hurts when we realize that it is inevitable.

Perhaps the most sound solution to this dilemma that I and potentially several others face is knowing that as time goes on and our lives guide us away from one another, we can always make time for the people we care about. The way we interact may look different, and the opportunities to do so come few and far in between, but our deepest bonds can never be broken by distance or changed interests. We need only remember what has drawn us close to our friends in the first place and allow that to remain an unbreakable cornerstone.

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