In this case, Vanellope finds a home away from home in a perilous first-person game called Slaughter Race, bonding with its seemingly dangerous leader, Shank (“Wonder Woman’s” Gal Gadot). Confused and jealous, Ralph just wants his friend back, which paves the way for the cascading threat that he naively unleashes and must try to fix.
In most every way “Ralph” improves on its previous outing, in some respects owing a stronger debt to sibling Pixar’s “Inside Out” in its approach to childhood insecurities through a lens to which adults can easily relate. (Even Vanellope’s glitching when she becomes agitated says something with a genuine sweetness to it.)
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” leads off a pair of family-friendly sequels that Disney will release this holiday season, the other being the eagerly anticipated follow-up “Mary Poppins Returns.” If the latter is anywhere near this satisfying, the studio might not break the Internet, but it has a fair shot at breaking the bank.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” opens Nov. 21 in the U.S. It’s rated PG.