The trailer for “Wreck-it-Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet” explodes an adorable bunny rabbit, and as such, it’s earned a pass in most people’s books.
What the movie doesn’t manage to do, though, is explain an awful lot about what the driving force is going to be for this story’s plot. Sure, we know that Litwak’s arcade is finally embracing modern technology, but we don’t know what central conflict will cause the movie to actually progress.
After all, no kid’s movie can simply be an hour and a half of exploding bunny rabbits, right?
A clue to whatever is going on can be found in an intriguing little detail in the trailer that almost looks like a plot hole, considering where the story of Wreck-it-Ralph ends.
In the first film, a large plot point is the fact that mini Sara Silverman (also known as Vanellope), as a glitch character, is unable to leave her own game.
All other arcade characters can tour around wherever they like, getting into trouble, but Vanellope is chained to her own candy-themed kart racer. At the end of the movie, rather than accepting the opportunity to fix her programming, she embraces her weird glitchy powers, and seems to settle on a life of never being able to escape the confines of her home.
Clearly, this little rule becomes restrictive in the context of a new sequel, and as such, it’s been ditched. Vanellope is seen travelling around in cyberspace with Ralph without giving a second thought to her previous glitches.
It would be easy for the game to explain this away with a few simple lines of expositional dialogue, but it could also hint at a bigger reason for the adventure – perhaps Vanellope has discovered some new secret about her forgotten past that allows her this new power, and she and Ralph are off onto the internet in order to try and find out more about her origins.
One would hope that this movie will tie back into game lore at some point, rather than simply being a series of references to eBay and YouTube Red.
While this movie appears to be aiming for a far more contemporary internet culture vibe rather than something that’s strictly gaming, it’d be interesting to see the movie tackle the subject of gamer culture, and how many fans of video games actively seek out glitches and bugs for fun, whether for speedrunning or simply to see how much they can break a game.
After all, if “Wreck-it-Ralph 2” turns out to be more about memes than actual gaming culture, the franchise will be moving a long way away from what made the first film enjoyable, and could end up simply repeating the mistakes of “The Emoji Movie”.
Nobody wants to see that, even if it does feature exploding bunnies in a children’s mobile game.