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Ralph Breaks The Internet (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Disney animation’s new animation hot streak may be more notable for the Frozen phenomenon, but it did start the year prior with the very popular and profitable Wreck It Ralph. And before we start sequelizing the recent run and getting the (sure to be HUMONGOUS) Frozen 2, Ralph gets his second turn at bat. And oddly enough, looking over, balance and consistency may be his strong suit. The sequel did about even critically and just a little better at the box office than the original. That’s a pretty solid carry over considering these both made just shy of half a billion dollars. You’ll be able to take home Ralph’s breaking of the internet when it comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on February 26th (Same day as Ariel!).

Film 

Video-game bad guy Ralph and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz leave the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game, Sugar Rush. Their quest takes them to the vast, uncharted world of the internet where they rely on the citizens of the internet “the Netizens” to help navigate their way. Lending a virtual hand are Yesss, the head algorithm and the heart and soul of the trend-making site “BuzzzTube,” and Shank, a tough-as-nails driver from a gritty online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race, a place Vanellope wholeheartedly embraces – so much so that Ralph worries he may lose the only friend he’s ever had.

I’m not sure what the iconography will be for it down the line, but narratively-speaking, the original Wreck-It-Ralph was a Toy Story for the further on generation. Those nostalgic for what he brought were those of in the console/arcade generation. The original film kinda dragged a bit in the middle, but was overall a pretty good time and fun to see how all the iconic game characters were used and to spot easter eggs on display.

This second film jumps in and meshes things with the generation that follows by having some fun in the internet/social media era. They bring Ralph up with the times and it results in a better paced and very endearing movie. Much of what worked before is still very present, but it doesn’t rely on gags from the first film again and instead makes the next logical jump telling a similar but fresh story.

The film squarely focuses on the relationship of Vanellope and Ralph, giving them the spotlight and meeting a load of new faces. One of which is played by the scene stealing Gal Gadot. I don’t know what it is with her, but she has on off the charts charisma that extends to animated characters as well. There other vocal guests that are fun, especially Bill Hader, but Gal steals the show whenever she’s present in the film.

One aspect that works pretty well in Ralph is the action. From car chases to virus chases, the directors really have a good handle on geography and making thrilling cuts and angles to tell a full story in their action sequences. Things are clear and just about up to par with a lot of live action films with the same goal in mind.

Ralph Breaks The Internet is a slight improvement over the first film. Primarily, the pace is much better this time around. The emotional investment of moving on, away and realizing what’s best for everyone is endearing and heartbreaking at the same time. The movie is a happy/sad one altogether. But its also thrilling and fun in its telling of the Ralph/Vanellope friendship.

Video 

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Ralph Breaks The Internet comes as an upscale but there very obvious improvements made from the standard Blu-ray image of the film. You’ll instantly notice a darker more rich and refined picture. Detail only enhances an uptick, but the sharpness and feeling of every seen becomes more enriched with better blacks and color saturation across the board.

Depth:  Naturally being CGI and 3-D has the film looking well round and moves quite smoothly and naturally. There is good push back and distance for the backgrounds and environments in the image. No motion distortions plague any part of this.

Black Levels: Blacks are where a lot of the improvement comes in this better saturation and more natural appearance. The sharpening and definition of things is enhanced and the shadowing it a lot better. Night looks like night and it isn’t as bright as it was in the Blu-ray version.

Color Reproduction: Colors are much better saturated here than the Blu-ray counterpart. Things like colored lightning, car lights, beams and more pop a little better here.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible), English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: Ralph Breaks The Internet’s Atmos track is a very solid “fine”. The balance is a little off as the subwoofer’s contributions and deep bass elements appear louder than the rest, but in reality the vocals and intricate sound effects are set a bit lower than your normal default. At the end of the day, its still a fun experience, but you may want to dial your volume up a couple notches and your subwoofer down a tick.

Height: Natural elements like a car roaring over the screen and things falling from above are captured hear. Ambient elements as well as some musical contributions show up top time to in a complimentary fashion.

Low Frequency Extension: Bass is pretty deep and heavy here. Its at a more natural place, but has the illusion that its heavier in the mix than everything else because the other elements are a little too low.

Surround Sound Presentation: Ralph’s internet adventure is a fun one that takes advantage of every corner of the room. Sound travel as well as environmental settings all feel very accurate and engaging.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals, as mentioned, are a little lower in this mix than everything else, but are plenty audible at all times.

Extras 

Ralph Breaks The Internet comes with the Blu-ray edition and a digital copy of the film. Bonus features are found on the standard Blu-ray disc. The digital copy comes with an exclusive featurette.

Surfing for Easter Eggs (HD, 3:36) – This little piece points out the easter eggs hidden in the film’s frames.

The Music of Ralph Breaks the Internet (HD, 10:18) – This featurette goes in detail on the music in the film and features interviews with Imagine Dragons, Julia Michaels, Alan Menken and Sarah Silverman

BuzzzTube Cats (HD, 1:47) – A com.pilation of the cat videos seen in the film.

How We Broke the Internet (HD, 32:57) – A nice pretty in depth look at the making of the film and how specifically they thought out how to bring the internet to life in a more physical form. It features plenty of people including the directors, artists and designers who are able to paint a nice picture of how this all went down.

Deleted Scenes – All feature introductions by directors Phil Moore and Rich Johnston.

  • Into The Internet (HD, 4:54)
  • Opposites (HD, 3:17)
  • Domestic Hell (HD, 2:43)
  • Bubble of One (HD, 5:56)
  • Recruiting Grandma (HD, 2:15)

Music Videos 

  • “Zero” Performed by Imagine Dragons (HD, 3:51)
  • “In This Place” Performed by Julia Michaels (HD, 3:22)

Digital Only

Baby Drivers – Slaughter Racing School (HD, 2:13) – The film’s artists take a lesson at a race car driving school.

Summary 

Ralph Breaks The Internet a nice step up from the original and a bit more personal, deeper story than the original. Granted, this is still a fun movie with plenty of laughs and thrilling action, but at its core its very touching. This 4K Ultra-HD release from Disney comes with a solid presentation and decent extras to tide you over afterward. Its the best way to own it of the options available and an overall solid release to boot.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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