Is “Wreck it Ralph 2” Disney’s take on “The Emoji Movie”? At first glance, it would be an obvious yes. That being said, it’s too soon to predict what Ralph’s and Vanellope’s journey will look like. Disney sure seems to enjoy hyping its longtime fans over cameos of celebrity appearances, comedic one-liners from the audience’s favorite characters or magical rides into another reality. Personally, I think that “Wreck it Ralph 2” will deliver a promising family film. There will (at least) be a story featuring Ralph and Vanellope. Put frankly, if you enjoyed “The Emoji Movie,” you’ll definitely enjoy “Wreck it Ralph 2.”
The other day, I was watching the trailer for “Wreck it Ralph 2” (set to premiere on Nov. 21), when I realized how many similarities the film shares with “The Emoji Movie.” The movie was released on July 28 of last year and received a rating of 8 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
To give you an idea of how similar the two films are, they both imagine the internet as a huge place full of towering corporations. “The Emoji Movie” does not develop the world of Textopolis as much, which is basically New York City for emojis. The city has many emojis with arms and legs walking about, going about their day. These emojis act according to what they represent, and there isn’t too much character depth.
We observe Ralph and Vanellope as they explore the city that’s supposed to represent the internet, which is set in a futuristic, highly populated place. As they explore this new setting, the audience experiences their encounters. Before the two characters can take in the extra details, they are bombarded with miniature people shoving iPads in their faces, demanding Ralph to look at their articles. They immediately remind the audience of their daily internet experiences. A quote from the trailer includes: “These ten child stars went to prison! Number six will amaze you.”
Immediately, the world feels alive; people have ads all over their faces and bluebirds (which look like miniature icons from Twitter) fly about the sky. This is the sort of scenery catches everyone’s eyes, and it’s not just due to the colors.
All widely popular social media platforms get their fair share of the internet. Throughout the trailer, you’ll catch glimpses of platforms most everyone is familiar with, such as Amazon, eBay and Google. Using products that everyone is familiar with is a logical tactic that will grab viewers’ attention.
“The Emoji Movie” tried include celebrity cameos, such as Shakira as the Just Dance instructor. Although she tried to crack jokes, most of them came out flat. There doesn’t seem to be any heart or soul in any of these jokes at all. To me, they’re just recycled jokes that other kids’ movies have already created.
The city Disney showcased is a more accurate version on how I envisioned the inner-workings of the internet. However, much like “The Emoji Movie,” we get celebrity appearances in the form of Disney princesses, which was refreshing, since we don’t typically see the princesses in one setting. Yet there they were on the big screen. Much of the voice cast has reappeared, but the major princess fans were excited to see their favorite characters return.
“The Emoji Movie” certainly brought color to their take on the digital world. However, it also brought about the topsy-turvy world of clichés and an oversaturated kids’ fantasy that won’t appeal to children over the age of four. Textopolis is pleasing enough to look at, but it pales in comparison to Disney’s take.
In both movies, the citizens of the internet can walk in and out at any time. Social media platforms are recognized as their own territories in the digital universe. It would make sense, as social media has become a significant part of our lives. It would be strange for a digital universe to exclude social media platforms.
I can tell that “The Emoji Movie” tried to bring something great into this world, even if it didn’t appear that way to audiences. The plot could have been great, if only it spent more time writing and less time on cringe-y jokes and pop songs. It’s always a shame to see such talent go to waste. Even though Disney has developed a reputation for making movies that have given people positive memories, I can’t help but be skeptical of their approach to creating the internet setting that “The Emoji Movie” had attempted before.