First things first. This movie will be thoroughly enjoyed by kids still in elementary school. But from start to finish, this movie feels cynical and has few redeeming qualities. The expressive nature of the strong character designs, the fluid, and technically impressive animation, and the aesthetics of a more rebellious cyberpunk world juxtaposed alongside a sterilized depiction of the Internet is what keeps this movie from being terrible in my eyes. Ooh, and the princess scene. Okay. The first movie is, in almost every single way, superior to the second. That's because it seems like Disney's out for money with this movie and wants to capitalize on the hip trends of today. Sure, it doesn't fare as badly as The Emoji Movie in any respect, but it's so much blander by comparison. The titular character of Ralph seems to have regressed so far from what seemed like the substantial character development in the first movie, while Vanellope has a more reasonable yet still frustratingly simple problem with Ralph. She wants Ralph to let go of her so she can be free to do more with her life and break free from the shackles of everyday monotony while Ralph is a clingy crybaby for the entirety of the movie. He wants to stick by Vanellope and live an unchanging life for as long as he can possibly manage, breaking any rule as long as Vanellope stays with him. This movie will directly contrive itself in order to stretch out this thin, shallow conflict for as long as it can while leaving these undeveloped characters in a state of turmoil and basically dropping all the prominent side characters of the first movie. Fix-it Felix and Sergeant Calhoun aren't needed by the script anymore and are replaced by others like Yesss and Shank, the latter of whom is more interesting just because of the artistically interesting nature of her environment. These two characters are only here to steal the two protagonists away, with Shank's potential fading as she becomes Vanellope's source of guidance and nothing more. Fix-it Felix was someone other than Vanellope that Ralph could share his troubles with in the first film, and we don't see any interactions where he doesn't behave incredibly dumb as opposed to the first film. Take King Candy from the first film as another example. Someone twisted by the elimination of their game, he goes from oppressive and seeking fame to one that's obsessed with power. The only villain in this movie is Ralph's insecurity, something he's supposed to have moved on from. Something broken by random internet comments that go "you're so bad" because of course it's got to have a clean censor rating. Not only does the film fail to make these main characters interesting with their new arcs, but they also aren't able to do it for any other character that makes an appearance in this film. Disney shifting from video games to an explorable internet seems like a movement in line with their remakes, a desperate attempt to become the woke dudes that sees the quality of these films devolve slightly. Don't be deceived by that world of Disney in which the princess scene takes place, or the Ralph mobile game advertisements, or the absolute memefest that is this movie. It's only better than the Emoji Movie in the sense that it's taking well-loved characters and building a new film in which they don't necessarily break said character. It's a marketing scheme that Disney financially benefits from in spades. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Ralph meme compilation that you'll only have the kids enjoying because it feels shoehorned in in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator. As evidenced by the first film, there are much better ways to do that.