The Internet is a vast, nearly endless space, and it's filled with all kinds of wonderful things. With the good however, comes plenty of bad, and we all know that the Internet has more than its fair share of negativity. Disney's upcoming Wreck-It Ralph sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, takes its characters on a journey though the World Wide Web, and they will have to encounter everything it has to offer.
Of course, that includes online trolls, who have become a massive topic of conversation as of late, taking bullying to an even darker level. Despite being a family oriented movie, Ralph's directors decided to tackle this issue head-on, because it's something that everyone with Internet access is in danger of encountering.
During a visit to Disney Animation Studios earlier this year, ComicBook.com heard from directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston about their plans to take on such difficult subject matter.
"It's a tricky balance, as you know," Moore noted. "And, to some extent, the three of us were emboldened by the work on Zootopia, knowing that audiences are okay, and actually eager, for a more sophisticated approach in family films to tricky subject matter, like in Zootopia it was racism and this one we're dealing, to an extent, with online bullying and trolling, as you saw in that sequence. But more on an emotional level with Ralph, just self-doubt and insecurity and all those things that I think both parents and kids can relate to."
"So the way we treated it," he continued, "There are certain things we're not dealing with fascism in this movie, as you suggest, but we are dealing with those emotions that kids and parents feel when you're trolled, when a stranger belittles you and how that makes you feel and how having a true friend and people who love and support you can get you through that. And Yesss's comment to Ralph there, which while it may sound reductive, really is the best advice, which is ignore it and don't feed the trolls and don't listen to them. That's something a guy like Ralph, who is pretty insecure, might have some trouble dealing with. So hopefully in talking about it and using a character like Ralph and Vanellope to be our eyes into that, we're at least helping start a discussion between parents and kids."
Disney movies have never been shy when it comes to dealing with this sort of material, and it's good to know that Ralph Breaks the Internet will be no different. The Internet can be dangerous at hurtful at times, and Ralph will learn that sad fact, just as we all did.
Ralph Breaks the Internet is set to hit theaters on November 21st.