Taking place six years after the events of the 2012 film (makes sense), we revisit the world of Litwak's Family Fun Center and Arcade. A game villain named Ralph (John C. Reilly) and a game racer named Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) have become best friends, and they live among a variety of other famous video game characters like Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog, just to name a couple.
Vanellope mentions one day that she's kinda bored with the same old game routines, and wants a bit of change. Now able to freely jump between games, Ralph ends up making a secret track for Vanellope's racing game, 'Sugar Rush'. While Vanellope is fulfilled with something new and different, her actions cause the machine's steering wheel to break.
With the company that made 'Sugar Rush' now out of business, the kids of the arcade turn to eBay in an attempt to help Mr. Litwack. The wheel is found, but it's too costly, and Litwack sees no alternative but to shut down the game. This leaves the racers and other characters pretty much homeless. However, Ralph and Vanellope jump into the new Wi-Fi that the arcade was recently hooked up with, in order to visit eBay, and get the steering wheel, themselves.
Along the way, they find themselves having to turn to a deadly racing game called 'Slaughter Race' where we're introduced to newcomer, Shank (Gal Gadot), a kinda badass racer who gives Vanellope the thrill of her life, and causes her to start questioning whether she's happy enough with 'Sugar Rush'. Meanwhile, Ralph struggles with his feelings of jealousy, as he's afraid of losing her to this online game. So we have some generous development of these characters.
However, the true charm of this movie lies within the internet world itself. I'd compare it to something like 'Inside Out' in that it's completely imaginative in its execution. It's essentially one gigantic city, with skyscrapers representing various internet companies; the most massive being Google. Pop-up ads are represented as those annoying people who throw signs in your face, eBay is seen as one big auction, the list goes on.
For me, the highlight of the movie will probably surprise most, but it's honesty the scene we see in the trailers where Vanellope is mingling with the Disney princesses. This is mostly due to how incredibly self-aware Disney seems to be with these princess stereotypes, and it's even punctuated with a sort of jab at Pixar when it comes down to Merida from 'Brave'.
The film is a generous combination of heart-felt experiences between Ralph and Vanellope, plenty of Easter eggs, a great sense of humor, and in the end, even a lesson or two here or there that are quite grown-up, and commendable for their execution. I absolutely loved this movie with how clever it was with everything, and I'd even put it one step above the original. One of the best animated films of the year!