The internet is a very, very big place.
When it came to Disney exploring that World Wide Web on screen in Ralph Breaks the Internet, the sequel to 2012's Oscar-nominated Wreck-It Ralph, that meant having a wealth of material to draw from.
The result? Many, many references and Easter eggs. And that's before you even get to Disney's own universe of characters and properties, from Star Wars to Pixar, the Muppets to Marvel.
Here's a guide to the cameos, visual jokes, and references that we spotted in the animated sequel.
- What fans have been most avidly looking forward to, of course, is the chance to step into Oh My Disney, the company’s official blog. The site has been imagined as a kind of giant convention centre for all of Disney’s brands, with pavilions for Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and the Muppets. There’s even an Airbud area, for the real Disney connoisseur. A remix of “Let it Go” from Frozen is playing when Vanellope enters.
- It would be too exhausting to list every Disney character featured in the sequence, but look out for Mickey Mouse, Dumbo, Grumpy (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), and Nick Wilde (from Zootopia). Eeyore also gets his own moment, while Buzz Lightyear spouts catchphrases, in the voice of Tim Allen.
- Vanellope stumbles across a Q&A session featuring Baby Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel. A question is asked by an avatar of Jason Mantzoukas, whose character is named in the credits as “Hey Nongman”, a reference to the popular podcast he regularly appears on called Comedy Bang Bang.
- Stan Lee has a brief, posthumous cameo in the film.
- There are plenty of Star Wars references, too. You can spot an X-wing battle TIE fighters, while R2-D2 scurries through the crowd. Vanellope even has a run-in with a trio of stormtroopers; one is identified as FN-3181, who appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and was voiced by Rogue One composer Michael Giacchino. The other troopers are voiced by members of the film’s crew, including co-director Rich Moore. C-3PO also makes an appearance, voiced by Anthony Daniels.
- Vanellope runs past several doors in her attempt to escape the stormtroopers, including one that bears the familiar Avengers logo. She’s fled to an area called “Sector A113”, a long-running Disney Easter egg that refers to the animation classroom at the California Institute of Arts, where so many Disney artists honed their craft. It’s appeared in the likes of Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and this year’s Incredibles 2.
- There are a few other Disney references hidden throughout the film. For example, Ralph is at one point harassed by a series of “pop-up ads” (characters leaping into his path, thrusting signs into his face). One of these ads promises him that “sassy housewives” are dying to meet him, although the sign actually depicts Aunt Cass from Big Hero 6.
- Star Wars has also made its presence known in the real world: the arcade office features both Chewbacca and Yoda-themed licence plates, while an office worker is spotted wearing an R2-D2 tie.
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- The first few scenes of Ralph Breaks the Internet take place in Litwak's Family Fun Center & Arcade, with appearances from Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man, Chun-Li, Zangief – the last two coming both from the Street Fighter series. Vanellope and Ralph also spend time in the Tron arcade game. Disney adapted the game into a 1982 game of the same name, followed by a sequel released in 2010.
- When in Slaughter Race, Vanellope at one point mistakes a giant inflatable gorilla for Ralph, which is likely a nod to the fact Ralph and his game draws heavily from Donkey Kong. When the clones of Ralph come together to create one giant Ralph, the giant figure acts like King Kong, carrying Vanellope to the top of a skyscraper.
- The logos to a vast number of websites are featured throughout the film, including Google, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, eBay, Myspace, and Fandango. BuzzTube also serves as an amalgamation of Buzzfeed and YouTube.
- A billboard reads “I CAN HAZ CHEEZEBURGER?”, a reference to a popular meme from 2007, where the caption accompanied the image of a smiling cat. It’s the most famous example of a trend known as lolcats, which consisted of comical pictures of cats accompanied by humorous captions.
- The eBay auctioneers are actually voiced by professional auctioneers – Brian Curless, Ann Colgin, and Viveca Paulin. Paulin also happens to be the wife of Will Ferrell.
- An assistant to Yesss (Taraji P. Henson) pitches an idea for a video called “Chewbacca Dad”. Candace Payne went viral in 2016 after filming herself in hysterics over a Chewbacca mask.
- One of Ralph’s own viral videos is a parody of painter and TV presenter Bob Ross. The teaser trailer for this year’s Deadpool 2 made a huge splash after recruiting Ryan Reynolds’s foul-mouthed superhero for a parody of Ross.
- The post-credits scene opens on a title card for a Frozen 2 trailer, before it cuts to Ralph singing “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley - if you haven’t guessed yet, it’s a rickroll.
- There are cameos from a string of YouTubers and online personalities, namely Dani Fernandez, Colleen Ballinger AKA Miranda Sings, Flula Borg, and Tiffany Herrera AKA Cuquake.
- There’s a quick reference to the video game Fortnite, specifically the bus that players jump from at the beginning of each match. Ralph, at one point, also does the floss, a dance move that was popularised by the game.
- Near the end of the film, Ralph ends up in the “deep web”. There are signs for “Y2K Survival”, “Public Chatrooms”, and “Dial-Up”.
Ralph Breaks the Internet will be released in UK cinemas on 30 November
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