GIRL power

Ralph se­quel packs a punch with strong fe­male char­ac­ters

Bay of Plenty Times - - December Indulge -

Ralph Breaks the In­ter­net may star an ar­cade bad guy with pow­er­ful ham­mer-like fists, but the an­i­mated se­quel is also pack­ing a punch with strong fe­male char­ac­ters. Sarah Sil­ver­man, who re­turns as the voice of Vanel­lope von Sch­weetz, cred­its Dis­ney for in­clud­ing tougher fe­male roles in the new film, which comes out on Box­ing Day.

Her char­ac­ter is one of the lead­ing ladies, along with new cast mem­bers Gal Gadot’s Shank and Taraji P. Hen­son, who plays Yesss.

“I love it,” said Sil­ver­man, an out­spo­ken co­me­dian known for ad­vo­cat­ing for women’s rights. “You see how far Dis­ney has al­lowed it­self to grow and change, and be more in­clu­sive and more pro­gres­sive? You can’t keep on ex­ist­ing if you don’t change and grow with the times. With me, Taraji and Gal’s char­ac­ter, it’s nice to see.”

Dis­ney has been crit­i­cised for a lack of self-suf­fi­cient fe­male char­ac­ters who fo­cused more on their phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance and re­ly­ing on a man. That be­gan to change in films such as Tan­gled, Brave and Frozen.

With the Ralph se­quel, di­rec­tors Phil John­ston and Rich Moore wanted to in­cor­po­rate more “strong and com­pli­cated” fe­male char­ac­ters.

“This stu­dio is the birth­place of a lot of th­ese stereo­types,” said John C. Reilly, the voice of the mas­sive, over­all­wear­ing Ralph. “It’s re­ally an amaz­ing and com­mend­able thing that Dis­ney has recog­nised . . . . As a man, it’s not re­ally my lane to talk about th­ese is­sues. But I do think if things are go­ing to change, men and women have to both talk about this stuff and em­brace gen­der equal­ity, and think of women’s rights as hu­mans. I was a strong ad­vo­cate for bal­ance in our story.”

The se­quel is a fol­low up to the 2012 Os­car-nom­i­nated Wreck-it Ralph. This time, Ralph and Vanel­lope’s friend­ship is tested af­ter leav­ing Lit­wak’s video ar­cade to travel through a Wi-Fi con­nec­tion that de­liv­ers them into the fast-paced in­ter­net. They ex­plore ma­jor brands from Twit­ter to Ama­zon, on­line shop­ping, the dark web and Walt Dis­ney Stu­dio’s web­site. John­ston said the film’s imag­i­nary of the in­ter­net mim­ics the look of New York City or Tokyo. Ralph and Vanel­lope meet Gadot’s Shank, a gritty street-rac­ing star, and Hen­son’s Yesss, the head al­go­rithm of the trend­mak­ing web­site BuzzzTube.

“It’s like they’re small-town kids who are now in the big city,” said Moore, who di­rected the first Ralph film and the Academy Award-win­ning Zootopia. This is a movie about change. I’m glad that we took the more chal­leng­ing road.”

Ralph Breaks the In­ter­net of­fers an an­i­mated glimpse in­side their web­site show­ing sev­eral char­ac­ters from Mar­vel to Star Wars. The film also high­lights the Dis­ney princesses where all stereo­types and cliches of the an­i­mated icons are dealt with head-on.

Ini­tially, the princess scene faced back­lash from fans af­ter a pub­lic­ity photo sur­faced on­line show­ing Princess Tiana with lighter skin and a thin­ner nose com­pared to the ver­sion in the black char­ac­ter’s stand-alone Dis­ney movie, The Princess and the Frog. The stu­dio re­an­i­mated the char­ac­ter af­ter meet­ing with ac­tress Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana in the 2009 film, and Color of Change, a civil rights ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Photo / AP

Taraji P Hen­son, who voices Yesss, is new to the fran­chise. Vanel­lope von Sch­weetz (fore­ground cen­tre), voiced by Sarah Sil­ver­man, with Dis­ney princesses in a scene from

Photo / AP

Sarah Sil­ver­man and John C Reilly, who voices Ralph.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.