Confession time: Wreck-It Ralph makes me cry. Large, wracking, embarrassing sobs overtake me at the end of that movie, and not in a charming way. It’s a serious ugly-cry scenario, because I get so choked up over the friendship between Ralph and Vanellope. (I love that fucking movie, is the general bullet point here.)
So rest assured, it gives me no joy to report that the new trailer for Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 is bad. Bad in a genuinely unexpected way, where it abandons any effort to give you even the vaguest sense of the plot, and instead spends almost half its running time on a weird combination of product placement and a lengthy gag about Disney princesses. Where all the video-game references of the original were charming (and sometimes downright moving) due in large part to the outdated and nostalgic nature of the shout-outs, having Ralph move around in a contemporary online space featuring Amazon, Google, and a bunch of other current name brands just feels unsavory. And while Disney owns all this intellectual property—Marvel and so on—there’s just not much fun to be had in seeing John C. Reilly’s lovable lunk and Sarah Silverman’s can-do kid racer interact with these still-viable revenue-generating factories.
At least, that’s the impression conveyed by the trailer. I’m still holding out hope that this is a great movie, one that will deliver laughs and an emotional wallop on par with the first. This might just be a case of Crappy Trailer Syndrome, à la Star Trek Beyond. Perhaps it just features the biggest dad jokes in the film, from the musings about the auto-fill function on search engines to outdated similarities involving the various Disney princesses (especially weird if the film would stop to consider that even some of the characters featured in this trailer, like Elsa, don’t fit the punchline’s stereotype). Let’s hope this is just a misfire cut together by someone who doesn’t understand the appeal of these characters or their world. We’ll find out for sure when Ralph Breaks The Internet comes out November 21—though hopefully there’ll be a much better trailer released far sooner than that. (If you want reassurance in the meantime, the first teaser trailer did a much better job.)