TV & Film

A Move to the Modern Age

Poster for movie, "Ralph Breaks the Internet"After cowriting Wreck-It Ralph, an Oscar-nominated Disney film released in 2012, Phil Johnston ’94 has done it again as codirector and cowriter for Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, hitting theaters November 21.

In the first film, video game villain Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) longed to be a hero; the sequel tags along with him and his friend Vanellope von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman) as they venture through the internet after finding a Wi-Fi router in their arcade.

The film features many characters whom audiences are sure to recognize (in one scene, Vanellope meets a group of Disney princesses, including Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Moana, Mulan, Pocahontas, Tiana, Snow White, and more), along with new faces (including Yesss, an algorithm voiced by Taraji P. Henson, whom Ralph meets along the way).

Alex Kang

Alex Kang

“It’s not so much a clash between generations as it is the loving integration of modern technology into that older world … and hopefully they find harmony,” Johnston said in a February interview with, noting that the Wreck-It Ralph sequel still strives to show appreciation for old characters and games.

Johnston, who majored in journalism at the UW, has worked on several other films, including Zootopia, The Brothers Grimsby, and Cedar Rapids.


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