Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 by Germain Lussier
When Disney first unveiled Wreck-It Ralph to the world, it almost seemed too good to be true. The most storied animation studio in the world was making a wholly original, video game inspired film, chock full of your favorite characters. Directed by Rich Moore and featuring the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, the film won’t be out until November 2. Despite presentations at D23 Expo, CinemaCon, Comic-Con, an awesome trailer and more, there’s still much to discover about the world of Wreck-It Ralph.
Earlier this week, Disney invited several journalists to their Animation Studios in Burbank, CA to learn all about this film and watch about 25 minutes of footage. The footage was very rough and unfinished, but extremely promising and exciting. We also spoke to people from all facets of the production and have come up with 50 things you may not know about Wreck-It Ralph.
How do Mentos, the Microsoft Kinect and the Royal Wedding fit in? What percentage of their work has each department completed? Which records has the film already set? Was there a full game that got cut from the film? And what new story tidbits were revealed in the footage? It’s all after the jump, complete with brand new images.
The Basics –
Wreck-It Ralph is the title of the movie and also the main character (Reilly) who for 30 years has been a bad guy inside of an 8-bit video game, Fix It Felix Jr. One day he decides he doesn’t want to be the bad guy anymore and escapes his game into other ones in the arcade, trying to prove he can be a hero. Along the way, he’ll encounter multiple different games, characters and more, which are detailed below.
1. Wreck-It Ralph has 188 unique, individual characters, more than any Disney movie in history. Normal Disney films have between 40 and 60.
2. The film has 70 unique settings while the usual Disney film has about 25.
3. Unlike most animated films, the principal actors regularly recorded audio sessions together in the same room, a situation which led to a lot of improv.
4. For the first two months of story development on the film, Fix It Felix Jr. (McBrayer) was the main character. Moore soon realized his nemesis, Ralph, had a better arc.
5. The story initially took about nine months to break down, but wasn’t actually locked until early this summer.
6. In the Disney Animation Studios, there’s a race track graphic on the wall with each department’s completion percentage racing around the track. The current standings are as follows:
- Layout 100%
- Animation 87% (actually, in another room the number was up to 92%. It’ll be done this week.)
- Tech Animation 76%
- FX 61%
- Okay to Light 62%
- Lighting 44%
- Stereo 19%
7. Very early on, they considered making Ralph look 8-bit the entire time, but it was deemed he wouldn’t be lovable enough. The design of Ralph began as an animal dressed as a bum, evolved into a big white gorilla (above) and only became human about six iterations in.
8. Each world in the film is associated with a particular shape and set of physics:
- Fix It Felix Jr. is built with square shapes and the physics are jerky.
- Game Central Station has long, majestic tower shapes.
- Hero’s Duty is built almost exclusively with triangle shapes and the physics are super realistic.
- Sugar Rush is composed of circles and its physics are described as cartoonish.
9. In the film, the color acid green is associated with evil.
10. Before Wreck-It Ralph, Disney had unsuccessfully been developing two video game films: High Score and Joe Jump. Moore ignored both of them.
11. During production, the animators and director would watch dailies 3-5 hours per day and animators are expected to turn in about 80 frames per week.
12. The film opens with an 8-bit Walt Disney Animation Studios logo.
Fix It Felix Jr.
This is the old school, 8-bit arcade game that Ralph calls home. He wrecks a building and a repairman, Felix, fixes it, to the joy of the game’s citizens.
13. Fix It Felix Jr. is primarily influenced by Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros., but there’s some Rampage in there too.
14. The world inside the game is called NiceLand and its inhabitants are referred to as Nicelanders.
15. For the animators, the Nicelanders were the hardest thing to animate because they don’t have a fluid motion. They move very jittery and blocky, in an 8-bit fashion. They had to “remove their classic Disney brains” and throw physics out the window to get the movements just right.
16. A Nicelander that looked like John Lasseter was designed but didn’t make the final movie.
17. Though Ralph is from the same world, he only has 8-bit movements when he’s very angry. The thought was after 30 years of apathy, he’s just sort of given up on his lot in life.
18. The outfits of the Nicelanders were heavily influenced by the 2011 Royal Wedding, which was going on as they were being designed.
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