50 Things You Didn't Know About Disney Animation's 'Wreck-It Ralph;' Plus New Images

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.

    Click the link above to continue to the second page of 50 Things You Didn't Know About Wreck-It Ralph.

    Hero's Duty

    A high tech, action-packed, first person shooter, Hero's Duty is Ralph's first stop when he leaves Fix It Felix Jr. There he encounters Sergeant Calhoun (Lynch) who leads a group of soldiers into battle.

    19. Hero's Duty was influenced by a ton of modern video games, most notably Halo, Call of Duty and the Gears of War series.

    20. Besides playing a lot of video games for research, the animators went to a San Diego Chargers game to see how big, heavy men move around and interact.

    21. Hero's Duty is the newest, most advanced game in the film's arcade. Early sketches had the cost being $9 per game, but in the movie it's down to $2. It's a stand up shooter like Time Crisis.

    22. Visual Development Artist Cory Loftis was largely responsible for the look for the game, and designed most of its look using triangular shapes. He and the other designers were also influenced by architects such as Daniel Libeskind.

    23. In the world of the game, the bad guys become what they eat so if you they take your gun, they become a gun.

    24. Also inside the game, the player is represented as a clumsy robot with a huge flatscreen on it, showing a window into the arcade. This is how the first person interaction works. This was also designed by Loftis, who was hired out of the video game world based on his blog.

    25. During development, Microsoft revealed their Kinect controller, and producers worried it would change video games forever. Disney briefly considered changing Hero's Duty into a movement-based game.

    Sugar Rush

    The second game Ralph visits is Sugar Rush, a racing game made entirely in a world of candy. There he'll encounter Vanellope von Schweetz (Silverman) his future partner in crime.

    26. The Sugar Rush machine itself is a 2 player sit down racing game in the vein of Outrun or Crusin' USA.

    27. About half the film takes place in Sugar Rush, simply because Vanellope can't leave. She's a glitch in the game and is unable to travel around like Ralph.

    28. The biggest game influences in Sugar Rush were Mario Kart, obviously, and Super Mario Galaxy, less obviously. Also, the whimsical Disney movies of old played a role.

    29. Researching the look of the world took the team to all kinds of candy factories, car factories, candy conventions, festivals and more.

    30. A big component in the design was the work of noted food photographers, who explained how to make food look good. Everything in Sugar Rush had to look edible and delicious.

    31. For the lighting team, making the food and world look delicious was the most difficult thing to do in the entire movie. In contrast, Hero's Duty was easy because computer software is supposed to make things look slick and glossy.

    32. Vanellope lives in Diet Coke mountain which has stalactites made of Mentos that fall into the liquid below and create explosions.

    33. Visual Development Artist Lorelay Bove is one of the main people responsible for the candy world of Sugar Rush and much of the inspiration for the world came from a trip to Barcelona and the modernist architecture of Antoni Gaudí.

    34. All of the cars in the games are based on and made of different sweets: rocket pops, Reese's cups, tiramisu, lollypops, etc. Because of that, each car was treated as its own character by the design team, with different physics and movements.

    35. The drivers of all of these cars were heavily influenced by Japanese Harajuku girls. Inside Sugar Rush, they're policed by a pair of donuts named Duncan and Winchell.

    36. There was a candy corn maze scene that got cut during production.

    37. Artist Brittney Lee made actual diaoramas out of candy to give an idea of what Sugar Rush might look like. They're sitting in the animation studios.

    38. Vanellope's wardrobe, like everything else in Sugar Rush, is made of all kinds of candy. Her skirt is a Reese's cup wrapper, her shoes are black licorice, and she has a red licorice hairband.

    Click the link above to continue to the third page of 50 Things You Didn't Know About Wreck-It Ralph.


    Here are a bunch of random, interesting facts you probably didn't know about Wreck-It Ralph.

    39. Besides Sugar Rush and Hero's Duty, Ralph was going to go into a game called Extreme Easy Living 2, basically Grand Theft Auto meets The Sims. It was cut early on but could resurface in a sequel.

    40. Expect a new catch phrase to come out of the film: "Top shelf."

    41. The video game cameos are a big part of Wreck-It Ralph, but only make up about 20% of the video game characters in the movie. They were initially voted on by committee as Disney employees would write their favorites on a large bulletin board. Once a company licensed their character to Disney, they had input on the look, sound, and size of their character.

    42. In the film, Game Central Station is the power strip that connects all the games at Litwak's Family Center. Characters ride trains through the power cords and into other games.

    43. There are online games being developed for Fix It Felix Jr. (which is already online), Sugar Rush, and Hero's Duty. Also, Activision is making a console game that will blend all three titles.

    44. Inside the Animation Studio, there's an arcade section with about 7 games rotating – currently, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Q-Bert and Tempest, sit along with a catch-all arcade classic machine and, of course, Fix It Felix Jr.

    Story Spoilers

    Here are a few, new, interesting story specifics which would most certainly be considered spoilers.

    45. When Ralph goes from Hero's Duty to Sugar Rush, he brings a Cy Bug, a destruction machine villain from Hero's Duty. It has an advanced AI and doesn't know the game turns on and off like everyone else. Once that happens, Calhoun and Felix team up to clean it up as it could be end of the arcade. The look of the Cy Bugs vary but think of a beetle with vials of fluid on top of it. And yes, it's acid green.

    46. There was a passing suggestion that the third act of the film will see the evil in Hero's Duty invade Sugar Rush.

    47. The racers in Sugar Rush are mean and willingly destroy Vanellope's car. When Ralph saves her, he refers to them as"Rotten little cavities." There's also a scene were we'll see cars being baked/created.

    48. Felix will die in the movie, but very briefly. If you die in your own video game, you regenerate. If you die outside of your game, you don't.

    49. The film will show some life in the arcade but never outside of it. However, the 30th anniversary of Fix It Felix Jr. plays a significant role.

    50. Felix's father, Fix it Felix Sr., could possibly be in a sequel and Moore imagines Ron Howard as his voice.