The movie for the entire family is about to crash into a theater near you. Disasters and wrecking are sure to follow as you run out to the movies November 2nd to see Wreck-It Ralph
You’ll notice when watching Wreck-It Ralph that there are lots of actual video game characters and theme music weaved in and out during the movie. Clark Spencer said that it was really easy to get the brands to collaborate with them.
I remember when Rich first pitched the idea, and Rich talked a lot about wanting authenticity, which means you have to have the real video game characters. Otherwise it’s all – Clark
If you’re going to do it, you should do it right. You know…..Rich Moore
We always wondered, what will we be able to get? And I think we always said, well, if we can get a few characters, that’ll really help ground it. But amazingly when we went out to the companies and they heard the idea for the film, they were very excited about it. And I think we had this moment when we both went to E3, the big gaming convention here in Los Angeles… And they got really excited very quickly. And then it was a process over the course of many months, where we were talking with the companies, and the legal teams were all meeting with each other to talk about what can and can’t get done. Not simply, but surprisingly, it went a lot smoother than you might ever expect….But I think it was one of those things where it felt — because there were going to be a lot of characters in the film and because the characters weren’t going to be the main characters, companies were interested in being a part of it. And I think in some ways, TOY STORY blazed the trail for that. When people saw, well, it’s great to be a part of the TOY STORY franchise, and, and film, because it’s ways for different toys to be in the same world, and be represented. So I think it was one of those things where we were sort of able to use that as a reference point, in game company stock. This could be an exciting project to be a part of….Clark Spencer
Video Games?? Why make a movie about video games?
I was sitting and thinking about what would make a good movie and someone had brought up that they had a notion, of a story about video games. An idea that had been kind of floating around here for many years. And had kind of appeared in different iterations. But never really got off the ground. It always ended up being shelved, and it had been shelved about a year before I started here. And I thought, well, that’s an interesting world, you know, video games. I like video games, and it seems like, [LAUGHS] it’d be fun. It’s like the audience would really like to visit something like that. I could see the potential for spectacle and comedy, and drama. And so it seemed, like a great idea. I just started from square one, the world of video games and their characters and what their lives are like.
After about two days I thought, well, this is the worst idea ever because they have one job that they do, day in and day out. There’s no free will. They’re programmed to do things. This would make a horrible movie. Then it hit me, that would be great if you had a main character who didn’t like his job and was wondering is this all there is to life, this one thing that I do? So it really simply began with just those two things, a big overarching world or universe of video games and a very kind of personal conflict, an internal conflict between the character and his world. And I’ve been moving on with that ever since. So, about three and a half years. – Clark Spencer
Voices, How did you decide on the voices?
There’s an old saying, “Directing — good directing is 75% good casting.” And I believe that. So it was important to me that we not just cast voices just for the sake of casting a popular voice. I wanted really the actors to come from the heart of the characters. Phil Johnston is the writer and he and I were developing the characters in the story and we would say, “Well, now who is this like, who, who would be good doing this?”……Clark Spencer
We had a big board that we would put up pictures of people and say, “Well, Ralph is kind of like this person.” And sometimes it would change day to day, “No, he’s more like this.” That was our process of focusing in to who the character is and who would really bring justice to that character. We knew pretty early on that John C. Reilly would be great for this character. And Sarah was on that original pitch to John. I knew that we wanted to have a candy world. And that Sarah is the voice of little candy……Clark Spencer
The role of the character Sergeant Calhoun was a man and at one point we just said, well, why, what if Calhoun’s a woman? You know, and, and this was all like Jane on, on GLEE. Phil and I liked her from a lot of movies that she had done previous to GLEE……Clark Spencer
And Felix needs to be the nicest man in the world. So if Ron Howard’s not available. [LAUGHS] No, we knew from the beginning Jack would be perfect for Felix. So it was all kind of developed in tandem….Clark Spencer
Ralph Travels through the game system from one world to another world. How did you decide on the worlds?
I knew early on that I wanted to celebrate the different worlds. You know video games have been around long enough now, that they have history to them. You can look at games from the beginning like PONG and you can put it next to HALO the most modern game of today.And you wonder at how far we’ve come. [LAUGHS] So I wanted to celebrate that difference. So we chose different genres of games that would illustrate that history of games.— Clark Spencer
We wanted an old arcade game. You know an old 9-bit one. We wanted a modern one a shooter game, and we wanted to do a car racing game, a whimsical one. And Everything within those worlds. We wanted to celebrate what made those different genres unique and special…..Rich Moore
With Fix-It Felix, Jr. world, it was all simple from the design to the camera work in it. We wanted it to be kind when you’re in that world, everything about it says that it’s simple. There’s no circles or round or anything. It’s all based on squares. And it was tough. It was a big challenge in this movie convincing the artists that worked on it that you know everything that you usually do when you’re working on a movie, don’t do that. I wanted the audience to feel like they’re seeing three different movies. So we had to make things simple to really celebrate what makes 8-bit an 8-bit world. And then when we get to Hero’s Duty, now go very realistic, super realistic. From the character designs to the animation to the design of the world. There is a huge difference between the two, simple to very detailed. And then to be kind thrown into to Sugar Rush a very whimsical world that celebrates classic Disney animation… Rich Moore
It really did require people’s brains in all departments, Effects, Lighting, the camera work, Animation, to be continually changing. And then it did mean that Rich had to always be trying to stay on top of them, to make sure that they were pushing it as far as we could push it, to make it be great….Clark Spencer
And the movie Wreck-It-Ralph Really is great.
Thank you to Disney for travel and accommodations to participate in this interview