While I was in LA for #DisneyMoviesEvent I had the unique opportunity to partake in a group interview with the Director and Producer of Wreck-It Ralph during our press trip to Disney’s Animation Studios. After screening Wreck-It Ralph our large group of 25 bloggers was broken off into two smaller groups and given the chance to dig inside the minds of Director, Rich Moore and Producer, Clark Spencer. Learning how Wreck-It Ralph came to be from the very minds who thought it up brought me even closer to this amazing animated movie.
When Rich Moore was invited by John Lasseter to help develop some new movie ideas four years ago they both knew they wanted to make a video game based movie but it had not been cracked yet. The idea of a movie based on video game characters seemed interesting but if it was going to be done then each character would need to have a life and a back story.
Rich Moore: You know, and then I took a moment and thought, well, what if the main character didn’t like his job. What if everyone else loved their jobs?
How may references are in the film?
Rich Moore: There are a lot as you saw. You know, hundreds I would say. It is just layers upon layers. We start with characters from other games and references to other games. We have graffiti referring to certain things from other games. There’s just jokes about other characters and games.
There’s another whole strata of candy references and just kind of, you know, many layers of things that I think of all are part of that generation of video game players and what would really be able to kind of grab on to.
Clark Spencer: I think one of the things we tried to do is make sure that we did it on multiple levels. So there’s graffiti in thee and if you want to look at the graffiti and if it means something to you you’ll enjoy that aspect of it. Otherwise, if you don’t play video games it’s just graffiti in a train station.
Did Any Video Game Companies Turn You Down?
Clark Spencer: You know what’s interesting? No one turned us down. What was interesting, in the very beginning when we talked about this idea there was sort of that moment where we realized we’re actually gonna have to go forth and ask companies to license the characters. And there was always that question of will we be able to do it? And if so, how many characters would be, um, available to come into the film? We met with a lot of the gaming companies, Namco specifically. We pitched the film, you could see the people get excited about the idea of the movie.
Their biggest question was to make sure that their character was put into the film in an organic way that felt like it was their character. Nintendo for example, they were like Bowser and Badmouth make complete sense.
Rich Moore: It totally worked but we couldn’t find the perfect way to put Mario into the film in a way that felt totally organic.
To what degree did the actors affect the characters?
Rich Moore: We had John C. Reilly and the other actors meet with the animators so they would talk and work together. We did a lot of video references of John acting out scenes as Ralph. In these kinds of union you start to get something that transcends, just like Dorie, for example, from Finding Nemo.
Here’s a fun fact for you. Did you know Wreck-It Ralph has been four years in the making? I had no idea animated movies take that long to create. I have a better understanding and appreciation for what goes on now at Disney’s Animation Studios. Rich Moore started working at Disney November of 2008 and immediately started brainstorming ideas on how to create a movie based on video game characters that made sense.
In US theaters in Wreck-tacular 3D and RealD 3D November 2nd.
Disclosure: Disney provided me with a trip to LA in return for my honest review on the movies and events mentioned above. All expenses were paid by Disney and no other compensation was given. All experiences and opinions are 100% my own.