Friday, November 30, 2012

It's Film Strip Friday! Wreck-It Ralph

It’s Film Strip Friday!
Wreck-It Ralph
Release Date November 14th, 2012


Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated family-comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 52nd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The film was directed by Rich Moore, who is known for directing many episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama, and the script was written by Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston. Disney Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter served as the executive producer. The film features the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch.
The film tells the story of the titular arcade game villain who rebels against his role and dreams of becoming a hero. He travels between games in the arcade, and ultimately must eliminate a dire threat that could affect the entire arcade, and one that Ralph may have inadvertently started. Wreck-It Ralph had its world premiere on October 29, 2012, and was released on November 2, 2012 in the United States and Canada.


When Litwak's Arcade closes at night, the various video game characters leave their normal in-game roles and are free to travel to other games. Within the game Fix-It Felix, Jr., the characters celebrate its titular hero but shun the game's villain character, Wreck-It Ralph. At a support group for video game antagonists, Ralph reveals his desire to stop being the bad guy. Back at home, Ralph finds the other characters celebrating their game's 30th anniversary without inviting him. Felix reluctantly invites Ralph to join them, but the others refuse to accept him, saying he would have to earn a medal, just as Felix does in their game.
While visiting Tapper's, Ralph meets a soldier from the first-person shooter Hero's Duty, who tells him the game's winner receives a medal. Ralph enters the game and encounters Sergeant Calhoun, its no-nonsense leader. Between game sessions, Ralph climbs the game's central beacon and collects the medal, accidentally hatching a Cy-Bug, one of the game's enemies. The Cy-Bug clings to Ralph as he stumbles into an escape pod that launches him out of the game. Meanwhile, with Ralph missing, a girl reports to Litwak that Fix-It Felix, Jr. is malfunctioning. Since broken games get unplugged, leaving their characters homeless, Felix sets off to find Ralph.
Ralph crash-lands in Sugar Rush, a kart-racing game. As he searches for his medal, he meets Vanellope von Schweetz, a glitchy character who makes off with the medal, planning to use it to buy entry into an after-hours race. King Candy and the other racers refuse to let Vanellope participate, claiming that she is not really part of the game. Ralph helps Vanellope build a kart. At her home, Diet Cola Mountain, he discovers that she is a natural racer.
Back in Hero's Duty, Felix meets Calhoun, who warns that the Cy-Bugs are capable of taking over any game they enter. As the pair searches for Ralph and the Cy-Bug in Sugar Rush, they separate when Felix, enamored with Calhoun, inadvertently reminds her of her previous romantic relationship, which ended tragically. Calhoun finds hundreds of Cy-Bug eggs underground, and Felix becomes imprisoned in King Candy's castle. King Candy finds Ralph's medal and offers it to Ralph in exchange for keeping Vanellope out of the race, claiming that allowing her would be disastrous for both her and the game. Fearing for Vanellope's safety, Ralph wrecks the kart and returns to his own game, but finds it deserted, as everyone has evacuated in expectation that it will be unplugged in the morning. Ralph then notices Vanellope's image on the Sugar Rush cabinet and realizes she is an intended part of the game, not a glitch.
Ralph returns to Sugar Rush, finds Felix and Vanellope, and asks Felix to fix the wrecked kart. As the race proceeds, the hatched Cy-Bugs attack and Felix, Calhoun, and Ralph battle them. When Vanellope catches up to King Candy, he reveals that he is actually Turbo—a character from an old game who is notorious for having sabotaged a newer game, causing both to be unplugged, and has since taken control of Sugar Rush. Vanellope escapes from Turbo, who is consumed by a Cy-Bug. The group flees the doomed game, but Vanellope cannot pass through the exit. Calhoun says the game cannot be saved without a beacon to attract and kill the Cy-Bugs.
Ralph heads to Diet Cola Mountain, where he plans on collapsing its Mentos stalactites into the cola at the bottom, causing a blinding eruption that would attract the bugs. Before he can finish, Turbo, merged with the Cy-Bug that had consumed him, carries him away. Ralph breaks free and dives toward the mountain, hoping his impact will start the eruption. Vanellope in turn uses her glitching abilities to save Ralph. The eruption starts and draws the Cy-Bugs to their destruction, including Turbo. Vanellope crosses the finish line, restoring her memory and status as the game's lead character while keeping her advantageous glitching ability. Felix and Ralph return to their game in time for Litwak to see it still works, sparing it from being unplugged. Felix marries Calhoun, and the characters of Fix-It Felix, Jr. gain a new respect for Ralph.

Voice cast

  • John C. Reilly as Wreck-It Ralph, the villain of Fix-It Felix, Jr.
  • Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz, a 9-year-old racer and glitch in Sugar Rush.
  • Jack McBrayer as Fix-It Felix, Jr., the hero of Fix-It Felix, Jr.
  • Jane Lynch as Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun, the lead character of Hero's Duty.
  • Alan Tudyk as King Candy/Turbo, the fake ruler of Sugar Rush who originally came from a game called Turbo Time.
  • Mindy Kaling as Taffyta Muttonfudge, an accomplished racer in Sugar Rush and Vanellope's nemesis.
  • Joe Lo Truglio as Markowski, a Soldier in Hero's Duty whom Ralph impersonates.
  • Ed O'Neill as Mr. Litwak, owner of Litwak's Family Fun Center & Arcade.
  • Dennis Haysbert as General Hologram, a general in Hero's Duty.
  • Edie McClurg as Mary, a Nicelander who lives within the game Fix-It Felix, Jr.
  • Raymond Persi as Mayor Gene, a Nicelander who lives within the game Fix-It Felix, Jr., and a Zombie (based on Cyril from House of the Dead) who attends the Bad-Anon support group.
  • Jess Harnell as Don, a Nicelander who lives within the game Fix-It Felix, Jr.
  • Rachael Harris as Deanna, a Nicelander who lives within the game Fix-It Felix, Jr.
  • Skylar Astin as Roy, a Nicelander who lives within the game Fix-It Felix, Jr.
  • Adam Carolla as Wynnchel, a doughnut that is a member of the Sugar Rush police station.
  • Horatio Sanz as Duncan, a doughnut that is a member of the Sugar Rush police station.
  • Maurice LaMarche as Root Beer Tapper, the bartender from Tapper.
  • Stefanie Scott as Moppet Girl, a young arcade enthusiast.
  • John DiMaggio as Beard Papa, Sugar Rush security.
  • Rich Moore as Sour Bill, King Candy's henchman, and Zanief from Street Fighter.
  • Katie Lowes as Candlehead, a racer in Sugar Rush who works closely with Taffyta and Rancis.
  • Jamie Elman as Rancis Fluggerbutter, a racer in Sugar Rush who works closely with Taffyta and Candlehead.
  • Josie Trinidad as Jubileena Bing-Bing, a racer in Sugar Rush.
  • Cymbre Walk as Crumbelina DiCaramello, a racer in Sugar Rush.
  • Brandon Scott as Kohut, a soldier in Hero's Duty.
  • Tim Mertens as Dr. Brad Scott, a scientist and Sgt. Calhoun's fiancé in Hero's Duty, who was eaten by Cy-Bugs.
  • Kevin Deters as Clyde from Pac-Man.
  • Gerald C. Rivers as M. Bison from Street Fighter.
  • Martin Jarvis as Satine, a devil-like villain who attends the Bad-Anon support group.
  • Brian Kesinger as a Cyborg (based on Kano from Mortal Kombat) who attends the Bad-Anon support group.
  • Roger Craig Smith as Sonic from Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Phil Johnston as Surge Protector, Game Central Station security.
  • Kyle Hebert as Ryu from Street Fighter.
  • Reuben Langdon as Ken Masters from Street Fighter.
  • Jamie Sparer Roberts as Yuni from Dance Dance Revolution.
Skrillex makes a non-speaking cameo as a DJ in Fix-It Felix, Jr.

Video game cameos and references

In addition to the spoken roles, Wreck-It Ralph contains a number of other video game references, including characters and visual gags. At the video game villain meeting in addition to the above characters include Bowser from the Mario series, Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog, and Neff from Altered Beast. Characters from Q*bert, including Q*bert, Coily, Slick, Sam and Ugg, are shown as "homeless" characters and later taken in by Ralph and Felix into their game. Scenes in GameCentral and Tapper's bar include Chun-Li, Cammy and Blanka from Street Fighter, Pac-Man, Blinky, Pinky, and Inky from Pac-Man, the Paperboy from Paperboy, the two paddles and the ball from Pong, Dig Dug, a Pooka, and a Fygar from Dig Dug,  The Qix from Qix, and Frogger from Frogger. Additionally, Mario is mentioned in dialog.
Additional references are based on sight gags. King Candy uses the Konami code to access the programming of Sugar Rush. Throughout GameCentral is graffiti stating that "Aerith lives", referencing the character of Aerith Gainsborough from Final Fantasy VII.


The film, under the working title of High Score, has been in development at Disney in various forms since the late 1980s. It was put back into active development in the late 1990s under the name Joe Jump, and then later in the mid 2000s as Reboot Ralph.
John Lasseter, the head of Walt Disney Animation Studios and executive producer of the film, describes Wreck-It Ralph as "an 8-bit video game bad guy who travels the length of the arcade to prove that he’s a good guy." In a manner similar to Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Toy Story films, Wreck-It Ralph featured cameo appearances by a number of licensed video game characters. For example, one scene from the film's first theatrical trailer shows Ralph attending a support group for the arcade's various villain characters, including Clyde the orange ghost from Pac-Man, Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog, and Bowser from Super Mario Bros. Rich Moore, the film's director, had determined that for a film about a video game world to feel authentic, "it had to have real characters from real games in it".
Before production, characters were added to the story either in places they would make sense to appear, or as cameos from a list of characters suggested by the film's creative team, without consideration if they would legally be able to use the characters. The company then sought out the copyright holders' permissions to use the characters, as well as working with these companies to assure their characters were being represented authentically. The producers could not devise a reason to incorporate the popular character Mario into the film, with director Rich Moore debunking a rumor that Mario and his brother character Luigi were not included due to Nintendo requesting too high a licensing fee, stating that the rumor grew out of a joke John C. Reilly made at Comic-Con. Dr. Wily from Mega Man was going to appear, but was cut from the final version of the film. Overall, there are about 188 individual character models in the movie as a result of these cameo inclusions.
The film introduced Disney's new bidirectional reflection distribution functions, a lighting system distinct from previous technology, with more realistic reflections on surfaces. To research the Sugar Rush segment of the film, the visual development group traveled to trade fair ISM Cologne, a See's Candy factory, and other manufacturing facilities. The group also brought in food photographers, to demonstrate techniques to make food appear appealing. Special effects, including from "smoke or dust", looks distinct in each of the segments.


The film was originally scheduled for a release on March 22, 2013, but it was later changed to November 2, 2012 due to it being ahead of schedule. The theatrical release was accompanied by Disney's animated short film Paperman.


The first trailer for Wreck-It Ralph was released on June 6, 2012, debuting with Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Rock of Ages. This also coincided with the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo, a major video game industry event; Disney had constructed a mock aged arcade cabinet for the fictional Fix-It Felix, Jr. game on display on the show floor. Disney also released a browser-based Flash-based version of the Fix-It Felix, Jr. game as well as an iOS version, with online unity-based versions of Sugar Rush and Hero's Duty. A second trailer for the film was released on September 12, 2012, coinciding with Finding Nemo 3D and Frankenweenie.


Critical reception

Wreck-It Ralph received generally favorable reviews from critics. The film review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 86% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 114 reviews, with an average score of 7.5/10. The site's consensus reads: "Equally entertaining for both kids and parents old enough to catch the references, Wreck-It Ralph is a clever, colorful adventure built on familiar themes and joyful nostalgia." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 73 based on 33 reviews, or "Generally favorable." The film earned an "A" from audiences polled by CinemaScore.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 out of 4 stars and wrote, "More than in most animated films, the art design and color palette of Wreck-It Ralph permit unlimited sets, costumes and rules, giving the movie tireless originality and different behavior in every different cyber world." A.O. Scott of the The New York Times wrote, "The movie invites a measure of cynicism - which it proceeds to obliterate with a 93-minute blast of color, noise, ingenuity and fun." Peter Debruge of Variety acclaimed the film, stating, "With plenty to appeal to boys and girls, old and young, Walt Disney Animation Studios has a high-scoring hit on its hands in this brilliantly conceived, gorgeously executed toon, earning bonus points for backing nostalgia with genuine emotion." Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times said, "The movie's subversive sensibility and old-school/new-school feel are a total kick," while Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "With a mix of retro eye-candy for grown-ups and a thrilling, approachable storyline for the tykes, the film casts a wide and beguiling net." Conversely, Christopher Orr of The Atlantic found it "overplotted and underdeveloped."

Box office

As of November 25, 2012, Wreck-It Ralph has grossed an estimated $149,278,699 in North America, and $41,200,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $190,478,699.
In North America, the film debuted with $13.5 million, an above-average opening day gross for an animated film released in November. During its opening weekend, the film topped the box office with $49 million, marking the largest debut for Walt Disney Animation Studios, ahead of Tangled's opening ($48.8 million).


The film's score was composed by Henry Jackman. The Japanese idol group AKB48 performed the film's ending theme, "Sugar Rush" for the worldwide release. The soundtrack also features original songs by Skrillex, Owl City and Buckner & Garcia.

Wreck-It Ralph
Film score by Henry Jackman
October 30, 2012
Film score
Walt Disney
Walt Disney Animation Studios chronology
Winnie the Pooh
Wreck-It Ralph
Frozen (2013)
Henry Jackman chronology
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Wreck-It Ralph
G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Track listing

All music composed by Henry Jackman (except 1–6).
"When Can I See You Again?"
Owl City
"Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph"
Buckner & Garcia
Kool & the Gang
"Sugar Rush"
"Bug Hunt (Noisia Remix)"
"Shut Up and Drive"
"Wreck-It Ralph"
"Life in the Arcade"
"Jumping Ship"
"Rocket Fiasco"
"Vanellope von Schweetz"
"Royal Raceway"
"Cupcake Breakout"
"Candy Vandals"
"Turbo Flashback"
"Laffy Taffies"
"One Minute to Win It"
"Vanellope's Hideout"
"Messing with the Program"
"King Candy"
"Out of the Penthouse, Off to the Race"
"Sugar Rush Showdown"
"You're My Hero"
"Arcade Finale"
Total length:

Video games

In addition to the Flash version of the Fix-It Felix Jr. game, Disney released a tie-in game based on the film for the Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS. The arcade style side-scrolling game was produced in collaboration between Disney Interactive and Activision and serves as a "story extension" to the film. Players may play as Wreck-It Ralph or Fix-It Felix, causing damage as well as repairing where necessary. Game levels are based on the locations in the film, like the Fix-It Felix Jr., Hero's Duty and Sugar Rush games. It was released in conjunction with the film's release, in November 2012. In October 2012, Disney released fully playable browser-based versions of the Hero's Duty and Sugar Rush games on the new official film site. A game was also released as an app for the iPhone, iPod and iPad, as well as for Android systems. Ralph also appears in Sega's Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed as a playable guest character.


In an interview on October 25, 2012, director Rich Moore said that he and Disney have ideas about a sequel that would bring the characters up to date and explore online gaming and console gaming.

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