ⓘ Wreck-It Ralph
Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 52nd Disney animated feature film. The film was directed by Rich Moore in his directorial debut, who also directed episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama, and the screenplay was written by Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee from a story by Moore, Johnston, and Jim Reardon. John Lasseter served as the executive producer. The film features the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch and tells the story of the eponymous arcade game villain who rebels against his "bad-guy" role and dreams of becoming a hero.
Wreck-It Ralph premiered at the El Capitan Theatre on October 29, 2012, and went into general release on November 2. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing $471 million worldwide against a $165 million budget and winning the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature, as well as receiving nominations for the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 5, 2013.
It is the first installment in the Wreck-It Ralph film series. A sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, was released on November 21, 2018.
When Litwaks Family Fun Center & Arcade closes at night, the various video game characters leave their normal in-game roles and, traveling through their cabinetss power cables, socialize in a power strip, known as "Game Central Station". Wreck-It Ralph, the antagonist of the game Fix-It Felix Jr., is ostracized by its other characters for being the games villain, while the titular hero Felix is praised and awarded medals. After the games inhabitants exclude Ralph from their thirtieth anniversary party, he sets out to earn a medal for himself to gain his neighbors respect. Felix worries that Ralph has "gone Turbo" - a term coined when notorious racing game character Turbo attempted to take over RoadBlasters out of jealousy, which resulted in both of their games being unplugged.
Ralph learns that he can obtain a medal from the first-person shooter, Heros Duty. After disrupting a game session, Ralph scales the games central beacon and obtains a medal, only to hatch a Cy-Bug, a dangerous enemy. Ralph and the Cy-Bug stumble into an escape pod, which is launched out of the game, and crash land in Sugar Rush, a confectionery-themed kart racing game. With Ralph missing, his game is labelled as malfunctioning and faces being unplugged. Felix ventures to Heros Duty and allies with the games heroine, Sergeant Calhoun, to find Ralph and the Cy-Bug.
A young girl named Vanellope von Schweetz steals Ralphs medal to buy her way into the nightly race that determines which characters are playable the next day, but King Candy, the ruler of Sugar Rush, forbids her from racing because she has glitches that cause her to teleport erratically. Ralph reluctantly agrees to work with Vanellope to retrieve his medal and help her win a race. They build a kart and hide out at Diet Cola Mountain, an unfinished race track, where Ralph teaches her to drive. King Candy hacks the games code to obtain Ralphs medal, and offers it to Ralph in exchange for preventing Vanellope from racing. He explains that if Vanellope wins she will become playable and her glitches will lead to Sugar Rush being unplugged. Unable to leave the game because of her glitch, Vanellope will be left to disappear while King Candy and his subjects become homeless in the arcade. Ralph reluctantly agrees and destroys Vanellopes kart. Heartbroken, she declares he "really is a bad guy" and runs off distraught. Upon returning to his game, which has been evacuated in anticipation of it being unplugged the next morning, Ralph notices Vanellopes image on the side of the Sugar Rush cabinet and realizes she was meant to be a playable character. He returns to Sugar Rush and learns that King Candy had disconnected her code to render her a glitch, and locked up all of the other characters memories of her, resulting in her becoming a hated outcast.
Meanwhile, Felix and Calhoun search Sugar Rush for Ralph. Felix falls in love with Calhoun, but she abandons him when he inadvertently reminds her of her late fiance who was killed by a Cy-Bug on their wedding day. Felix is later imprisoned in King Candys castle, but Ralph frees him and Vanellope, and Felix repairs the kart. Calhoun discovers a swarm of Cy-Bug eggs underground, which hatch and start attacking the game.
Vanellope participates in the race but is attacked by King Candy. Vanellopes glitch causes him to be unmasked as Turbo, who took over Sugar Rush and displaced Vanellope as the main character. Vanellope glitches to escape Turbo, who is then eaten by a Cy-Bug. Ralph, Felix, and Calhoun evacuate the game, but Vanellope is trapped due to her glitches. When Calhoun points out that the Cy-Bugs can be attracted and destroyed by a beacon of light as in Heros Duty, Ralph decides to make Diet Cola Mountain erupt, replicating the beacon. Ralph is confronted by Turbo, now fused with the Cy-Bug that devoured him. Ralph makes the mountain erupt and falls into its depths to sacrifice himself, but Vanellope saves him using her glitching ability. The eruption lures and permanently destroys the Cy-Bugs and Turbo.
Vanellope crosses the finish line, rebooting Sugar Rush and restoring her status and memory as Princess Vanellope, the main character of the game, but she chooses to keep her glitching ability. Ralph and Felix return home and their game is spared. Felix and Calhoun marry. Vanellopes glitches make her a popular playable character, and a content Ralph gains respect from his fellow characters.
- Horatio Sanz as Duncan, a doughnut who is a member of the Sugar Rush police department.
- Adam Carolla as Wynnchel, a Long John who is a member of the Sugar Rush police department.
- Alan Tudyk as King Candy, the ruler of Sugar Rush who is revealed to be Turbo, an infamous character from another kart racing video game known for having crashed another game out of jealousy. King Candys vocal stylings are based on comedian Ed Wynn, and his physical mannerisms are modeled from Wynns Mad Hatter character in Alice in Wonderland.
- Jane Lynch as Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun, the lead character of Heros Duty.
- Ed ONeill as Mr. Stan Litwak, owner of Litwaks Family Fun Center & Arcade.
- Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz, a racer/glitch in Sugar Rush.
- Dennis Haysbert as General Hologram, a holographic general in Heros Duty.
- Jack McBrayer as Fix-It Felix Jr., a repairman who is the hero of Fix-It Felix Jr.
- Rich Moore as Sour Bill, King Candys sour ball henchman.
- Mindy Kaling as Taffyta Muttonfudge, a racer in Sugar Rush.
- John C. Reilly as Wreck-It Ralph, a gigantic but soft-hearted man who is the villain of the fictional arcade game Fix-It Felix Jr.
- Joe Lo Truglio as Markowski, a soldier from Heros Duty that Ralph meets in Tapper.
The cast also includes the Fix-It Felix Jr. Nicelanders, Edie McClurg as Mary, Raymond S. Persi as Mayor Gene, Jess Harnell as Don, Rachael Harris as Deanna, and Skylar Astin as Roy; Katie Lowes as Candlehead, Jamie Elman as Rancis Fluggerbutter, Josie Trinidad as Jubileena Bing-Bing, and Cymbre Walk as Crumbelina DiCaramello, racers in Sugar Rush ; Phil Johnston as Surge Protector, Game Central Station security; Stefanie Scott as Moppet Girl, a young arcade-game player; John DiMaggio as Beard Papa, the security guard at the Sugar Rush candy-kart factory; Raymond Persi as a Zombie, Brian Kesinger as a Cyborg based on Kano from Mortal Kombat and Martin Jarvis as Saitine, a devil-like villain, who attends the Bad-Anon support group; Tucker Gilmore as the Sugar Rush Announcer; Brandon Scott as Kohut, a soldier in Heros Duty ; and Tim Mertens as Dr. Brad Scott, a scientist and Sgt. Calhouns deceased fiance in Heros Duty voiced by Nick Grimshaw in the UK version but not in the UK home release.
The film features several cameos from real-world video game characters including: Root Beer Maurice LaMarche, the bartender from Tapper ; Sonic the Hedgehog Roger Craig Smith; Ryu Kyle Hebert, Ken Masters Reuben Langdon, M. Bison Gerald C. Rivers, and Zangief Rich Moore from Street Fighter II ; Clyde Kevin Deters from Pac-Man ; and Yuni Verse Jamie Sparer Roberts from Dance Revolution.
A character modeled after dubstep musician Skrillex makes an appearance in the fictional Fix-It Felix Jr. as the DJ at the anniversary party of the game.
3. 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. The video game villains at the support meeting, in addition to those mentioned above, include Bowser from the Mario franchise, Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog, and Neff from Altered Beast. Additionally, the game cabinet of the fictional Fix It Felix, Jr. arcade game is stylized to strongly resemble the cabinet of Nintendos original 1981 Donkey Kong arcade game, with Ralph and Felix taking similar poses as Donkey Kong and Mario, respectively. The Heros Duty game is a reference to the hugely successful first-person shooter games Halo and Call of Duty. 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 Q*bert also speaks to Felix at one point using the signature synthesized gibberish and word-balloon symbols from his game, called Q*bert-ese. Scenes in Game Central Station and Tappers 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, Frogger from Frogger, and Peter Pepper from BurgerTime. Lara Croft and Mario are also mentioned.
Additional references are based on sight gags. The residents of Niceland and the bartender from Tapper are animated using a jerky motion that spoofs the limited animation cycles of the sprites of many eight- and sixteen-bit arcade games. King Candy uses the Konami Code on an NES controller to access the programming of Sugar Rush. Throughout Game Central Station is graffiti that includes "Aerith lives" referencing the character of Aerith Gainsborough from Final Fantasy VII, "All your base are belong to us" an Engrish phrase popularized from the game Zero Wing, "Sheng Long Was Here" referencing an April Fools joke around a made-up character Sheng Long from Street Fighter, and "Jenkins" a nod to the popular Leeroy Jenkins meme from World of Warcraft. There is also a reference to the Metal Gear series when Ralph is searching for a medal in Tappers Lost and found, finding first a Super Mushroom from the Mario franchise, and then Metal Gear Solid s "Exclamation point" with the corresponding sound effect from the game. Mr. Litwak wears a black and white striped referees shirt, a nod to the iconic outfit of Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day. One of the songs in the credits is an original work from Buckner and Garcia, previously famous for writing video game-themed songs in the 1980s. The Walt Disney Animation Studios opening logo is animated in an 8-bit pixelated fashion, whereas the Walt Disney Pictures closing production logo appears in a glitched state, a reference to the kill screen from many early arcade games such as Pac-Man.
4.1. Production Concept and story
The concept of Wreck-It Ralph was first developed at Disney in the late 1980s, under the working title High Score. Since then, it was redeveloped and reconsidered several times: In the late 1990s, it took on the working title Joe Jump, then 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 hes 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 shows Ralph attending a support group for the arcades various villain characters, including Clyde from Pac-Man, Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog, and Bowser from Super Mario Bros. Rich Moore, the films 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." Moore aimed to add licensed characters in a similar manner as cultural references in Looney Tunes shorts, but considered "having the right balance so a portion of the audience didnt feel they were being neglected or talked down to." However, Moore avoided creating the movie around existing characters, feeling that "theres so much mythology and baggage attached to pre-existing titles that I feel someone would be disappointed," and considered this to be a reason why movies based on video game franchises typically fail. Instead, for Ralph, the development of new characters representative of the 8-bit video game was "almost like virgin snow," giving them the freedom to take these characters in new directions.
Before production, the existing 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 films 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. In the case of Nintendo, the writers had early on envisioned the Bad-anon meeting with Bowser as a major character within the scene; according to Moore, Nintendo was very positive towards this use, stating in Moores own words, "If there is a group that is dedicated to helping the bad guy characters in video games then Bowser must be in that group!" Nintendo had asked that the producers try to devise a scene that would be similarly appropriate for Mario for his inclusion in the film. Despite knowing they would be able to use the character, the producers could not find an appropriate scene that would let Mario be a significant character without taking away the spotlight from the main story and opted to not include the character. Moore debunked 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.
An earlier draft of the screenplay had Ralph and Vanellope spending time going around the game world to collect the pieces for her kart for Sugar Rush, and at times included Felix traveling with the pair. During these scenes, Ralph would have lied to Felix regarding his budding relationship with Calhoun, leading eventually to Ralph becoming depressed and abandoning his quest to get his medal back. At this point, a fourth game world, Extreme Easy Living 2, would have been introduced and was considered a "hedonistic place" between the social nature of The Sims and the open-world objective-less aspects of Grand Theft Auto, according to Moore. Ralph would go there too, wallowing in his depression, and would find happiness by gaining "Like It" buttons for doing acceptable actions in the party-like nature of the place. Moore stated that while it was difficult to consider dropping this new game world, they found that its introduction in the second half of the film would be too difficult a concept for the viewer to grasp. They further had trouble working out how a social game would be part of an arcade, and though they considered having the game be running on Litwaks laptop, they ultimately realized that justifying the concept would be too convoluted. Line art sketches and voice-over readings of the scene were included on the home media release of the film.
4.2. Production Animation, designs, and camera work
The film introduced Disneys new bidirectional reflectance distribution functions, with more realistic reflections on surfaces, and new virtual cinematography Camera Capture system, which makes it possible to go through scenes in real time. To research the Sugar Rush segment of the film, the visual development group traveled to trade fair ISM Cologne, a Sees 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 films score was composed by Henry Jackman. The soundtrack also features original songs by Owl City, AKB48, Skrillex with the remix Noisia, and Buckner & Garcia. Early in the development process, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez wrote an original song for the film; it was later cut out.
All music is composed by Henry Jackman except 1–6.
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 Disneys animated short film, Paperman.
6.1. Release Marketing
A teaser trailer for Wreck-It Ralph was released on June 6, 2012, debuting with Madagascar 3: Europes Most Wanted and Rock of Ages. This also coincided with the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo, for which Disney 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 iOS, Android, and Windows Phone versions, with online Unity-based versions of Sugar Rush and Heros Duty. A second trailer for the film was released on September 12, 2012, coinciding with Finding Nemo 3D and Frankenweenie, along with its final updated movie poster.
To promote the home media release of Wreck-It Ralph, director Rich Moore produced a short film titled Garlan Hulse: Where Potential Lives. Set within the movies universe, the mockumentary film was designed as a parody of The King of Kong.
6.2. Release Home media
Wreck-It Ralph was released on Blu-ray Disc 2D and 3D and DVD in North America on March 5, 2013, from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. The film was made available for digital download in selected regions on February 12, 2013. Wreck-It Ralph debuted at No. 1 in Blu-ray and DVD sales in the United States. Wreck It Ralph was released on 4K UHD Blu-Ray on November 6, 2018.
7.1. Reception Box office
Wreck-It Ralph grossed $189.4 million in North America and $281.8 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $471.2 million. It was the 14th-highest-grossing film of 2012, and the fourth-highest-grossing 2012 animated film.
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, making it the largest opening for a Walt Disney Animation Studios film at the time. The film fell 33% to $33 million in its second weekend, finishing second behind newcomer Skyfall.
Outside North America, Wreck-It Ralph earned $12 million on its opening weekend from six markets. Among all markets, its three largest openings were recorded in the UK, Ireland and Malta $7.15 million, Brazil $5.32 million with weekday previews, and Russia and the CIS $5.27 million. In total grosses, the three largest markets were the UK, Ireland and Malta $36.2 million, Japan $29.6 million, and Australia $24.0 million.
7.2. Reception Critical response
The review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 87% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 186 reviews with an average score of 7.4/10. The sites 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." On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 72 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". 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 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 stated, "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 movies 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."
8.1. Franchise Sequel
Ralph Breaks the Internet is the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph. The film takes place six years after the first film when Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz travel to the Internet to get a replacement part for Sugar Rush and prevent Mr. Litwak from disposing of the game. The film was produced by Disney Animation with Moore and Johnston directing. The film was released November 21, 2018 by Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
8.2. Franchise Video games
In addition to the Flash version of the Fix-It Felix Jr. game, Disney released a tie-in side-scrolling platform game called Wreck-It Ralph for the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo DS, to mostly negative reviews. The arcade style side-scrolling game was developed by PipeWorks and published by Activision and serves as a "story extension" to the film. Taking place following the events of the film, players may play as Wreck-It Ralph or Fix-It Felix, causing or repairing damage, respectively, following another Cy-Bug incident. Game levels are based on the locations in the film like the Fix-It Felix Jr., Heros Duty, and Sugar Rush games as well as Game Central Station. It was released in conjunction with the films release, in November 2012.
In October 2012, Disney released fully playable browser-based versions of the Heros Duty and Sugar Rush games on the new official film site. A mobile game titled Wreck-it Ralph was released in November 2012 for iOS and Android systems, with a Windows Phone 8 version following almost a year later. Initially, the game consisted of three mini-games, Fix-it Felix Jr., Heros Duty and Sweet Climber, which were later joined by Turbo Time and Heros Duty: Flight Command. The game was retired on August 29, 2014.
Ralph also appears in Segas Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed as a playable guest character.
Ralph and Vanellope appear as playable characters in Disney Infinity as well voiced by Brian T. Delaney and Sarah Silverman, respectively; the Disney Store released their individual figures on January 7, 2014. A combo "toy box pack" of the two figures with Sugar Rush customization discs was released April 1, 2014, from the Disney Store.
Wreck-It Ralph is a playable world on the mobile game Disney Crossy Road. Ralph made his debut appearance in the Kingdom Hearts video game series in Kingdom Hearts III, serving as a Link summon. A world based on Wreck-It Ralph was added to the mobile game Kingdom Hearts Union χ as part of an update in April 2019.