20 Weeks of Disney Animation: ‘Wreck-It Ralph’
Following the colossal box office failure of Winnie the Pooh, Walt Disney Animation Studios decided to go in the complete opposite direction for their next film, both in terms of story and style. Rather than adapting a classic piece of children’s literature or a fairy tale, John Lasseter and the team at Disney went into the realm of video games. This was something that, surprisingly, had never been tackled before by the studio and allowed the writers to create an original story set inside the worlds of various video games, some real and some invented.
The film was originally going to be about Fix-It Felix Jr, the hero of his arcade game. The villain of the movie was Wreck-It Ralph or Wendell Grubble as they were calling him then. It was only after a first draft had been completed that the writers realized Ralph was the more interesting character. Because of this, though he is the villain in the arcade game, he is the protagonist of the film. This change makes all the difference and was absolutely the right choice. For me, Wreck-It Ralph is one of the most entertaining and inventive animated films that Disney has put out in the last ten years.
One of the best things about Wreck-It-Ralph is its originality, particularly as a Disney film. The filmmakers took many risks which paid off, and in addition, catered to a different kind of audience than those who might have watched something like Tangled. Even for those who aren’t gamers, there is still a lot to love. I, myself, am not a gamer at all, but this film kept me engaged with its references, world-building, and spectacle.
Apart from all of that, however, Wreck-It Ralph has charm- something that is easier said than done and cannot be faked. I highly recommend skeptical people to check this film out.
Live-action remake: There is no live-action remake planned for Wreck-It Ralph (and thank goodness for that!).
Wreck-It Ralph in the theme parks: There is not much of Wreck-It Ralph at the parks currently, although the sequel received a VR expierence called Ralph Breaks VR in Downtown Disney.
Sequel: In 2018, we received the long awaited sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet. This film has even more references and characters than its predecessor. The setting has moved to the Internet and diligently shows off all of Disney’s properties such as Marvel, Star Wars, and more.
Wreck-It Ralph is available to stream on Disney+.