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Ralph Breaks The Internet Goes Bigger & Bolder: From “Little Town” Arcade to “Bright Lights, Big City” Internet, BTS Press Event

A new trailer for the sequel to Disney Animation’s 2012 Oscar-nominated feature, Wreck-It Ralph dropped today, and it looks like we’re getting the sequel that many fans were hoping for.

Ralph Breaks The Internet, co-directed by Rich Moore & Phil Johnston (Zootopia, Wreck-It Ralph) takes the beloved characters of video-game bad guy Ralph (John C. Reilly) and best friend Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) from the gamespace of Mr. Litwak’s Arcade into the big and bad (?) world that is the internet.


Ralph Breaks the Internet (courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Following a tragic accident at Mr. Litwak’s arcade, Vanellope’s racing game, Sugar Rush is put out of commission until a crucial part can be found. In an attempt to save her game, Vanellope & Ralph’s quest takes them to the vast world of the internet, a world Vanellope embraces especially after discovering a new racing game, Slaughter Race—to the point that Ralph worries he may lose the only friend he’s ever had.

Coming to theaters November 21st, watch the new trailer here:


At an early press day event on August 1st of this year, Geeks of Color was invited behind the screen at Disney Animation Studios to find out everything that was going into Ralph Breaks The Internet: from in-depth looks at the new characters with star voice talent, what actually went into building the internet for the movie, to the story & artistic direction required to once again raise the bar for Disney’s sequel.


Producer Clark Spencer, Co-directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston (Courtesy of Disney)

Co-directors Rich Moore, Phil Johnston and producer Clark Spencer kicked off the event, which had a variety of panels headed by the leads of different aspects of the film. Those panels went in-depth in covering character animation, character design, story, populating the world with various crowds of “Netizens” (full-time internet citizens), and more. Also including raw and deleted scenes/inspiration for the final film, such as the full scene script and characterizations of the Disney Princesses’ Oh My Disney scene to an actual velvet cat painting that inspired a major plot point in the movie.


Sorrowful velvet cat painting, bought on Ebay by a storyboard artist (Courtesy of Disney)




When the directors met back up in 2014 to figure out what was next for Ralph and Vanellope, namely taking them out into the wide and tumultuous world that is online, they were focused on telling the right story, bringing back beloved characters with more characters fit for the new tale, and to hold it all in an environment that would genuinely feel like the cat-video haven internet that we know.

Deciding to pick up Vanellope and Ralph’s tale where it left off, they were inspired by Zootopia’s way of taking on tricky and complicated themes such as bullying and harassment. Ralph Breaks The Internet will confront themes such as online trolling, being belittled by strangers and the frequently said phrases “Don’t feed the trolls” and “Never read the comments”.

Ralph Breaks The Internet has all of the original voice talent for all characters in the film (including Felix and Calhoun, voiced by Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch). And among other new incoming characters, there is the addition of star voice talent Taraji P. Henson as Yesss, a trend-setting algorithm and head of “BuzzzTube”, and Gal Gadot as Shank, a tough-as-nails driver from a gritty online auto-racing game called Slaughter Race.


Yesss, voiced by Taraji P. Henson (Courtesy of Disney)

Yesss, brought to life through Taraji P. Henson, is an important character addition to the Wreck-It Ralph internet world. As a literal embodiment of the words “Viral Content Creator”, the character constantly shifts hairstyles, clothing, and even had a team of animators just for one of her jackets. Not only a pretty and stylistic face, as the CEO/algorithm of “BuzzzTube”, THE place on the internet to create and upload content. Along with her sage advice and guidance on how to exist in an online space, she has turned “going viral” into a reproducible science.

The film’s environments, lead by Art Director of Environments Matthias Lechner, manage to stylistically and realistically convey the internet for Ralph Breaks The Internet. A multi-layered balance between real-world inspiration, specifically the inner workings of the building One Wilshire, one of the most densely interconnected data centers in the world, to the tongue-in-cheek familiarity of cat videos, search engines, information highways, notable fan sites and ads…so many ads.


RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET – Internet landing hub environment visual development by Matthias Lechner (Art Director, Environments) ©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

The internet isn’t just a beautiful bright color-coordinated place however. The environments & artistic team also delved into the world beneath the user-friendly connectivity and click-baity viral videos. Into the space beneath the world wide web, the Dark Web. Along with the netizens of that space (such as Double Dan voiced by Alfred Molina), the incognito avatars and mood lighting, the Dark Net is portrayed as a place you don’t necessarily want to go to, but it is the type of place you go to when you have to.


Ralph in the Dark Net (Courtesy of Disney)

Six more fun facts:

  • In one of the Oh My Disney frames, you can see that each of the Disney Princess’ personal vanities are all customized
  • Wreck-It Ralph had 223 unique characters total and 421 variants. Ralph Breaks the Internet has 434 unique characters total and 6,752 variants, with over 500,000 unique options populating this new world
  • The Disney Princess scene at “Oh My Disney” had its inspired beginnings due to an “Are you an Anna or Elsa” pop quiz that Ralph would have taken in an earlier draft of the script.
  • Brian Curless, the reigning U.S. champion auctioneer, embodies an Ebay auctioneer
  • Disney approached and talked to all of the original Disney Princess voice actresses, to make certain that they got the characterizations right
  • The ROYGBIV colors in the main Internet hub scene, are not only representative of the wavelengths of light, but also of the speeds of the internet

Vanellope and Ralph (Courtesy of Disney)

With the amazing attention to detail, pushing the animator envelope, along with star voice talent, and real-world themes, Ralph Breaks The Internet has a really good chance of also breaking the mold.

Pun aside, what do you think about the new Wreck-It Ralph Sequel? Let us know in the comments below!

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” hits theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.

Voice cast:  John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk, Alfred Molina, Ed O’Neill, Ali Wong, Timothy Simons, Glozell Green, Hamish Blake and Taraji P. Henson. 

Directors:  Rich Moore, Phil Johnston

Producer: Clark Spencer

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