Back Of The Net
RALPH BREAK THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 | Deconstructing Walt Disney Animation Studio’s biggest film to date…
Six years after Wreck-It Ralph, Disney is reconnecting reluctant arcade villain Ralph (John C. Reilly) and his best pal, racing princess Vanellope (Sarah Silverman). This time they’re surfing the web on a visit to the internet itself, in search of spare parts. Remarkably, this is the first theatrical Disney Animation sequel since Fantasia 2000, and the first ever to share the original’s creative team. Teasers spoke to co-director/co-writer Phil Johnston and producer Clark Spencer about logging back in to Ralph’s world, bit by bit.
As in Wreck-It Ralph, great care has been taken to balance known brands with new creations. So while a trip to eBay drives the plot, Spencer confirms, “The biggest pieces of the storytelling take place in websites we created ourselves. That gave us the latitude to make them fit the story.” These include vintage search engine KnowsMore, online game Slaughter Race and social media sensation BuzzTube, run by trendy algorithm Yesss (Taraji P. Henson).
MAKING A CONNECTION Ralph and Vanellope’s relationship is at the sequel’s heart. “Ralph is still defining himself by the way somebody else thinks about him,” explains Johnston. “He still has a lot of insecurity, and Vanellope as a character is really just coming into her own.” With scope for more emotional development, “we were thinking about the internet as a bigger, more fast, crazy, wild world” to test them further.
DIvA FEvER The film’s trailer nearly broke the internet when Vanellope was seen hanging out with the Disney princesses in their loungewear. In a real casting coup, a dozen original voice actors – including Mandy Moore’s Rapunzel and Kristen Bell’s Anna – signed up for cameos. “There’s a piece of them that’s still those characters,” reckons Spencer. “Importantly, they were able to influence how that character would act in those scenes.”