RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET
RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 Disney’s love letter to ’80s gaming gets an online update…
The arcade game wrecker returns. This time with way more Disney princesses.
I As the team behind Zootropolis, Walt Disney Animation Studios is no stranger to building worlds. But constructing the entire internet for Wreck-It Ralph 2 almost proved too much. “It’s not something that’s been visualised before,” winces producer Clark Spencer. “It wasn’t until we went to One Wilshire Boulevard, the hub of North America’s internet, that we started to think about it as a city with different districts.”
Six years on, Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) are living their best lives in Mr. Litwak’s arcade, until the wheel on Vanellope’s game Sugar Rush breaks. Using the wifi pipe to enter the online world, the pair make a beeline for eBay. Finding the wheel in the vast auction house, though not quite grasping the concept (“All you have to do is yell out the biggest number!”), Ralph bids $27,001 – money he doesn’t have. They’re given an ultimatum: find the money within 24 hours or forfeit the wheel.
With no hope, the pair turn to Yesss (Taraji P. Henson), an algorithm on the cutting edge who helps Ralph create viral videos and earn Buzzy Bucks. But
online fame is a double-edged sword. “Yesss has some important scenes where she talks about difficult things like comments,” Spencer says. “We need to show those darker sides. We also go down into the dark net. It’s an area where viruses exist, and Ralph is going to make some bad decisions.”
To help them market their videos, Yesss sends Vanellope to Oh My Disney – Comic-Con for Mouse House characters, including C-3PO, Iron Man and every Disney princess to date. But isn’t a Disney film promoting Oh My Disney – a real site – a little bit… cynical? Spencer clarifies this is only a window into a much bigger world. “The princess scene is a defining moment in the trailer, but it’s just a moment as opposed to what the movie is about.”
After six years, what the movie is about has changed drastically, with an early version told through Vanellope’s eyes. “It was about her getting caught up in ‘likes’,” Spencer reveals. “It felt important. But her character isn’t really one to get caught up in likes, and we realised the audience is ahead of that.” Still interested in exploring the internet, the team hit on a big city story that put the pair’s friendship back at its heart. “Vanellope’s eyes are opened, but Ralph wants to go back to the world he knows and loves, together,” Spencer says. “We thought that would be fun.”
ETA | 30 NOVEMBER / RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 OPENS LATER THIS YEAR.
Returning buddies Ralph and Vanellope, voiced by John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, go internet exploring. WEB BRoWSERS