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Wreck-It Ralph
Theatrical release poster depicting the protagonist, Ralph, along with various video-game characters
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rich Moore
Produced by Clark Spencer
Screenplay by Phil Johnston[1]
Jennifer Lee[1]
Story by Rich Moore
Phil Johnston
Jim Reardon
Starring John C. Reilly
Sarah Silverman
Jack McBrayer
Jane Lynch
Music by Henry Jackman
Editing by Tim Mertens
Studio Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) October 29, 2012 (2012-10-29) (world premiere)
November 2, 2012 (2012-11-02) (United States)
Running time 108 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $165 million[3]
Box office $376,714,812[3]

Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated family-action comedy film[4] produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.[5] It is the 52nd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The film was directed by Rich Moore, who has directed episodes of The Simpsons and Futurama, and the screenplay was written by Jennifer Lee and Phil Johnston 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. The film tells the story of the titular arcade game villain who rebels against his role and dreams of becoming a hero. He travels between games in the arcade, and ultimately must eliminate a dire threat that could affect the entire arcade, and one that Ralph may have inadvertently started.

Wreck-It Ralph had its world premiere on October 29, 2012,[6] and went into general release on November 2. The film was met with critical and commercial success, and was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.[7][8] It also won the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature.[9]

PlotEdit

When Litwak's Arcade closes at night, the various video game characters leave their normal in-game roles and are free to travel to other games. Within the game Fix-It Felix, Jr., the characters celebrate its titular hero but shun the game's villain character, Wreck-It Ralph. At a support group for video game antagonists, Ralph reveals his desire to stop being the bad guy. Back at home, Ralph finds the other characters celebrating their game's 30th anniversary without inviting him. Felix reluctantly invites Ralph to join them, but the others ostracize him, saying he would have to earn a medal, just as Felix does in their game.

At Tapper's, Ralph learns that he can win a medal in the first-person shooter game Hero's Duty. Ralph enters the game and encounters Sergeant Calhoun, its no-nonsense leader. Between game sessions, Ralph climbs the game's central beacon and collects the medal, accidentally hatching a Cy-Bug, one of the game's enemies. The Cy-Bug clings to Ralph as he stumbles into an escape pod that launches him out of the game. Meanwhile, with Ralph missing, a girl reports to Litwak that Fix-It Felix, Jr. is malfunctioning. Since broken games get unplugged, leaving their characters homeless, Felix goes to find Ralph.

Ralph crash-lands in Sugar Rush, a kart-racing game. As he searches for his medal, he meets Vanellope von Schweetz, a glitchy character who takes the medal and plans to use it to buy entry into a race. King Candy and the other racers refuse to let Vanellope participate, claiming that she is not really part of the game. Ralph helps Vanellope build a kart. At her home, Diet Cola Mountain, he discovers that she is a natural racer.

Back in Hero's Duty, Felix meets Calhoun, who warns that the Cy-Bugs are capable of taking over any game they enter. As the pair searches for Ralph and the Cy-Bug in Sugar Rush, they separate when Felix, enamored with Calhoun, inadvertently reminds her of her fiancé, who had been killed by a Cy-Bug in her backstory. Calhoun finds hundreds of Cy-Bug eggs underground, and Felix becomes imprisoned in King Candy's castle.

King Candy hacks the game's code to retrieve Ralph's medal and offers it to him, explaining that letting Vanellope race would be disastrous for both her and the game. Fearing for Vanellope's safety, Ralph wrecks the kart and returns to his own game, but finds that everyone has evacuated, expecting the game to be unplugged in the morning. Ralph then notices Vanellope's image on the Sugar Rush cabinet and realizes she is an intended part of the game, not a glitch.

Ralph returns to Sugar Rush, finds Felix and Vanellope, and asks Felix to fix the wrecked kart. As the race proceeds, the hatched Cy-Bugs attack and Felix, Calhoun, and Ralph battle them. When Vanellope catches up to King Candy, he reveals that he is actually Turbo in disguise, a character from an old game who notoriously sabotaged a newer game out of jealousy, causing both to be unplugged. Vanellope escapes from Turbo, who is consumed by a Cy-Bug. The group flees the doomed game, but Vanellope finds she cannot pass through the exit. Calhoun says the game cannot be saved without a beacon to attract and kill the Cy-Bugs.

Ralph heads to Diet Cola Mountain, where he plans on collapsing its Mentos stalactites into the cola at the bottom, causing a blinding eruption that would attract the bugs. Before he can finish, Turbo, merged with the Cy-Bug that had consumed him, carries him away. Ralph breaks free and dives toward the mountain, hoping his impact will start the eruption. Vanellope in turn uses her glitching abilities to save Ralph. The eruption starts and draws the Cy-Bugs to their destruction, including Turbo. Vanellope crosses the finish line, restoring her memory and status as the game's lead character while keeping her advantageous glitching ability. Felix and Ralph return to their game in time for Litwak to see that it still works, sparing it from being unplugged. Felix marries Calhoun, and the characters of Fix-It Felix, Jr. gain a new respect for Ralph.

Voice castEdit

The cast also includes: the Fix-It Felix, Jr Nicerlanders, Edie McClurg as Mary,[11] Raymond Persi as Mayor Gene,[14][15] Jess Harnell as Don, Rachael Harris as Deanna,[11] 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;[16] Stefanie Scott as Moppet Girl, a young arcade-game player[11] John DiMaggio as Beard Papa, the security guard at the Sugar Rush candy-kart factory; Raymond Persi as a Zombie,[14] Brian Kesinger as a Cyborg (based on Kano from Mortal Kombat);[14] and Martin Jarvis as Saitine, a devil-like villain, who attend the Bad-Anon support group; Tucker Gilmore as the Sugar Rush Announcer; Brandon Scott as Kohut, a soldier in Hero's Duty; and Tim Mertens as Dr. Brad Scott, a scientist and Sgt. Calhoun's fiancé in Hero's Duty (voiced by Nick Grimshaw in the UK release).[17]

The film features several cameos from real world video game characters including: Root Beer Tapper (Maurice LaMarche), the bartender from Tapper;[18] Sonic the Hedgehog (Roger Craig Smith);[11][16] Ryu (Kyle Hebert), Ken Masters (Reuben Langdon), M. Bison (Gerald C. Rivers), and Zangief (Rich Moore) from Street Fighter;[1][19][11] Clyde (Kevin Deters) from Pac-Man;[20] and Yuni Verse (Jamie Sparer Roberts) from Dance Dance Revolution[21] A character modeled after dub-step musician Skrillex makes an appearance in Fix-It Felix, Jr. as the DJ at the anniversary party of the game.[22]

Video game cameos and referencesEdit

In addition to the spoken roles, Wreck-It Ralph contains a number of other video game references, including characters and visual gags. At the meeting of video game villains, the above characters include, in addition to any mentioned above: Bowser from Super Mario Bros.,[1][10][19] Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog[1][19] and Neff from Altered Beast.[14]

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.[18][23] (Q*bert also speaks to Felix at one point using the signature synthesized gibberish and word-balloon symbols from his game) Scenes in Game Central Station and Tapper's bar include Chun-Li, Cammy, and Blanka from Street Fighter,[19][24] Pac-Man, Blinky, Pinky, and Inky from Pac-Man,[18][25] the Paperboy from Paperboy,[14] the two paddles and the ball from Pong,[26] Dig Dug, a Pooka, and a Fygar from Dig Dug,[26] The Qix from Qix,[25] and Frogger from Frogger.[27] Yuni from Dance Dance Revolution X2 is featured in the opening arcade scene. Additionally, Lara Croft and Mario are mentioned in dialogue.[28]

Additional references are based on sight gags. The residents of Niceland are animated using a jerky motion that spoofs the limited animation cycles of the sprites of many eight- and sixteen-bit arcade games.[29] King Candy uses the Konami Code to access the programming of Sugar Rush.[30] Throughout Game Central Station is graffiti stating that "Aerith lives," referencing the character of Aerith Gainsborough from Final Fantasy VII.[31] There is also a reference to the Metal Gear series when Ralph is searching for something in a box and finds the "Exclamation point" (with corresponding sound effect from the game), and a mushroom from Super Mario Bros.[29] Mr. Litwak wears a black and white striped referee's shirt, a nod to the iconic outfit of Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day.[29] Finally, 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.[29]

ProductionEdit

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.[32]

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 he’s a good guy."[23] 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.[23] For example, one scene from the film's first theatrical trailer shows Ralph attending a support group for the arcade's various villain characters, including Clyde from Pac-Man, Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog, and Bowser from Super Mario Bros.[23] Rich Moore, the film's 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."[14]

Before production, 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 film's creative team, without consideration if they would legally be able to use the characters.[14] 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.[14] The producers could not devise a reason to incorporate the popular character Mario into the film,[33] with director Rich Moore debunking 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.[28] Dr. Wily from Mega Man was going to appear, but was cut from the final version of the film.[34] Overall, there are about 188 individual character models in the movie as a result of these cameo inclusions.[14]

The film introduced Disney's new bidirectional reflectance distribution functions, with more realistic reflections on surfaces.(citation needed) To research the Sugar Rush segment of the film, the visual development group traveled to trade fair ISM Cologne, a See's 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.[35]

ReleaseEdit

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.[36][37] The theatrical release was accompanied by Disney's animated short film Paperman.[38]

MarketingEdit

The first trailer for Wreck-It Ralph was released on June 6, 2012, debuting with Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Rock of Ages.[39] 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.[40] Disney also released a browser-based Flash-based version of the Fix-It Felix, Jr. game as well as iOS and Android versions, with online unity-based versions of Sugar Rush and Hero's Duty.[41] A second trailer for the film was released on September 12, 2012, coinciding with Finding Nemo 3D and Frankenweenie.

Home mediaEdit

Wreck-It Ralph will be released on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD on March 5, 2013 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.[42] The film will be made available on digital download as early as February 12.[43]

ReceptionEdit

Critical receptionEdit

Wreck-It Ralph received positive reviews from critics. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 85% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 148 reviews, with an average score of 7.4/10. The site's 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."[44] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 73 based on 35 reviews, or "Generally favorable."[45] The film earned an "A" from audiences polled by CinemaScore.[46]

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."[47] A.O. Scott of the 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."[48] 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."[49] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times said, "The movie's subversive sensibility and old-school/new-school feel are a total kick,"[50] 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."[51] Conversely, Christopher Orr of The Atlantic found it "overplotted and underdeveloped."[52]

Box officeEdit

As of February 7, 2013, Wreck-It Ralph has grossed $183,314,812 in North America, and $193,400,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $376,714,812.[3]

In North America, the film debuted with $13.5 million, an above-average opening day gross for an animated film released in November.[53] During its opening weekend, the film topped the box office with $49 million, marking the largest Friday-to-Sunday opening for a Walt Disney Animation Studios production, nipping past TangledTemplate:'s opening ($48.8 million).[54]

Outside North America, Wreck-It Ralph earned $12 million on its opening weekend from six markets.[55] Among all markets, its three largest openings were recorded in Brazil ($5.32 million with weekday previews), Russia and the CIS ($5.27 million), and China ($4.7 million).[56][57]

AccoladesEdit

List of awards and nominations
Award Category Winner/Nominee Result
Academy Awards[8] Best Animated Feature Rich Moore Results pending
Annie Awards[58][9] Best Animated Feature Won
Animated Effects in an Animated Production Brett Albert rowspan=2 Template:Nominated
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Bill Schwab, Lorelay Bove, Cory Loftis, Minkyu Lee
Directing in an Animated Feature Production Rich Moore rowspan=2 Won
Music in an Animated Feature Production Henry Jackman, Skrillex, Adam Young, Matthew Thiessen, Jamie Houston, Yasushi Akimoto
Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production Leo Matsuda rowspan=2 Template:Nominated
Lissa Treiman
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Alan Tudyk (King Candy) rowspan=2 Won
Writing in an Animated Feature Production Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Tim Mertens rowspan=2 Template:Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Animated Feature
Critics Choice Awards[59] Best Animated Feature Won
Golden Globe Awards[60] Best Animated Feature Film Nominated
National Board of Review Awards[61] Best Animated Feature Won
Online Film Critics Society Award Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award Best Animated Film Won
Best Original Song ("When Can I See You Again?") Adam Young, Matthew Thiessen Nominated
Producers Guild of America Award Best Animated Motion Picture Clark Spencer Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Award Best Animated Film rowspan=5 Nominated
Satellite Awards[62] Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media
Visual Effects Society[63][64] Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture Sean Jenkins, Scott Kersavage, Rich Moore, Clark Spencer
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture John Kahwaty, Suzan Kim, Michelle Robinson, Tony Smeed (for Vanellope)
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award Best Animated Feature

SoundtrackEdit

The film's score was composed by Henry Jackman. The Japanese idol group AKB48 performed the film's ending theme, "Sugar Rush" for the worldwide release.[65] The soundtrack also features original songs by Skrillex, Owl City, and Buckner & Garcia.[66]

Wreck-It Ralph
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Track listingEdit

All music is composed by Henry Jackman (except 1–6)[67].
No. TitleArtist Length
1. "When Can I See You Again?"  Owl City 3:38
2. "Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph"  Buckner & Garcia 2:59
3. "Celebration"  Kool & the Gang 3:40
4. "Sugar Rush"  AKB48 3:14
5. "Bug Hunt (Noisia Remix)"  Skrillex 7:04
6. "Shut Up and Drive"  Rihanna 3:32
7. "Wreck-It Ralph"    1:33
8. "Life in the Arcade"    0:43
9. "Jumping Ship"    1:06
10. "Rocket Fiasco"    5:48
11. "Vanellope von Schweetz"    2:57
12. "Royal Raceway"    3:23
13. "Cupcake Breakout"    1:12
14. "Candy Vandals"    1:39
15. "Turbo Flashback"    1:42
16. "Laffy Taffies"    1:35
17. "One Minute to Win It"    1:17
18. "Vanellope's Hideout"    2:33
19. "Messing with the Program"    1:20
20. "King Candy"    2:11
21. "Broken-Karted"    2:49
22. "Out of the Penthouse, Off to the Race"    2:51
23. "Sugar Rush Showdown"    4:15
24. "You're My Hero"    4:16
25. "Arcade Finale"    3:19
Total length:
70:36

Video gamesEdit

In addition to the Flash version of the Fix-It Felix, Jr. game, Disney released a tie-in game based on the film for the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo DS. The arcade style side-scrolling game was produced in collaboration between Disney Interactive and Activision and serves as a "story extension" to the film. Players may play as Wreck-It Ralph or Fix-It Felix, causing damage as well as repairing where necessary. Game levels are based on the locations in the film, like the Fix-It Felix, Jr., Hero's Duty, and Sugar Rush games. It was released in conjunction with the film's release, in November 2012.[68] In October 2012, Disney released fully playable browser-based versions of the Hero's Duty and Sugar Rush games on the new official film site. A game was also released as an app for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad, as well as for Android systems. Ralph also appears in Sega's Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed as a playable guest character.[69] Ralph will also appear as a playable character in Disney Infinity.

Future plansEdit

In an interview on October 25, 2012, director Rich Moore said that he and Disney have ideas about a sequel that would bring the characters up to date and explore online gaming and console gaming.[96] Moore stated that many of the crew and voice cast are open to the sequel, believing that they have "barely scratched the surface" of the video game world they envisioned.[26] He also stated that he plans to include Mario and Tron in the sequel.[97][98] In a 2014 interview, the film's composer Henry Jackman said that a story for the sequel is being written.[99]

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External linksEdit

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