5 Things We Learned About Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet
Legion of Leia had the pleasure of being invited to attend Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet press conference, where we learned more about what inspired the initial story idea behind the sequel, how auditions came to influence the characters we saw in the finished product, and how much work went into bringing the characters to life onscreen through not just animation, but also through the voice acting.
Below we list the top 5 things we learned from Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet press conference:
1. The sequel was inspired by the last line of dialogue in Wreck-it Ralph.
While many of us had been hoping for a sequel to the much-adored Wreck-it Ralph, none of us really knew where the rest of Ralph and Vanellope’s story could go. Their friendship seemed solidified and everything seemed to be going great at the end of the first film. However, as director Rich Moore and co-director Phil Johnston came to realize, there was a lot more of Ralph’s character that needed exploration. This became evident to them after they started to dissect the last line of dialogue in the first film, Moore explained:
“[W]e looked at the very last line of the first movie where Ralph says, after going friendless for the whole movie and then finally making a friend, he’s back home and says, if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be? And it seemed at the time, it’s so sweet. It’s a wonderful sentiment. But then as we continued to kind of pick at it, we said, that’s really, really dysfunctional. That this guy is defining himself by what his best friend thinks. And it’s a great best friend. But what if she were not to like him someday? What would that lead to?”
It was then this thought process that started the hamster wheel creative spiral that would lead to Moore and Johnston to start hammering away at a sequel.
2. The visual structure of the Internet was inspired by ancient cities.
Now when it was announced that Ralph and Vanellope were going to be launched into the Internet, many of us were scratching our heads. How exactly was that going to happen? And what exactly would the Internet look like? Would it give us horrifying flashbacks to the Emoji movie? It seemed almost impossible to imagine what the world of the Internet could be transformed into. However, Moore and Johnston had plenty of ideas on how to conceptualize the wide web:
“We finally landed on something where we thought of it like an old city like Rome or Istanbul where the ancient city is buried deep beneath. Then they build a new version on top of that and a new version on top of that like that. And that’s kind of actually what the Internet is.[…]But that’s how we envisioned it. Like a city that is multi-layered with the newest, biggest Websites up on top. Then the old forgotten stuff is down at the bottom.”
Conceptualizing the Internet as this multi-layered city that’s built upon one another also helps to provide a visual, at least for me anyway, of how Ralph could actually break the internet. Considering he is a wrecker of all things when he is angry, Ralph Breaks the Internet takes an entirely literal meaning of sorts when you put those two visuals together.
3. The antagonist of the film could have been completely different.
The primary antagonist of Ralph Breaks the Internet this time around is not an outside force. Unfortunately, it is Ralph’s insecurity. I know that this may not seem like much of a villain on the surface, but I think many of us can agree that our insecurities can be our own worst enemy. This is very much the case with Ralph. However, as was revealed at the press conference, this wasn’t always the main focus of antagonism. When the discussion came to what was left on the cutting room floor, co-director Phil Johnston revealed that there was a bigger anti-virus sequence cut out that could have led to some villainy:
“One thing I remember, there was this big anti-virus component in this sort of brutalist architecture behind this anti-virus facility called [PH] Interneet. And they had this woman running it based after my mother named BEV. Built to Eradicate Viruses. She was this really kindly mid-western woman. But then had this nasty like fascistic kind of streak to her.[…]But that was a storyline where we had this force of antagonism. And then ended up settling on Ralph’s own insecurity being more the antagonist in the film.”
I’m not sure about you guys, but I think they made the right decision to axe BEV. Although insecurities may read like nothing on paper, it is a universal issue that I think many of us can relate to. And seeing the complete dark side that our insecurities can tape into if left completely unattended could serve as a great lesson to children about insecurity and friendship. Sorry, BEV.
4 . Gal Gadot did not record her dialogue with the cast.
While it was reported at the press conference that the majority of the cast was able to record their dialogue and directly interact with one another during record, there was one actor that had to record separately. When Sarah Silverman was asked what it was like to work with Gal Gadot, it was revealed that she actually didn’t get the chance to work with her due to scheduling conflicts surrounding Gadot’s involvement in Wonder Woman. Johnston further explained how they were able to work around her schedule:
“We went to London, Rich and I, three or four times whilst she is shooting that [Wonder Woman] film over there the last year. So we went a number of times and worked with her. So it was one exception where the actors weren’t together. But, man. You couldn’t meet a nicer, humbler woman. She’s really cool.”
Despite the cast of Ralph Breaks the Internet not being able to work personally with Gadot, it’s really cool to see how well she was able to mesh and create that chemistry between the characters without directly interacting with them. Especially after seeing how her character Shank connects with the lost Vanellope as she tries to figure out her path.
5. Don’t get your hopes up regarding a sequel.
Now many will be wondering after finishing Ralph Breaks the Internet whether or not there will be a sequel. Personally, I didn’t ever think we were going to be getting a sequel to Wreck-it Ralph despite my undying love for both Ralph and Vanellope. However, now we have one. Now that we have a new sequel though, does this mean we will be seeing a trilogy or a franchise blossom from this particular property? As director Rich Moore revealed, probably not:
“Like the first one, we’re at that point where we feel like, it’s buttoned up and clean. That there cannot possibly be another story after this one. That’s what we thought on the first one. So unless we start digging at this and find that there is some sort of opportunity to be mined, I think right now, it feels as if they’re great companion pieces. It kinda ends here.”
Normally, I would disagree about the lack of potential for a sequel. But, after seeing the new film, I would say that Moore and Johnston wrapped up the film and the story of these two main characters in a satisfactory way. Don’t believe me? You should go see the film and find out yourself.
Ralph Breaks the Internet premieres in theaters on November 21, 2018. We here at Legion of Leia highly recommend you seeing the film. It serves as a great sequel to its predecessor.