Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rich Moore|
|Produced by||Clark Spencer|
|Screenplay by||Phil Johnston
|Story by||Rich Moore
|Starring||John C. Reilly
|Music by||Henry Jackman|
|Editing by||Tim Mertens|
|Studio||Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Animation Studios
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|Running time||101 minutes|
Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 American computer-animated family-comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. 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 eponymous 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 himself inadvertently started.
Wreck-It Ralph premiered at the El Capitan Theatre on October 29, 2012, and went into general release on November 2. The film has earned $471 million in worldwide box office revenue, $189 million of which was earned in the United States and Canada; it was met with critical and commercial success, winning the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature and receiving nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Wreck-It Ralph was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 5, 2013.
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 through the power cables. The characters within the game Fix-It Felix, Jr. celebrate its eponymous hero, but loathe the game's villain character, Wreck-It Ralph. At a support group for video game villains, Ralph reveals his desire to stop being a villain. Ostracized from his game's 30th anniversary celebration, Ralph believes he can be accepted by earning a medal, just as Felix does in their game. He learns he can find one in the first person rail shooter Hero's Duty and enters the game, collecting the medal between game sessions. In the process, he accidentally hatches 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 player reports Fix-It Felix, Jr. to arcade staff as malfunctioning. Broken games will be unplugged, leaving their characters homeless, so Felix leaves to retrieve Ralph.
Ralph crash-lands in Sugar Rush, a candy themed kart-racing game. As he searches for his medal, he meets Vanellope von Schweetz, a glitchy character who takes the medal and uses it to buy entry into a race that determines the game's roster. The other racers, including the game's ruler King Candy, refuse to let Vanellope participate, claiming she was never intended to be part of the game. Sympathetic toward the friendless Vanellope, Ralph helps build her a kart and teaches her how to drive. Meanwhile, Felix enters Hero's Duty and encounters Sergeant Calhoun, the game's no-nonsense leader, who warns that Cy-Bugs will destroy any game they enter. As the pair search for Ralph and the Cy-Bug in Sugar Rush, they separate when Felix, enamored with Calhoun, inadvertently reminds her of her late fiancé. Calhoun finds an enormous clutch of Cy-Bug eggs underground, and Felix becomes imprisoned in King Candy's castle.
Desperate, King Candy hacks the game's code to retrieve Ralph's medal and offers it to Ralph, claiming that letting Vanellope race would be disastrous for both her and the game. Fearing for Vanellope's safety, Ralph wrecks her kart and returns to his own game, but finds everyone has fled, 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. Ralph returns to Sugar Rush, rescues Felix and Vanellope, and has Felix fix the wrecked kart. With the race ongoing, the Cy-Bugs attack. When Vanellope catches up to King Candy, her glitching reveals that he is actually Turbo, a character from an older racing game who sabotaged a newer game out of jealousy, causing both to be unplugged. Vanellope escapes from Turbo, who is consumed by a Cy-Bug.
The populace flees Sugar Rush, but Vanellope cannot pass through the exit because she is a glitch. Calhoun remarks that the game cannot be saved without a beacon to attract and kill the Cy-Bugs. Ralph heads to Diet Cola Mountain, an unfinished game track, where he plans on collapsing its Mentos stalactites into its cola pool to cause a blinding eruption to use as a beacon. Before he can finish, Turbo, merged with the Cy-Bug that had consumed him, carries Ralph into the sky. Ralph breaks free and dives toward the mountain, intending to sacrifice himself to start the eruption on impact. Vanellope uses her glitching to save Ralph, and the eruption draws Turbo and the Cy-Bugs to their destruction. Vanellope crosses the finish line, restoring her memory and status as Princess Vanellope, the game's ruler and lead character. Felix and Ralph return to their game in time to save it from being unplugged. Calhoun and Felix marry, and the characters of Fix-It Felix, Jr. gain a new respect for Ralph.
- John C. Reilly as Wreck-It Ralph, the villain of Fix-It Felix, Jr.
- Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz, a racer/glitch in Sugar Rush
- Jack McBrayer as Fix-It Felix, Jr., the hero of Fix-It Felix, Jr.
- Jane Lynch as Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun, the lead character of Hero's Duty
- Alan Tudyk as King Candy, the ruler of Sugar Rush/Turbo, the former star racer of TurboTime.
- Mindy Kaling as Taffyta Muttonfudge, a racer in Sugar Rush
- Joe Lo Truglio as Markowski, the drunk soldier from Hero's Duty
- Ed O'Neill as Mr. Litwak, owner of Litwak's Family Fun Center & Arcade
- Dennis Haysbert as General Hologram, a general in Hero's Duty
- Adam Carolla as Wynnchel, an éclair who is a member of the Sugar Rush police station
- Horatio Sanz as Duncan, a doughnut who is a member of the Sugar Rush police station
- Rich Moore as Sour Bill, King Candy's sour ball henchman
The cast also includes: the Fix-It Felix, Jr Nicerlanders, Edie McClurg as Mary, Raymond Persi as Mayor Gene, Jess Harnell as Don, Rachael Harris as Deanna, 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; Stefanie Scott as Moppet Girl, a young arcade-game player John DiMaggio as Beard Papa, the security guard at the Sugar Rush candy-kart factory; Raymond Persi as a Zombie, Brian Kesinger as a Cyborg (based on Kano from Mortal Kombat); 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).
The film features several cameos from real world video game characters including: Root Beer Tapper (Maurice LaMarche), the bartender from Tapper; Sonic the Hedgehog (Roger Craig Smith); Ryu (Kyle Hebert), Ken Masters (Reuben Langdon), M. Bison (Gerald C. Rivers), and Zangief (Rich Moore) from Street Fighter; Clyde (Kevin Deters) from Pac-Man; and Yuni Verse (Jamie Sparer Roberts) from Dance Dance Revolution 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.
Video game cameos and references
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., Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog, and Neff from Altered Beast.
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 (Q*bert also speaks to Felix at one point using the signature synthesized gibberish and word-balloon symbols from his game, called Q*bert-ese). Scenes in Game Central Station and Tapper's bar include Chun-Li, Cammy, and Blanka from Street Fighter, Pac-Man, Blinky, Pinky, and Inky from Pac-Man, the Paperboy from Paperboy, the two paddles and the ball from Pong, Dig Dug, a Pooka, and a Fygar from Dig Dug, The Qix from Qix, Frogger from Frogger, and Peter Pepper from BurgerTime. Additionally, Lara Croft and Mario are mentioned in reference.
Additional references are based on sight gags. The residents of Niceland and the bartender from Tapper are animated using a jerky motion that spoofs the limited animation cycles of the sprites of many eight- and sixteen-bit arcade games. King Candy uses the Konami Code on an NES controller to access the programming of Sugar Rush. Throughout Game Central Station is graffiti that includes "Aerith lives" (referencing the character of Aerith Gainsborough from Final Fantasy VII), "All your base are belong to us" (an Engrish phrase popularized from the game Zero Wing), "Sheng Long Was Here" (referencing an April Fool's joke around a made-up character Sheng Long from Street Fighter), and "Jenkins" (a nod to the popular Leeroy Jenkins meme from World of Warcraft). There is also a reference to the Metal Gear series when Ralph is searching for a medal in Tappers Lost and found, finding first a Super Mushroom from Super Mario Bros., and then Metal Gear's "Exclamation point" (with the corresponding sound effect from the game).  Mr. Litwak wears a black and white striped referee's shirt, a nod to the iconic outfit of Twin Galaxies founder Walter Day. 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. The Walt Disney Animation Studios opening logo is animated in an 8-bit pixelated fashion, whereas the Walt Disney Pictures closing production logo appears in a glitched state, a reference to the kill screen from many early arcade games such as Pac-Man.
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.
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." 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. For example, one scene from the film 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. 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." Moore aimed to add licensed characters in a similar manner as cultural references in Looney Tunes shorts, but considered "having the right balance so a portion of the audience didn’t feel they were being neglected or talked down to." However, Moore avoided creating the movie around existing characters, feeling that "there’s so much mythology and baggage attached to pre-existing titles that I feel someone would be disappointed," and considered this to be a reason why movies based on video game franchises typically fail. Instead, for Ralph, the development of new characters representative of the 8-bit video game was "almost like virgin snow," giving them the freedom to take these characters in new directions.
Before production, the existing 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. 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. In the case of Nintendo, the writers had early on envisioned the Bad-anon meeting with Bowser as a major character within the scene; according to Moore, Nintendo was very positive towards this use, stating in Moore's own words, "If there is a group that is dedicated to helping the bad guy characters in video games then Bowser must be in that group!" Nintendo had asked that the producers try to devise a scene that would be similarly appropriate for Mario for his inclusion in the film. Despite knowing they would be able to use the character, the producers could not find an appropriate scene that would let Mario be a significant character without taking away the spotlight from the main story, and opted to not include the character. Moore debunked 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. Dr. Wily from Mega Man was going to appear, but was cut from the final version of the film. Overall, there are about 188 individual character models in the movie as a result of these cameo inclusions.
An earlier draft of the screenplay had Ralph and Vanellope spending time going around the game world to collect the pieces for her kart for Sugar Rush, and at times included Felix traveling with the pair. During these scenes, Ralph would have lied to Felix regarding his budding relationship with Calhoun, leading eventually to Ralph becoming depressed and abandoning his quest to get his medal back. At this point, a fourth game world, Extreme Easy Living 2, would have been introduced and was considered a "hedonistic place" between the social nature of The Sims and the open-world objective-less aspects of Grand Theft Auto, according to Moore. Ralph would go there to, wallowing in his depression, and would find happiness by gaining "Like It" buttons for doing acceptable actions in the party-like nature of the place. Moore stated that while it was difficult to consider dropping this new game world, they found that its introduction in the second half of the film would be too difficult a concept for the viewer to come to grasp. They further had trouble working out how a social nature game would be part of an arcade, and though considered having the game be running on Litwak's laptop, found it too convoluted to take Ralph there. Line art sketches and voiceover readings of the scene were included on the home media release of the film.
The film introduced Disney's new bidirectional reflectance distribution functions, with more realistic reflections on surfaces, and new virtual cinematography Camera Capture system, which makes it possible to go through scenes in real-time. 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.
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. The theatrical release was accompanied by Disney's Oscar-winning, animated short film Paperman.
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. 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. 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. A second trailer for the film was released on September 12, 2012, coinciding with Finding Nemo 3D and Frankenweenie.
To promote the Blu-ray/DVD release of Wreck-It Ralph, director Rich Moore produced a short film titled Garlan Hulse: Where Potential Lives. Set within the movie's universe, the mockumentary film was designed as a parody of The King of Kong.
Wreck-It Ralph was released on Blu-ray Disc (2D and 3D) and DVD in North America on March 5, 2013 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. The film was made available for digital download in selected regions on February 12, 2013. Wreck-It Ralph debuted at #1 in Blu-ray and DVD sales in the United States.
Box office performance
Wreck-It Ralph grossed $189,422,889 in North America, and $281,800,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $471,222,889. It is the 14th-highest-grossing film of 2012, the fourth-highest-grossing 2012 animated film, and the fifth-highest-grossing film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios.
In North America, the film debuted with $13.5 million, an above-average opening-day gross for an animated film released in November. During its opening weekend, the film topped the box office with $49.0 million, making it the largest opening for a Walt Disney Animation Studios film until 2013, when it was surpassed by Frozen ($67.4 million).
Outside North America, Wreck-It Ralph earned $12 million on its opening weekend from six markets. Among all markets, its three largest openings were recorded in the UK, Ireland and Malta ($7.15 million), Brazil ($5.32 million with weekday previews), and Russia and the CIS ($5.27 million). In total grosses, the three largest markets were the UK, Ireland and Malta ($36.2 million), Japan ($29.6 million), and Australia ($24.0 million).
Wreck-It Ralph received generally positive reviews from critics. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 86% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 163 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." At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 72 based on 36 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The film earned an "A" from audiences polled by CinemaScore.
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." A.O. Scott of 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." 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." Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times said, "The movie's subversive sensibility and old-school/new-school feel are a total kick," 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." Conversely, Christopher Orr of The Atlantic found it "overplotted and underdeveloped."
|Academy Awards||Best Animated Feature||Rich Moore||Nominated|
|Annie Awards||Best Animated Feature||Won|
|Animated Effects in an Animated Production||Brett Albert||Nominated|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Bill Schwab, Lorelay Bove, Cory Loftis, Minkyu Lee||Nominated|
|Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Rich Moore||Won|
|Music in an Animated Feature Production||Henry Jackman, Skrillex, Adam Young, Matthew Thiessen, Jamie Houston, Yasushi Akimoto||Won|
|Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Leo Matsuda||Nominated|
|Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||Alan Tudyk||Won|
|Writing in an Animated Feature Production||Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee||Won|
|Editorial in an Animated Feature Production||Tim Mertens||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Animated Feature||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Animated Feature||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Animated Feature Film||Nominated|
|Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR in an Animation Feature Film||Won|
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best Animation/Family||"Dreams"||Won|
|IGN's Best of 2012 Awards||Best Movie||Nominated|
|Best Animated Movie||Won|
|IGN People's Choice Award for Best Animated Movie||Won|
|Best 3D Movie||Nominated|
|Best Movie Poster||Nominated|
|National Board of Review Awards||Best Animated Feature||Won|
|Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards||Favorite Animated Movie||Won|
|Online Film Critics Society Award||Best Animated Feature||Nominated|
|Producers Guild of America Award||Best Animated Motion Picture||Clark Spencer||Won|
|Satellite Awards||Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature||Rich Moore||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Animated Film||Rich Moore||Nominated|
|Visual Effects Society||Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture||Sean Jenkins, Scott Kersavage, Rich Moore, Clark Spencer||Nominated|
|Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture||John Kahwaty, Suzan Kim, Michelle Robinson, Tony Smeed (for Vanellope)||Nominated|
|Film score by Henry Jackman|
|Released||October 30, 2012|
Sony Scoring Stage (Culver City)
|Walt Disney Animation Studios chronology|
|Henry Jackman chronology|
|Singles from Wreck-It Ralph|
All music composed by Henry Jackman (except 1–6).
|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|
|5.||"Bug Hunt (Noisia Remix)"||Skrillex||7:04|
|6.||"Shut Up and Drive"||Rihanna||3:32|
|8.||"Life in the Arcade"||0:43|
|11.||"Vanellope von Schweetz"||2:57|
|17.||"One Minute to Win It"||1:17|
|19.||"Messing with the Program"||1:20|
|22.||"Out of the Penthouse, Off to the Race"||2:51|
|23.||"Sugar Rush Showdown"||4:15|
|24.||"You're My Hero"||4:16|
In addition to the Flash version of the Fix-It Felix, Jr. game, Disney released a tie-in side-scrolling platform game called Wreck-It Ralph for the Wii, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo DS, to mostly negative reviews. The arcade style side-scrolling game was produced in collaboration between Disney Interactive and Activision and serves as a "story extension" to the film. Taking place following the events of the film, players may play as Wreck-It Ralph or Fix-It Felix, causing damage as Ralph as well as repairing as Felix where necessary following another Cy-Bug incident. Game levels are based on the locations in the film like the Fix-It Felix, Jr., Hero's Duty, and Sugar Rush games as well as Game Central Station. It was released in conjunction with the film's release, in November 2012.
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 mobile game titled Wreck-it Ralph was released in November 2012 for iOS and Android systems, with a Windows Phone 8 version following almost a year later. Initially, the game consisted of three mini-games, Fix-it Felix Jr., Hero's Duty and Sweet Climber, which were later joined by Turbo Time and Flight Command.
Ralph also appears in Sega's Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed as a playable guest character. Ralph and Vanellope appear as playable characters in Disney Infinity as well; the Disney Store released their individual figures on January 7, 2014. A combo "toy box pack" of the two figures with Sugar Rush customization discs will be released April 1, 2014.[dated info]
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. 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. He also stated that he plans to include Mario and Tron in the sequel. In a 2014 interview, the film's composer Henry Jackman said that a story for the sequel is being written.
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- Official website
- Wreck-It Ralph at the Internet Movie Database
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- Wreck-It Ralph at Rotten Tomatoes
- Wreck-It Ralph at Walt Disney Animation Studios