This month I had the pleasure of attending Ralph Breaks the Internet press junket. This sequel to Disney’s first movie made in 2012. It takes the two friends Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope Von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) from their own world of arcade games to the next level – the Internet.
After watching the movie (a total must !) and participating one of the funniest conferences this year, here are my top Ralph Breaks the Internet Press Junket fun facts to know.
About the junket
The press conference at the Beverly Hilton hotel in L.A treated journalists and bloggers to an exciting afternoon of Q&A, photo ops along with a glimpse to the merchandise for the movie.
First, we feasted on the movie-themed smoothies and pancakes But then got a chance to play the Sugar Rush arcade game which was priceless!
The talent in attendance included: John C. Reilly (Ralph), Sarah Silverman (Vanellope), Taraji P. Henson (Yesss), Jack McBrayer (Felix) as well as directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, co-writer Pamela Ribon and producer Clark Spencer.
How the idea for the story came up
As many of us remember the first one was released back in 2012, so we all questioned what made Disney make a sequel in the first place.
Moore and Johnson revealed that the sequel was inspired by the sentence in original Wreck-it Ralph film ” If that little kid likes me, how bad can I be?”
The creators realized that there was so much MORE that needed to be explored in Ralph’s character and the two best friends’ relationship that they went back to the drawing board.
“…We looked at the very last line of the first movie …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 dysfunctional! That this guy is defining himself by what his best friend thinks. But what if she were not to like him someday? What would that lead to?”
And that of course lead to the new sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet!
Should fans expect a Part 3?
After watching the hilarious Ralph Breaks the Internet we wondered whether creators had the third installment in the works.
Short answer “Not right now.’
According to Moore “Like the first one, we’re at that point where we feel like, it’s buttoned up nice and clean and … there cannot possibly be another story after this 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.”
The ever-evolving Disney princess
In Ralph Breaks the Internet audiences are finally introduced to the ‘new’ Disney princess – Vanellope who even gets her own song “A Place Called Slaughter Race. “But Venellope is no typical damsel in distress.
She gets to meet all the other Disney Princesses and bonds with them but on her terms. She shows then it is ok to relax in comfy sweat clothes instead of gowns.
Sarah Silverman noted how thrilled she was to portray ‘ the new kid on the block’ “ … this kid who becomes like a princess with an attainable waistline (while) wearing comfortable clothes.”
Furthermore, she addressed the change in Disney’s princesses over the years and how Vanelope fits into this trend. “Disney has taken on progress and inclusivity and has grown and changed in positive ways. ”
She even joked about the new princess’s ’ heritage.
” Yeah, she’s Jewish. I just made her Jewish. Now it’s canon which I enjoy. Von Schweetz. I don’t know. Is that Jewish?”
Recording together helped the actors forge real-life friendships
Unlike other animation movies, the main characters in Ralph Breaks the Internet got to record together!
J. Reilly described the camaraderie on ‘set’:
“I think that’s what sets both of these movies apart is that feeling of heart and real emotion, it’s because we are looking into each other’s eyes… It gives it a soul that it might not have if we weren’t there together.”
He proceeded to add that he enjoyed re- teaming up with Silverman.
“In a way, our friendship has aged five years since the last film…We built these characters and this story together, so when it came time to start this one, we could start from a very advanced place …you can really see that in the film.”
Improvisation spiced up the dialogue
Reilly expanded on how the creators had the foresight to allow the actors improvise.
“I think I was one of the first people to insist that we try to be in the room as much as possible because I know the way improv works, it works best in real time…So yes, there’s a ton of improvised stuff .”
Ancient cities inspired the movie’s Internet
After watching the film, many of us had the same question on our minds namely how DID they come up with the image of the internet ( which by the way was one of the coolest things in the movie!)
Moore and Johnson explained:
“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. And that’s kind of actually what the Internet is… multi-layered with the newest, biggest Websites up on top (and )) the old forgotten stuff is down at the bottom.”
Taraji P. Henson, voicing Yesss in Ralph Breaks the Internet mentioned one of her most memorable scenes in the movie. An internet aficionado, she tries to comfort Ralph after he encounters his first instances of social media bullying.
‘That’s not you; it’s them. They’re hurt, so they are hurting you.”
Being Different is OK
Summing the press junket was the film’s director Moore who explained what compelled him to bring this story to audiences. As a parent to a special needs son, his words hit a particular home run with me.
“As a kid, when I would see a character going through the same things that I was, it made me think, ‘Okay, I am not alone. I am not crazy.’ Or ‘I am not a freak.’ That I am not the only person on earth feeling these things.”
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Disclaimer: Special thanks to Disney Studios for hosting me on the press junket event. My opinions are my own and cannot be influenced in any way.