As part of a blogger/press event for Disney’s next animated feature I was invited to tour the Disney Animation Building (the one with the hat) and learn about the making of Wreck-It Ralph. And then we made a mess.
This post is a quick overview of our day and a hint of posts to come. It’s like the Jacob Marley of Wreck-It Ralph posts.
First, the mess that I mentioned. One of the video games that plays a prominent role in Wreck-It Ralph is called Sugar Rush, in which cute, little racers with cute, little names make their own cute, little race carts and, you can probably see where this is going, race them. We were invited to create our own, and when they put us in front of a long table full of goodies it was every sweet tooth for itself. Please note, no cute, little racers were hurt in the process.
My friend Jim won the contest (and took the picture):
That’s mine in the lower right corner. The candy corn is supposed to be flames. Yes, it’s that fast.
Throughout the day we met with animators, including Art Director Mike Gabriel, Visual Development Artist Lorelay Bove, Renato dos Anjos, who is the Head of Animation for Wreck-It Ralph, and animator Kira Lehtomaki. In addition to drawing some of the characters ourselves we also learned about the process of creating the different worlds required by Wreck-It Ralph — from candy to architecture, every world was influenced by shape, lines, and color, which sounds obvious, but it takes a lot of extensive research before ideas can ever show up on the drawing table. And by research I mean convincing Disney to send the team to Spain. Well played, animators.
We also got a chance to do some voice work for one of the scenes in the film, which turned out nicely for almost everyone, where the one that messed up was me. It happens. I’ll share that with you later. First, I have some healing to do (that’s emotional fixing).
In addition to Wreck-It Ralph we screened the short, Paperman, which will run with the feature. It is fantastic, and it will get its own post, too.
You see, Disney puts embargoes on when I can actually share certain things online, and the lack of information in this post is mostly due to that and only slightly because I’m lazy. You understand.
What I can tell you is that the Animation Building is amazing. The place is alive with creativity, and while it is not as open and accessible, architecturally speaking, as Pixar, it makes up for it in casual coziness. I have been in a lot of Disney buildings, and this is the only one (besides Pixar, of course) that makes the process of making magic actually feel magical. It’s a good vibe.
I would have to say that my favorite Wreck-It Ralph item on the tour was the Fix-It Felix Jr. game, complete with retro everything. Retro, to paraphrase Ralph, is something old, but cool, and this game had both in spades. Except the old part, they fudged that.
Stay tuned for more Wreck-It Ralph coverage!
Wreck-It Ralph poster courtesy of Disney, all other photos by me unless otherwise noted or, if I am in them, they were taken by Charlie (the giant Hershey’s bottle was taken at Madame Tussauds, but it was too perfect not to include).
I attended an unpaid Disney event to learn about Wreck-It Ralph. While I was asked to provide coverage all opinions remain my own — except the one about me blowing the voice work, everyone agreed on that. Thanks, everyone.