Animation Guild

Fall 2018

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FALL 2018 35 IT'S BEEN SIX YEARS SINCE WRECK-IT RALPH WRECK-IT RALPH WRECK-IT INTRODUCED TWO LOVEABLE CHARACTERS—GENTLE GIANT RALPH AND PINT-SIZED DYNAMO VANELLOPE VON SCHWEETZ—AND TOGETHER, THEY SAVED LITWAK'S ARCADE. AS THE FIRST DISNEY SEQUEL IN RECENT YEARS, REVISITING THESE CHARACTERS BRINGS BOTH OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES—KEEPING THE CONCEPT FRESH AND MAKING SURE THE STORY REMAINS TRUE TO THE DUO'S EVOLVING FRIENDSHIP. In Ralph Breaks the Internet (Nov. 21), directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, the steering wheel from Vanellope's arcade game, Sugar Rush, breaks and Litwak doesn't think it's worth spending the money to buy another one from ebay. Vanellope's life as she knows it is about to change but Ralph decides the two should go to ebay and get the steering wheel themselves. What follows is an adventure through the Internet that tests their friendship and, despite Ralph's best intentions, sets loose a virus that threatens to destroy the World Wide Web. INSIDE THE WEB One of the of the of biggest challenges at the outset of story of story of development was designing the location itself. "What does the internet look like?" says Josie Trinidad, Head of Story of Story of (with Jim Reardon). The team needed to visually conceive this amorphous entity and create a physical world that filmgoers could relate to. Early on, story artist Steven Markowski researched the Internet and shared his findings in a very detailed presentation. "It was great because he started to use computer jargon that could then be inspiration," she says. The idea of data of data of encapsulated in a little packet, for example, would inspire the transportation method for Vanellope and Ralph. "The best way to figure out how something might look on the internet was to just ask ourselves what would we do right now in the human world and how can we then personify it," she says, but adds that the characters aren't technologically savvy so it's "your mom's or grandma's approach." When Vanellope and Ralph first arrive to the Internet they're anxious to find ebay. In real life you'd Google it, in the movie they needed to personify a search engine. This concept led to a character called KnowsMore who runs the search bar. Orignally, the story team wanted to create the experience of a of a of click hole—"I went to look for ballet tights and then somehow I ended up buying tickets for a concert in Romania," jokes Trinidad. The idea ended up getting cut but they incorporated a humorous autofill gag instead. "Despite how amazing or funny or well designed a character or sequence might be, if it doesn't fit into the overall context of the movie then it's useless," says Trinidad. "When I was a story artist, I was all about my scene but then I realized as head of story you're also supposed to be looking at the broader picture and seeing if it's if it's if even worth it for someone to animate or design those characters if it's if it's if not contributing to the overall story." Nailing down the story was both difficult and beautiful, she says, "you don't always know if you're if you're if headed in the right direction and screenings can reveal underdeveloped plot points that need to be addressed." In fact, the department of 15 of 15 of artists produced almost 300,000 drawings, boarding and re-boarding, until they hit upon a story "that everyone can relate to, that felt very true to our characters and true to ourselves as filmmakers."

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