When the video villain of “Wreck-It Ralph” decided to turn hero, it was game on: instead of his trademark path of destruction, his film instead resulted in mountains of quarters for Disney and an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature.
As “Wreck-It Ralph” makes its home video debut, director Rich Moore is coming off a heady, highly rewarding tour of the Hollywood awards circuit. Moore took time out to reflect on his film’s triumphs, as well as to ponder a return to Ralph and Vanellope’s video graphic landscape and point out freeze-frame worthy eye candy to consume.
What kept you motivated about this project in particular while you were doing it?
What I felt was really cool about it was this was the first time I ever worked at Disney, but Disney was what inspired me originally as a child to chase after animation. When I was five I saw the ‘Jungle Book’ with my family, and I can remember that night so clearly and what that night felt like and the ideas that I went to bed with after the day was done, that I just absolutely wanted to be a part of whatever that world was that was making movies like the ‘Jungle Book.’ And it became this guiding star, this magnetic north that I followed all my life.
I’m really, really lucky that from an early age I knew what it was that I wanted to do as an artist. So there would be moments of making this film when I would remember that, because sometimes the production gets so busy that it’s hard to kind of have reflective moments or be able to stop and think, in a deep way, when you’re just trying to solve problems and being creative for fourteen hours, fifteen hours a day. But there would be times when I would kind of stop and think about that and remember. And I would be able to see everything from a very, very wide view and think, ‘Wow, what I’m doing right now, it’s connected to that moment when I was a little kid.’
The video game world you created in this film with your collaborators is so rich and deep. Is it a world you want to return to now and play in again?
Yeah, man, I would love to return to the world! In fact, I even feel like I haven’t left it, to be honest with you, it’s so alive in my head, I‘ve still been doing work with the film overseas, to open it in other countries. Right now I still feel like I’m in that world. I would love to stay in that world and discover more things about it and tell more stories. Because so much of making the film is about the relationships you have with other people working on the film, and I got to work with some old friends, people who are some of the first people I met when I went to college to get into the career of animation and then a lot of new people that are just beginning their careers in animation. ... And the voice cast, John [C.Reilly], Sarah [Silverman], Jack [McBrayer], and Jane [Lynch] would be so thrilled to do another one. So the will is definitely there. Everyone would love to jump back in there, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed and it’s looking pretty good, that we just might be able to pump another quarter into the machine.
Now that people can watch ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ with the advantage of slow motion and freeze-frame, tell us something they should keep their eyes peeled for on the Blu Ray?
I would say lots of characters in the background in Game Central Station. Lots of different graffiti tags on the walls of the station, especially on the train platforms, lots of candy references, stuff like sweets and sugar rush. And definitely some of the artists put in what they call a ‘Hidden Mickeys,’ which are Mickey Mouse-shaped head silhouettes that are worked into the patterns and designs in the backgrounds – the classic three circles that look like Mickey Mouse. I know several of the artists hid a lot of those in the background. So there’s lots of fun things like that. I come from ‘Simpsons’ which was the birthplace of the freeze-frame jokes, and that’s just another way to add humor or realism to the movie or the show. It’s something I like to do, regardless of ‘Futurama,’ or ‘Simpsons,’ or ‘Wreck-It Ralph.’ So the things are there and the fans that are patient enough to scroll through will be rewarded, I’m sure.