The creators ofHe faced a gigantic challenge when the production of the animated film began three years ago: how do you take the enormous transient nature of the Internet and make it the setting for the 2012 Wreck-It Ralph sequel?
I spoke with Josie Trinidad, the head of the story of the Disney movie, about how it was to adapt the Internet to a place where Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) have their next great adventure. Our extensive conversation, which has been edited for clarity, covers the process of creating stories; how is it to choose internet elements that would feel fresh despite the transient nature of the web; an immersion in the creation of the hilarious scene of the Disney princess; and theBut he just could not make the final cut of the movie.
The interview is spoiler-free, but we do talk about elements of the whole movie for those of you who are particularly sensitive to knowing something before watching a movie.
Q: What was it like to transform the internet into a children's movie?
Josie Trinidad: When I found out that [directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston] I wanted to make a movie about the Internet, it's like what is an amazing and fun game place for our digital characters. Other Disney characters could not explore the Internet in the same way as Ralph and Vanellope. It was such an exciting playground with so many places to choose from. It was almost difficult to reduce it. But once we realized that this was a search movie, they were looking for a flyer, in some way it helped us narrow down where they were going.
We wanted them to experience things like social networks and online games because they are video game characters. At first it was overwhelming. But once we knew they had a job, this search for the wheel, guided us. Where would you go if you needed to buy this part? eBay, Amazon – shopping goers. And then we thought it would not be fun if our characters went to eBay and yet they do not understand how it works, and that's it. [about spending] money. The numbers you are offering is not a videogame, although they think it is. It's real money
Going through the perspective of Ralph and Vanellope in this great Internet city made it more fun, offered more challenges and allowed us to play with his ingenuity. I have a 6 year old son who knows what the internet is. He saw me a graphic script of some sequences and he said: "I want to go to the Internet". We made it such a physical, tactile and surprising place that my son wanted to go.
Well, Disney could do that!
Trinity Not until a land in the parks does, darling (laughs).
How was it when trends happen so fast? Fortnite is hot right now, but did you work on this before the game?
Trinity When we were working on that, we talked about viral videos or memes and things like that. Our initial reaction was like making a chocolate rain meme or a double rainbow, and now that's a hundred years ago. That is old news.
It was a great challenge for us to know that he could easily come out with us in this movie. I think by reviewing our characters, first and foremost walking in their shoes and on their trip, hopefully instead of going out with us with these jokes or Zeitgeist stuff, if the story is universal and the emotions and the characters, if that's true . and a bit exciting, that's how our internet would be.
Yes, that's 2018 internet; however, I am still absorbed in Ralph and Vanellope and their journey, and seeing how their friendship evolves. The way I can see Cinderella and Jungle Book and Little Mermaid, I hope our film is still classic in that sense.
Are there still cameos of video game characters or should we mostly expect Internet personalities?
Trinity The gallery where they come from, Mr. Litwak's Arcad, is something like his little town. Then we see our characters known as Q * Bert, Pac-Man, the Ghosts and Sonic, Chun-Li, Zangief, so in their little town we see them and, of course, Felix and Calhoun. But in our Internet world we meet some netizens, as we call them Knowsmore (Alan Tudyk) and Yesss (Taraji P. Henson), and also with some video game characters like the character of Slaughter Race in Shank with the voice of Gal Gadot . Slaughter Race is a kind of Grand Theft Auto with a post-apocalyptic environment.
Since the steering wheel is a physical object, does the movie take place in the real world as well?
Trinity We are mostly on the internet. Of course, the steering wheel breaks in the archway. But we do not focus on that.
What were some general challenges of the story when production began three years ago?
Trinity The story begins especially at the beginning of the production process, where there is only one script, the idea and perhaps some designs of characters and visual elements. We help guide and shape it. We have internal projections in which we make a graphic script of the whole film and a kind of really loose drawings, and the editors cut them out. Each of them is a mini movie where we put that version. We went through four or five completely different movies. It was around the fifth where it really started to merge, and honestly, it was when the idea of the broken steering wheel emerged as the catalyst for them to enter the Internet. It really took us a while to get there.
It is a tiring process, and yet it also produces the best results. We are trying to find the best idea. We can not settle for that mediocre movie. If it does not work, it does not work. We have to throw it away, try again and try something better. Because otherwise, we all admit failure and we can not do that to those beloved characters or to ourselves as filmmakers. But once we got it, things started to fall into place.
But there were so many sequences, I think we approached about 154 sequences. But in the movie, there are 45 sequences. There are 100 sequences, which are complete things that we thought would exist, but were eliminated. And we had 283,839 storyboards.
I can not wait for the Blu-ray.
Trinity History is a kind of process and art so disposable. We are trying to fail faster and make mistakes faster, so we can do it well. It's a bunch of ideas thrown to the ground.
In a way, you have access to the entire empire of Disney, how was it to discover what would be the most sensible? The Princess sequence in particular is hilarious.
Trinity It's great, so happy that that scene plays so hilariously. The best part is that it is an integral part of the Vanellope arch. It's not just a one-time joke. It is incredibly important for Vanellope's journey to learn something new. Only after she meets the princesses can she go in this new direction. It is completely part of Vanellope's arch, and not only is it superfluous. There were many things we tried. But even if it was hilarious and we really loved something, if it did not work, we discarded it. We were not tied to that if I was not going to play an important role in the narrative.
Was that the case involving other Disney properties as well?
Trinity I know that when we approach these things, we try things. Then, if it works, we show it to our partners like Lucasfilm and Marvel to get their blessing. With the scene of the princess we tried because we thought about this great idea, Pam Ribon, the co-writer, wrote the pages and they were incredible from the beginning. This was the first test, and we knew we had to try it because it was very funny. From the response, our leadership was very supportive and we made sure that everyone was really happy about it. Really with the princesses, it was a loving tribute to them, a love satire and a little mocking ourselves.
What I love is being able to see the other side of the princesses. They are like us; They are relaxed. They are not just these Disney icons. We can see them behind the scenes and reach them as real characters.
Do you work with the actors in the story or is it more separate?
Trinity A little more separated. We started so early that if we are going to throw a lot of things or we are testing things, we make scratch voices because we are making material. When it begins to really consolidate, it is when they will incorporate the actors. John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman also know their characters better, so they are partners with us. When we have recording sessions, Rich and Phil will definitely be open to improvisation and collaboration. One of the actors could say that he is not sure about this line when my character says that, and they are so receptive. It's something that makes the movie even richer. It's not just: please read the lines. It is a great collaborative effort.
Are the people in the animation also heavy?
Trinity They Yes. When we do these screenings, we really invite other departments to tell us their ideas and give us their notes because they also know the characters. We are the whole audience, so we can get this kind of internal feedback that is really useful. In a small group we could think "oh, this is working, it's really fun". But if it falls flat on a projection, then we know: it's okay, it's not working. Again, Rich and Phil are so open to collaboration, our animators, layout artists and lighters, and everyone is invited to give us their opinions. If someone has a good idea, it does not matter where it comes from. They are really good at incorporating it.
Ralph Breaks the Internet opens in the United States on November 21, the United Kingdom on November 30 and Australia on December 26.
: The sequel to Wreck-It Ralph is a hilarious story about friendship that happens online.
: A look behind the scenes of how Ralph and Vanellope go to the big city (Internet).