It was the story that artists at Walt Disney Animation Studios
had been struggling to get a handle on for over 15 years. A comic
action-adventure set inside of the world of video games, where the
computer-generated hero longed for something more.
Two previous attempts had been made to turn this
thought-to-be-promising premise into a full-length animated feature. But
both of those proposed films -- "High Score" and "Joe Jump"
-- ultimately weren't greenlit by Disney execs because they felt that
the central character was missing something. That crucial quirk or flaw
which would then allow audiences to embrace this 8-bit hero.
(L to R) John Lasseter, "Wreck-It Ralph" producer Clark Spencer, Rich Moore and Nancy Lasseter. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez. Copyright 2013 GettyImages. All rights reserved
So how did this stalled-out video game movie wind up becoming Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph," one of five films to be nominated for this year's Best Animated Feature Oscar? That film's director -- TV vet Rich Moore -- is quick to credit his longtime friend, WDAS Chief Creative Officer and Pixar Grand Poobah John Lasseter.
"John and I have known each other for years. He was a fan of my work on "The Simpsons," and "Futurama."
Which is why -- when he asked me if I'd like to try my hand at
developing a full-length animated film for Disney -- I immediately said
'Yes,'" Moore recalled during a recent interview.
Copyright Fox. All rights reserved
Mind you, Rich initially wasn't all that sure -- given that he was
the guy who helped create Steamboat Itchy -- that he'd actually be able
to fit in at the Mouse House. More to the point, Moore wasn't certain
that any of the story ideas that he'd come up with would ever be worthy
of the studio's movie legacy. But Lasseter was quick to put this
television animation veteran's mind at ease.
"Right from the start, what John told me was that I shouldn't feel
pressured to create a Disney-style movie. What he wanted me to do was
tell a story in my own style, from my own point of view," Rich
continued. "And then -- to kind of help me along -- John mentioned this
video game movie idea that the Studio had previously kicked around.
Which I originally thought was a really terrible idea for a movie. I
mean, video game characters have no free will. They have this computer
program that tells them what they're supposed to do and when they're
supposed to do it. And they then have to follow that program, doing the
exact same job day-in and day-out, over and over and over again. Who
would want to watch a movie about a bunch of characters doing something
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
So what was it that ultimately changed Rich Moore's mind about this video game movie idea? To get the answer to that
question, you can either click on the headline at the very top of this page or
follow this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-hill/rich-moore-wreck-it-ralph_b_2705330.html
I've seen Wreck-It-Ralph twice now, and liked it even better the second time around. It's a very rich film with wonderful music. I'd definitely see a sequel, but I hope they don't make one until they truly figure out what's the next chapter in Ralph's journey.
Wreck-It-Ralph is a very nice film
Too bad that Disney didn't take advantage of their own game properties. They should have at least had TRON represented.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Based on conversations that I've had with "Wreck-It Ralph" 's director, Rich Moore originally did want TRON to make a cameo appearance in this Walt Disney Animation Studios production. The only problem was that the filmmakers just couldn't find the right moment and/or the right gag to build TRON's appearance around. That said, if Rich does in fact get the greenlight for that "Wreck-It Ralph" sequel which he really wants to make, you can count on TRON turning up in "WIR 2" as well as Mario & Luigi.