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13 Things to Know about ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ from the Directors and Cast

19 Nov, 2018    added by : Kit Bowen
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Want to know what happened to Wreck-It Ralph and his new best pal, Vanellope? The delightful sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet takes its cue from the original and shows how Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) spend their days in the arcade, participating in their respective games during the day and hanging out in the zone at night. Ralph loves his life and routine, but Vanellope feels like she’s in a rut and wants more.

Suddenly, when the arcade owner Mr. Litwack suddenly gets connected to the Internet, a brand new world is opened up for Vanellope and Ralph, as they venture into it to try and find a part that will fix Vanellope’s game Sugar Rush before its taken away. For Vanellope, the sky’s the limit in this new space, including finding a new — and somewhat dangerous — racing game that truly challenges her. For Ralph, however, he is not at all comfortable and sees how he might be losing the best friends he’ll ever have.

At the recent press conference, the cast — Reilly, Silverman, Jack Brayer (“Felix”), Taraji P. Henson “Yesss”) — directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore and co-writer Pamela Ribon (who also voiced Disney OG princess, Snow White) talked with us about making the movie and what the messages of the film mean to them. Here are 13 things we found out:

On revisiting the world of Wreck-It Ralph:

RICH MOORE: Until we looked at the very last line of the first movie where Ralph says, after going friendless for the whole movie and then finally making a friend, he’s back home and says, if that little kid likes me, how bad can I be? It seemed at the time so sweet. It’s a wonderful sentiment. But then as we continued to kind of pick at it, we said, that’s really, really dysfunctional. This guy is defining himself by what his best friend thinks and it’s a great best friend. But what if she were not to like him someday? What would that lead to?

PHIL JOHNSTON: So knowing that he still had quite a bit of insecurity, he still had farther to go in his journey. Then we had only known Vanellope for like 35 minutes or 40 minutes. She has a whole other story. We had to keep going with these characters.

RICH MOORE: A perfect place for a character who is insecure about himself.

On visualizing what the Internet was going to look like:

PHIL JOHNSTON: The simplest answer is after several horrible ideas that didn’t really make sense, we finally landed on something where we thought of it like an old city, like Rome, or Istanbul where the ancient city is buried deep beneath. Then they build a new version on top of that and a new version on top of that like that. That’s kind of actually what the Internet is. You go down to the guts of it and you find. Like a city that is multi-layered with the newest, biggest Websites are up on top. Then the old forgotten stuff is down at the bottom.

On voicing Snow White and favorite moments from the Disney princesses scene:

PAMELA RIBON: It was amazing to be able to work with all the original voice actresses to come back and add everything that they bring to the characters. What a dream come true to have Vanellope Von Schweetz now officially part of the canon, which was the whole point the whole time. The hoody princess reigns supreme.

On voicing Yesss, the mastermind behind BuzzTube:

TARAJI P HENSON: First of all, voicing a character in a Disney animated film. Check. Bucket List, thank you. I just thought she was incredible. I mean, when Rich and Phil brought her to me and explained to her, I was like, this is a no-brainer. She’s a go-getter. She’s the head of a company. She’s no-nonsense. She has heart. My favorite scene is when Ralph finds himself in the comment section or the comment room. She comes in and she tells him it’s not you, it’s them. They’re mean. They’re hurt, so they’re hurting you. It grounded the film for me and it grounded the character for me. Made her multi-dimensional. And then getting to voice with amazing actors. I mean, it was just a no-brainer for me.

On Ralph being thrust into the Internet:

JOHN C. REILLY: Well, I’m a vintage human being. The character, it was initially even conceived as a fish-out-of-water kind of character. That was a lot of what we played within the first film is how does Ralph behave or how does any video game character behave in a game that’s not his own. And then the Internet is this literally infinite landscape. There’s a lot of really fun metaphors that we’re also playing within the film. This idea that the arcade is like the childhood kind of arena of their friendship and the Internet represents the sort of larger world beyond as they grow and mature. Ralph, as you mentioned in your comment, Phil, in the beginning, Ralph really worked so hard to get a friend in that first one. He’s like got it. Rest of life solved. And then Vanellope starts to grow and mature and realize that she wants to feel like she belongs somewhere and it’s not her candy game. I think a lot of kids and adults are finding a lot of stuff in the film that they can really relate to in terms of the way relationships evolve. So I think there’s something here for a lot of people. Certainly a lot of jokes that operate on a lot of different levels. Yep.

On working together in the sound booth and improvising:

SARAH SILVERMAN: We did get to record together with these guys and Pam. And yeah, we get to improvise. They give us a lot of freedom. We collaborate a lot and the script itself is so fantastic. It’s really fun. I think they always book about maybe an extra hour of time than they need. Because we get real chatty. There is definitely an album. Like a very rated R comedy album somewhere in the audio footage of recording for sure.

RICH MOORE: At least an hour of chit-chat. Body humor. Then focusing on the pages. Then changing the pages.

JOHN C. REILLY: It was a real treat to get into the studio again with Sarah. In a way, like our friendship has aged five years since the last film. It tracks in a way with Ralph and Vanellope. Sarah is not my only friend. One of my only friends [laughter] but it was a real treat to be able to start at a place of intimacy with Sarah and with Phil and Rich and Pam and everybody. We all kind of knew each other. We learned how to work together on the first film. And we built these characters and the story together. So that when it came time to start this one, we could start from a very advanced place in terms of the kind of conversations we could have about the relationships and all that. And you can really see that in the film. I think I was one of the first people to insist that we try to be in the room together as much as possible. Because I know the way improv works, it works best in real time. So yeah. There’s a ton of improvised stuff, which Phil and Rich were very kind to just let us explore things every day. That’s one of the great joys of doing audio work. There is never the pressure of the sun going down.

I think that’s what sets both of these movies apart is that feeling of heart and real emotion. It’s because we’re looking into each other’s eyes. I’ve done other animated work where I didn’t meet the other actor ever. And I’m sure there is sort of practical people that say it doesn’t matter. It’s just a voice. But to me it does matter. I think it does come across in the film. It gives the film a soul it might not have if we weren’t there together.

On anything from the Internet that was left on cutting room floor:

PHIL JOHNSTON: One thing I remember, there was a big anti-virus component in this sort of brutalist architecture behind this anti-virus facility. They had this woman running it based after my mother. Built to eradicate viruses. She was this really kindly Mid-Western woman. But then had this nasty like fascistic kind of streak to her. My mother is lovely. I don’t know why we did that to my mom. I love her. I’m sorry. But that was a storyline where we had that as a force of antagonism. And then ended up settling on Ralph’s own insecurity being more the antagonist in the film. That was one piece.

On any of the actors’ own insecurities:

PAM RIBON: Umm. I’m sometimes insecure about whether or not I can fit into a group. Which is, so the princess scene comes from those insecurities.

JACK MCBRAYER: I’m wearing Spanx right now. I was worried about fitting in this suit.

TARAJI P. HENSON: You really want to know? I’m insecure about my knees right now. Just I had a moment where I was sitting like this. And I yanked my knees up immediately. In this moment, my knees.

JOHN C. REILLY: I’ve worked really hard not to let my insecurities slow me down. I think that’s one of the important things every person in their life has to do is learn not to judge yourself and be kind to yourself inside of your own thoughts. But I do think I’m insecure about, probably because my mom said to me almost every time I left the house. She would say don’t wear out your welcome. Where are you going? Oh, go over there. Don’t wear out your welcome. Because I spent most of my day just wandering around the neighborhood going to different relative’s houses.

SARAH SILVERMAN: You know, it moves around. Like grappling with being the age I am. I’ve never been this age. It’s the oldest I’ve ever been. But then I’ll go, it’s the youngest I’ll ever be. That’s what I tell myself too. Then like, how I’m supposed to be. And I go, however, I am. I conversation myself, I’ll go see the cellulite on my thighs. I go ugh. And then I go I’m strong and my body works. And I love these thighs. These thighs help me stand and walk and move. So whenever I pass, I live in an apartment building and there’s a mirror by the elevators. When I pass it, I make myself go like this. And it helps.

On what we wish we could go back to pre-Internet:

TARAJI P HENSON: Kids going outside, being home when the lights come on. Go outside and play. Use your imagination. How about that?

JACK MCBRAYER: I don’t remember phone numbers anymore. I couldn’t tell you any phone number besides my own.

RICH MOORE: I miss broadcast TV. Where it’s like you had to see the show when it was on. If you missed it, you missed it.

JOHN C. REILLY: I would say jumping off of that, that I miss a time when we were all, even though it’s wonderful to have all these choices of what we focus our attention on, it was a very good thing to have something that we… an objective truth. This is what’s going on in the world. This is what we are all dealing with. Instead of all these versions of what’s going on in the world depending on what sites you visit. I think the human race could use a unifying way to communicate again like that.

SARAH SILVERMAN: I know this was terrible. I think it worked out. I can’t remember. But we all came together like Baby Jessica was in a well. Everybody tuned in. Everybody was concerned. Everybody, she was everybody’s kid.

JOHN C. REILLY: I feel like quite a few kids fell into wells over the years.

On Silverman’s own experience and relationship with the Internet:

SARAH SILVERMAN: Oh. Talk about my own experience with the Internet. Do you know what my search words are? It’s funny. Years ago, I have a group of friends that we play poker together. One of them was like you’ve got to check out this thing, Twitter. I’m going to take a picture of us and post it on Twitter and people will comment on it. I go oh jeez. You with the latest technologies. I made fun of him. Then one day, I was listening to the radio. They said follow us on Twitter. I wanted to hear more about that story, so you have to log on. Then that was it.

JOHN C. REILLY: It’s a gateway drug.

SARAH SILVERMAN: It is a gateway drug. For a comedian, it’s a great place to try out jokes or like places where you just have a funny thought and you want to put it out there or whatever. But then it became the place where I take in my news. Now I wantonly look back on the times when I was funny on it. But yeah. It’s something. I think the Internet because it was new for us, kids, it’s all they know. They probably… I wonder in what ways that’s good and bad. But we had to learn how to navigate and how to protect ourselves. And what we can handle. And what we can allow ourselves. It’s like anything. There can be way too much of it. It’s nice as a treat. There are bells that can’t be unwrung that probably happen a couple of times a week or a day or in the middle of the night. But I think there’s a lot of good on the Internet. It’s brought the world a lot closer. It’s made it a lot smaller. And then, of course, there are terrible things about it. A lot outside misinformation. This new world of chaos. And lack of knowing what is true I would attribute to the Internet. But also learning truths about other people that I would have never known. Culturally. Like waking up to my own white privilege had a lot to do with the Internet for what it’s worth. But yeah. It’s a very complicated relationship, the Internet, that we all have. And we have to try to find a healthy balance.

On what it was like to finally get your own Disney princess song:

SARAH SILVERMAN: It was a dream come true. I couldn’t believe it. When you guys told me I was going to have a song, we had already been recording for a while. I couldn’t believe it. The music was written by Alan Menken and I got to meet him and work with him and rehearse with him. He played somewhere that’s green for me to sing from my favorite. He wrote Little Shop of Horrors, my favorite. Of course, it’s like this Disney icon of iconic songs. It was incredible. Then we recorded with a whole orchestra. Like you see in old timely movies. It was really the thrill of a lifetime.

The idea of Disney Princess, what makes it good is that it has grown and changed. That Disney has taken on progress and inclusivity and has grown and changed in positive ways. Where a classic Disney Princess, and really, this movie just face it head-on. Leans right into it. Well, you get saved by a man. You’re in great distress. Your life is threatened. And then someone else saves you. Then to all in one movie acknowledge all of that and then shatter it is so exciting. To get to be this kid who becomes like a princess with an attainable waistline, wearing comfortable clothes.

I always like, as a comic, this is really going a different direction. But we end up in diners late at night after shows. And who also ends up at diners late at night are young girls, young people coming out of the clubs, dance clubs and stuff like that. I would see young women in half shirts and sky-high heels. They’re freezing cold. They’re like this shivering, and their feet hurt. I just think. I just wish I could tell them that they don’t have to be uncomfortable to deserve love. Boys are not raised to think that they ever have to sacrifice comfort to be loved. It just always struck me. I would go oh. I would be in like my hoodie and jeans and just think, these girls don’t think that they can get love without this insane amount of physical discomfort. I love that Vanellope kind of sheds light on these grown-up princesses that are uncomfortable hanging out. Twitter just announced, I mean, didn’t just announce, but someone was talking about it months and months ago. I said, yeah. She’s Jewish. I just made her Jewish. Now it’s canon which I enjoy. Von Schweetz. I don’t know. Is that Jewish?

On what is the secret to being a good parent is:

TARAJI P HENSON: I’ll just say honesty and truth. Now with the Internet, you can’t shelter them much. You just have to be as honest as you can. Just tell them the facts and guide them. And hope they don’t run into a wall. [laughter]

RICH MOORE: That is good advice.

On what they think kids are going to take away from Ralph Breaks the Internet:

PAMELA RIBON: One of the things I hope they think about is when you have to start a new school or your friendships change and you move into a new place, that fear that you have. That everything will be different and you’ll never know those friends again. We really thought about that, that shift in life. Because it keeps happening. No matter how old you get, you move into a new place and you meet new friends. And you don’t have to lose your old ones.

JOHN C. REILLY: Among many things, first of all, I hope kids are entertained and feel like this story relates to them. That they recognize some of their own friendships in these characters. But I do hope, you know when you do something unhealthy or something that makes you unhappy, and you just do it in a kind of mindless way. You get caught in these patterns of behavior. Then at some point, if you make a move towards being more healthy, you say, why am I doing that? Why am I doing that? I think this idea of chasing after anonymous love, these hearts. In our movie, these hearts. Or this idea that kids are reaching out for acceptance from people they don’t know. How that’s ultimately kind of an empty feeling. I hope that kids come away with that AHA moment that I just described. Which is like why do I do that? Why do I want to do that? Because that’s the first step to really understanding a situation like that is asking yourself, personally, well, why am I doing that? Maybe I can do something differently once you have that realization.

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