Learn How ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ Obtained Rights for its Classic Game Character Cameos

Wreck-It Ralph Bad Guys Anonymous

Sonic the Hedgehog, Zangief, Bowser, Q-Bert, and Clyde. When first watching the trailer to Wreck-It Ralph, the immediate thought, how was Disney able to snag all of these iconic video game characters? By cornering them at E3 of course, when they have no where to run. With all the major game developers trapped in one place, it would only make sense to grab their attention at the biggest video game convention of the year. After the jump find how much involvement the studio gave the developers, along with four brand new character posters!

Video gaming has been around for over half a century now with the invention of the cathode ray tube amusement device, created by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann. Since its reveal in 1947, it goes without saying, there have been a multitude of games since that have spawned many beloved characters.

Total Film sat down with Disney producer Clark Spencer and picked his brain about the many cameo appearances we will be seeing in this year’s Wreck-It Ralph.

“It was interesting part of the process, we talked early on about making the film authentic and the only way to do that was to have real game characters in the film as well as the characters we’d created, otherwise it would fell like an artificial environment.  But when you do that, you don’t know the reality of what characters you’re going to be able to license for the film.  Rich [Moore, director] and I went to E3, and pitched the movie to all the different game companies, talking about the concept.  What was great about that was we developed a one-on-one relationship [with the people at the game companies], and people warmed to the idea.”

With the long history of these characters in the hands of Disney, the companies still had to worry about how their heroes and villains would be portrayed. But Spencer ensured that they would give full disclosure as to not damage the reputation of these characters.

“They felt like it could be something interesting, but they were still a little skeptical, as they were giving their own creative characters over to Wreck-It Ralph.  And so we said we’d keep them involved in the process, and give them the script pages. We showed them the models, we showed them the early animation tests, and even the final animations.  We brought them along the entire way, and it made companies willing to participate, because they felt like we were going to be true to their characters.  As a result we got pretty much almost anything we wanted, because the companies started feeling the momentum and everybody pretty much said yes to us.”

Below are just some of Wreck-It Ralph’s many video game cameos in four new character posters. Hopefully they have withheld some of them to leave the element of surprise. (Click on the thumbnails to enlarge to full hi-res images.)

Sonic is a very big name in the gaming world, but there seems to be one mustachioed plumber missing. King Koopa has an appearance, so where is Mario? Spencer has an answer for that as well.

“The hard thing was, we were trying to work out the right way to use a character like Mario. It had to be organic to the film, we didn’t want to just paste him in there. For Bowser, it made perfect sense for him to be a member of the Bad Anon group. For Mario himself we couldn’t think of the right way to incorporate him into the film, and so we didn’t do it.”

That makes sense, so why is Sonic in it? What role will everyone’s furry, blue, chili dog eating hedgehog play? He hasn’t been featured in any trailers, so I doubt he has a really big part in the film. Perhaps he has one big speech at the end for Ralph to realize his potential?

Trying to be the cool, slick cats that they are, Disney has also invited Skrillex onto the project as a DJ character in one of the scenes in the film.

“We asked him if we could do it,” Spencer said. “We went to him first and said, ‘Hey, we have this party scene in the world of Fix It Felix Jr, and we have a DJ and we think it would make a nice cameo if we put you into it.’ And he was ecstatic. We built his model, we put on his look, and we sent it to him to have him give us comments. And he said he would never wear non-black tennis shoes. He said ‘My tennis shoes will always be black.’ So we changed the tennis shoes to black. You don’t see them in the film, as he’s behind the DJ booth, but they were in the model. He has seen the animation, and he’s very, very excited about it.”

I suppose that will be cool? Skrillex will also be heard on the official soundtrack of the film.

Wreck-It Ralph stars the voices of John C. Reilly, Jane Lynch, Sarah Silverman, and Jack McBrayer. The film also features voice talent from Alan Tudyk, Mindy Kaling, Adam Carolla, Horatio Sanz, and many more!

Will Wreck-It Ralph unlock the achievement of video game movie gold unlike many live action video game based movies before it? See it theaters on November 2, 2012.

Source: Total Film via [Cinema Blend]

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