Wreck-It-Ralph 2 entered the "game" at New York Comic Con in a very big way. Directors Rich Moore (director of the first one) and Phil Johnston (co-screenwriter on Zootopia), as well as Head of Story Josie Trinidad, stopped by to talk about the highly-anticipated sequel and screen 20 minutes of never-before-seen footage.
WARNING! The following contains spoilers for Ralph Breaks the Internet!
The footage began with a tender moment between Ralph and Vanellope after the latter's game, Sugar Rush, breaks. Unable to afford a replacement part, Mr. Litwak (the owner of the arcade, voiced by Ed O'Neil), plans to sell the game for parts.
Ralph thinks it'll be great for Vanellope to hang out in his game for the rest of her lives, but she doesn't see it that way. As such, Ralph comes up with the idea to go find the replacement part on the Internet. The pair head to the router, which is not yet online, with Ralph commenting that the web is not as "impressive as Sonic said."
They arrive on the Internet and use a search engine called KnowsMore, voiced by the Disney Animation "good luck charm," Alan Tudyk. His egg-heady character sounds a bit like Droopy and his penchant for autofilling lends itself well to comedy. His design was inspired by the animation styles of the 1950s and '60s.
For the subsequent eBay sequence, production used a professional auctioneer for authenticity. The things on sale? Are you interested in a portrait of a sad cat, a slightly used hip, or a Dorito that looks like Beyonce?
Not understanding how online auctions work, Ralph and Vanellope bid over $20,000 for the Sugar Rush replacement piece. To raise the money, they steal a car from Slaughter Race character, Shank (Gal Gadot). This leads to a high speed chase, where Vanellope is back in her element.
Eventually, the pair meet up with Yesss (Tariji P. Henson), a personified algorithm of BuzzTube, a combination of, well, you know. Another scene finds Ralph becoming a meme after his head is transposed onto the head of a screaming goat. Sadly, he wonders into a room in BuzzTube that houses the comments section and sees that the Internet can be a callous place.
The scene that really brought down the house, however, was Vanellope's meeting with all the Disney princesses on OhMyDisney.com. We won't spoil too much, but it's truly an amazing scene, exemplifying the best of what these movies can do and just how creative Disney can get with all of its iconic properties.
All we'll say is that Vanellope introduces her fellow princesses to casual wear and that Elsa's sweatshirt reads, "Just let it go." There are plenty of other Easter eggs throughout the scene, which totally subverts the idea of the pure and perfect princess. To top things off, it ends with a cameo from a certain Star Wars character.
According to Johnston, there was a debate over even making a follow-up, since most sequels, for lack of a better term, suck.
“[We asked ourselves] are there more stories to tell with these characters? We needed a very compelling reason to do one," he said.
When it was decided that Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) would be sent on an adventure in the Internet, the question arose of what Disney's version of the World Wide Web would look like.
“How are we gonna make an animated version of something we know so well, something we use everyday?" Moore said.
In a jokey moment, Moore and Johnston said that they went to the animators, asking for proofs of concept. What they got was a bunch of Disney-animated cat videos, because, come on, what else is the Internet for at the end of the day?
For more research, the production team took a field trip to One Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, which houses all of the major Internet connections for North America. They also hired real-world Internet influencers to help suffuse a bit of our own reality into the film.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2 comes online Nov. 21. Head on down to the gallery below for a look at some of the key art and images revealed during the panel.
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