disney animation building

wreck ralphHave you ever wondered how a Disney animated movie was made? I have, so I was really intrigued to find out all of the secrets behind this building! It promised to be a mystical, magical experience. A substantial portion of the building that we were able to see, we were not allowed to use our cameras. I thought that was pretty exciting because that meant that it really was top secret info I was privy to.  I love a good secret, but I have never been very good at keeping one. I am sure that if you bribe me with fairy dust and a Disney chocolate covered banana, I would tell you…

In the meantime, while I wait for the onslaught of bananas, I will tell you what I can which is pretty fantastic all on it’s own. Here is me chilling with Wreck-It Ralph. He had just escaped and took a minute to pose with me before heading on over to see what all the fuss was in Sugar Rush town. I will tell you more about that later. Wreck-It Ralph was a very funny flick. It is one of those kids movies that I know I will not mind watching 100 times like I know that I will. It will be one that I do not mind purchasing, so to find out about the ins and outs was pretty neat.


In order to have a real-life feel to all of the lands, the Art Director, Mike Gabriel, and Visual Development artist, Lorelay Bove, traveled all over the world researching building structures like the ones used in Sugar Rush. Lorelay thought that one of the churches where she grew up in Spain looked a lot like candy when she was younger. Off they went, and now a considerable portion of the Sugar Rush architecture was borrowed from Gaudi’s Casa Batlló in Barcelona pictured above (photo credit: Wikimedia Common).

Japanese Candy

The research took the team from a Cologne International candy show all the way to Japan to purchase and photograph and abundance of Japanese Candy. Whenever the designers got stuck on an idea, they always had their photos to refer back to. The designers essentially built an entire land out of candy, literally, more than once.

Sugar Rush Candy Land

In honor of this process, the press team was invited to create their own candy renditions of the Sugar Rush race cars in a candy building competition. This was a very exciting part of the day, and pretty soon I had frosting in my hair and wrappers stuck to my dress. It was a competition and any one who knows me, knows this meant serious business. This is my candy car creation below. I did not win, but I had a blast playing along!

candy car creation

Each of the four lands in Wreck-It Ralph all had to be built separately with its own look and geometric feel. A 20 second segment took Animator Kira Lehtomaki, 3 weeks to render in the computer, painstakingly moving each expression line point by point. This takes an incredible amount of patience! I asked her if she enjoyed her job, and with a huge smile, she replied with enthusiasm that she loved it! You could tell after she showed us a video of her acting the part of Venellope and Ralph in order to see what the expressions would look like in real-time. It was priceless, and I believe she should post it on You-Tube. The Head of Animation on Wreck-It Ralph, Renato dos Anjos, also took the time to speak with us and instructed us to draw Wreck-It Ralph’s hand and Venellope’s head. Now do that 400,000 times, and you have yourself a movie. In a future post, you will get to see me act out a part (in voice) from our recording booth demo. We were coached by Raymond Persi who was the voice of Gene and Zombie as well as the Storyboard artist. Technician Gabe Guy told us a a story or two about working with the Wreck-It Ralph actors. So make sure you come back to get the skinny.

You can find Wreck-It Ralph merchandise already out on Amazon just in time for Christmas for the video game lover or Disney lover in your life! I found coloring books, iPhone cases and soundtracks. Some of the stuff is so retro, you can’t afford not to buy it! (That is what I always tell my husband after Black Friday.)

Check out the clip below where Ralph meets Vanellope and you will fall in love with the movie characters before you even see the film. You can connect with Wreck-it Ralph on Facebook and Twitter.

Wreck-it ralph

From Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy®-winning director Rich Moore comes “Wreck-It Ralph,” a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping adventure. For decades, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) has been overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, Jr. (voice of Jack McBrayer), the good-guy star of their game who always gets to save the day. Tired of playing the role of a bad guy, Ralph takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a journey across the arcade through multiple generations of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.

On his quest, Ralph meets tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty, and feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart-racing game Sugar Rush, who may just be his first real friend. But everything changes when a deadly enemy is unleashed, threatening the entire arcade and Vanellope herself. Ralph finally gets his chance to save the day—but can he do it in time? “Wreck-It Ralph” crashes onto the big screen on November 2, 2012, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.