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Entries in Wreck-It Ralph (9)

Saturday
Jul152017

So Many Disney Princesses!

Chris here. D23 (basically Disney's own version of Comic Con) is underway and there have been quite a few delightful things to emerge - a gorgeous trailer for A Wrinkle in Time, tidbits on The Last Jedi, and early footage of Coco and the next Avengers gathering...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar092017

On this day: Internet Boyfriends, Fishy Rom-Coms, and Toxic Masculinity Camp

On this day in history as it relates to showbiz...

1930 Taina Elg is born in Finland. Briefly becomes a star in Hollywood with Les Girls (1957) winning a Golden Globe
1940 Much missed Puerto Rican actor Raul Julia was born on this day. "Oh Gomez..." ♥︎
1943 Chess genius Bobby Fischer is born. He was recently biopic'ed via Tobey Maguire in Pawn Sacrifice.
1963 Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée is born in Montreal. He's really been cranking out the hits lately: Dallas Buyers Club, Wild, and the juicy actress-bliss of Big Little Lies
1964 Oscar winner Juliette Binoche, one of the greatest actresses in the world, is born in Paris...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb212017

Interview: The Global Resonance of "Zootopia" and its Animal Kingdoms

Zootopia gets a lot of its pizazz from the clash of its odd couple leads but behind the scenes things are much more sympatico. When I sat down to interview the director Rich Moore (Wreck-it Ralph) and producer Clark Spencer (Wreck-it Ralph, Bolt, Lilo & Stitch) they weren't so much finishing each other's sentences as they were most definitely reciting from the same page. Rich calls Clark the 'best producer he's ever worked with' and credits him for creating a structure so that the creatives didn't have to worry about the minutae but were kept aware of it to keep them on track.

Unfortunately the third key member of their team Byron Howard, who the project originated with had bronchitis on the day we met. He'll be long since recovered by Oscar night which will likely be a happy one for the team.

Zootopia is the second project Moore and Clark have done together but when we sat down to speak over coffee the spectre of Wreck-It Ralph 2 hung like a comic cloud overhead because, as they joked, they've got deadlines! The film doesn't open until March of 2018 but that's a very short time in the production lifespan of an animated feature.

Byron Howard, Clark Spencer, and Rich Moore won the Golden Globe for Zootopia. Will they win the Oscar, too?

But for now, the wrap up of the long journey of Zootopia on Oscar night. This Disney fable about diversity and harmonious living has been successful all over the world grossing over a billion dollars globally, the fourth most successful picture of 2016 behind three films that had a built-in sequel advantage (Captain America, Finding Dory, Rogue One).

In other words, it's been quite a spectacular runaway success. Selections from our chat follow...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb182013

Interview: Rich Moore on His Long Journey With "Wreck-It Ralph"

The Animated Feature Oscar race has been unusually competitive this year. In the final week of voting (ballots are due tomorrow) FYC ads and toys were still showing up in the mail. Which to play with first: Brave bow and arrows, Frankenweenie stuffed animal, or Wreck-It Ralph hands? That is the question. When I spoke with Rich Moore, a long time animation force who made his theatrical directing debut with Wreck-It Ralph, a few weeks back he was very contemplative. Awards season has been a "surreal" experience especially nomination morning.

You hope that they will but when they really do... it was fantastic!"
-Rich Moore on the surreal joy of Nomination Morning 

Moore never quite equated his own story with that of Wreck-It Ralph's but I couldn't help projecting and connecting the dots when he told his story. There was a sturdy sweetness to it, not unlike Ralph's own, as he repeatedly expressed loyalty and gratitude for each of his past projects and opportunities. After graduating from CalArts in the late 80s he went to work for 70s animation legend Ralph Bakshi on The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse -- which might not seem like a prime gig to us in retrospect but back then it was. "Those days there were not a lot of jobs for young animators," he explained.

"We were very very lucky to be hired onto that show by Ralph. Several of the people, my friends went on to form Pixar. [Bakshi] opened our eyes. If you could dream it it could happen because we would see Ralph do that on a daily basis. He is so passionate. And so crazy!" 

After his time with Bakshi he found himself at work on The Simpsons. And the experience still sounds shockingly fresh to hear him recall it. "I was 25 years old and somehow had the wherewithal to recognize that it was the chance of a lifetime - 'If I do not give this everything I've got I will not be able to live with myself.' It was gold."

He went on to marvel at how "antiquated" the idea was at the time -- it hadn't been done since The Jetsons. And I kept thinking of Wreck-It Ralph... an 8 bit game in a whole new world. Throughout his experiences with The Simpsons and then Futurama his CalArts friends who founded Pixar kept trying to woo him over. Finally the 'annual call' worked and he did some soul searching and stopped resisting, said a tough goodbye to one animation family for his original one. 

But, I wondered. How long had the Wreck-It Ralph idea been with him and how possessive did he feel about it animation being a hugely collaborative process and not exactly an auteurist medium. 

He calls it a "fine line to walk." Your precious idea, you have to let go and allow others to raise the child as strong as it can be. Here's how it worked. Moore pitched an idea for a story about a world of videogames where an old school character (then unnamed) had lost his passion for his work, and wonders about his station in life. "It began pretty much that simply," he explains. From there it shifted into a two person project for a year with he and screenwriter Phil Johnston. "From there it just begins to grow exponentially. You add more and more people to the mix. Last September there were up to 450 people - artistis, technicians, managers -- working on something that started as a pitch between John Lasseter and I four years ago."

Moore is suddenly contemplative and sounds a little sad. "To be the guy who walks through the whole thing from beginning to end is an interesting seat to have. When people talk about 'oh, it's journey'. It really is. it's a strange kind of trip you take. I find myself now at the end very reflective about the whole thing and appreciative to have been able to bring to Disney my contribution to this long line of films they've been making since the '30s. It's a very kind of profound feeling." 

As to that long line of films, Moore names Dumbo and Pinnocchio as his favorites from animation's early years and Toy Story 2 and The Iron Giant as his modern favorites. But as for his contribution -- he isn't quite ready to put Wreck-It Ralph behind him. He has dreams of a sequel and there's still Oscar night to get through. 

"I hated Christmas or Halloween to be over. oh no it's going to be done," Moore says recalling himself as a child. "I hate to let it go. That's where my head is right now. The 11th hour on Christmas day. You hate to see it come to a close but it's been a beautiful experience. It was so satisfying."

more on animated films
more interview 

Monday
Feb042013

Link Bowl

AP the inventor of Etch-a-Sketch has died. If I still had one still, i would draw you the saddest frown right now. Unhappy about this!
YouTube "Upside Downton Abbey" via Sesame Street
Playbill interviews Sebastian Stan who has now made a name for himself on all three actors mediums: film, tv, and stage (with Picnic, previously discussed)
BuzzFeed why The Amazing Spider-Man sequel will prove to be a bizarro version of Spider-Man 3 


Comics Alliance this made me lol'an extensive discussion of Batman punching animals'
Salon Richard Kramer remembers his mentor Pauline Kael
/Film Matthew Modine has had his diaries from Full Metal Jacket made into an iPad App. Great idea.
Carpetbagger Wreck-It Ralph scores at the Annie Awards
Empire Johnny Depp might finally play a non cartoon again. He could attend Black Mass, a true story crime drama, with Barry Levinson directing. He's done this genre before to varying but mostly positive results (Public Enemies, Donnie Brasco

Awards Daily on the conjoined fall & rise of Zero Dark Thirty and Argo
The New Yorker nominated The Paperboy for future camp classic now that it's on DVD "where it belongs"
Jeremy Helligar on why Joaquin Phoenix should win the Oscar instead of Day Lewis. Love this bit... 

Quell was a mix of standout characteristics of at least three of the characters played by Phoenix's Best Actor Oscar competition, a drunk like Washington's Whip Whitaker, cuckoo like Cooper's Pat Solitano (though hardly recovering) and criminal like Jackman's Jean Valjean (again, hardly reformed). If The Master had been set 100 years earlier, circa 1850, I have no doubt that Freddie would have wanted to free the slaves, too.

Do you have any impossible dream of Daniel's third going to someone else?

Thursday
Nov082012

Dr. Link

Columbia Journalism Review looks back at a watershed moment in celebrity profiles: Truman Capote meets Marlon Brando
The Film Doctor thinks Wreck-It Ralph is more corporate brainwashing for profit
Movieline Brad Pitt turns furniture designer. Unfortunately you can't see the show which is in New York next week if you're not in the design industry -- I looked it up after treading this; private appointments only 
Awards Daily Soundworks profiles Flight. How many Oscar noms will that film win? 
Studio Briefing Daniel Craig's "get me outta this" feelings for Bond since day one -- I'm amused by how seriously people are taking these comments. Please, it's not like he's going to quit just yet.

My New Plaid Pants a double o version of Do Dump or Marry shook and stirred me. So hard to answer!
Coming Soon It seems like Channing Tatum has as many movies coming out next year as he did this year! New pics from White House Down 
Cinema Blend the last star-laden version of Les Misérables, which was stupidly not the musical at the time,  comes to DVD in time for Christmas. Remember that one? Uma Thurman is Fantine and Liam Neeson is Jean Valjean
Family Room Gary Ross not at all sad that he walked away from The Hunger Games
/Film the beloved (but sometimes reviled) indie comic hit Elfquest from the 70s and 80s is still trying to become a movie. Fans who made a short film type trailer are hoping to be the ones to accomplish it. I'm a bit confused by their short though since it only features the female elves. It has to be a measure of Elfquest's impact that I recognized every single character... and not like distant memories either.

Today's Watch...
Well, if you have a couple of hours to spare that is...

Good concept though. They've linked up the Bond films chronologically, and then used roughly five minutes of film from each in sequential order to create a FrankenBond movie.