With the release of Ralph Breaks The Internet just a month away, we will be sharing very exclusive content on the website. One very interesting subject to share about the creation of Ralph Breaks The Internet are the new characters we get to meet.
From Netizens, to Net Users, and the dark web, our eyes are sure to be delighted with what we’re going to encounter when Vanellope and Ralph explore the world wide web. During our time at Walt Disney Animation Studios, we were able to meet with the creators of this new population, and learn their brilliance behind each layer of the film. Here are the 3 sessions we experienced:
STORY DOWNLOAD – Josie Trinidad (Head of Story), Jason Hand (Story Artist) and Natalie Nourigat (Story Artist), explained the unique roles that the story team played not only in developing a new adventure for Ralph and Vanellope, but also in envisioning the ever-evolving world of the internet.
THE WEB’S WIDE WORLD – Matthias Lechner (Art Director, environments), Larry Wu (Head of Environments) and Ernie Petti (Technical Supervisor) talk about the daunting task of turning the abstract concept of the internet into a complex, thriving metropolis.
POPULATING THE INTERNET – Cory Loftis (Production Designer), Dave Komorowski (Head of Characters and Technical Animation), Renato dos Anjos (Head of Animation) and Moe El-Ali (Crowds’ Supervisor) explore the process of creating the inhabitants of the internet, from the “Netizens” to the “Net Users.”
It All Starts With The Story
Like any other Disney film, the story matters. Josie, Jason and Natalie told us the story is always the initial focus, then the team moves forward from there. For Ralph Breaks The Internet, we focus on the friendship of Ralph and Vanellope. With this foundation, the directors, artists (15, total) and every one else on the crew builds around that essential part of the story. From the story comes the script, then script to storyboards, then storyboards to editing. It’s an extremely involved process that happens way before the full animation process begins.
Once the animation process begins, there are screenings for other cast members; they are able to give their input and share what they believe the storyline is trying to portray. There 10 of these screenings for Ralph Breaks The Internet.
Let’s Create The Internet
The most fascinating part of our sessions, for me, was the actual creation of the World Wide Web. OK, not the creation of the one you’re currently using to read this post, but the web that Vanellope and Ralph explore in Ralph Breaks The Internet. Matthias, Larry and Ernie shared with us how they took on the task of turning the internet as we know it, into an animated masterpiece.
It all started at Wilshire One. Wilshire One is the internet hub for southern California. As we saw in a photo, the internet really is a series of tubes! I totally thought that was just a meme. The team wanted to use that visual to their advantage, when creating the animated web.
When Vanellope and Ralph first experience the internet, they go through fiber optic “tubes” to get their internet hub. This is definitely not a spoiler, because we get a peek of this in the trailers. You watched the trailers, right?
The coolest part of this version of the web is how substantial it is. It represents the world as a whole, with different languages shown and many of our well-known websites and online themes on display. An even cooler part? The internet population.
Populating The Internet
Have you ever heard of a Netizen? These characters will be introduced to us in Ralph Breaks The Internet, and that idea behind them is brilliant. Netizens are members of the internet community, who help Net Users (regular humans like you and me) find what they need while surfing the web. Your Netflix Netizen is different from your eBay Netizen, but they are all there to help use during our hours long journeys into their virtual world. Isn’t that awesome?
Corey, Dave, Renato, and Moe blew my mind with the intense detail they put into the creation of these characters. From the Net Users’ emoji-like reactions, to the emotions behind the Netizens. I loved it all. One character I ended up falling in love with right off the bat was Yesss.
Yesss is an algorithm that is always in the know, and knows it all before anyone else. Sounds like an algorithm to me! Played by Taraji P. Henson, the team had to make sure Yesss was always at the brink of new styles. Being an algorithm meant her fashion sense had to change consistently, so that was a welcome challenge for the team. They looked to future fashion trends, and current “IT” designers to make sure Yesss fully represented who she was supposed to be in the film.
Side note: I think Yesss would make an amazing Halloween costume. Just saying.
So, how many characters are actually in Ralph Breaks The Internet? Well, Wreck It Ralph had 223 unique characters, with 421 variations (different clothing, different facial features, and hair differences).
For Ralph Breaks the Internet, they pulled every character but one over from Wreck It Ralph, then populated the Internet. The total was 434 unique characters, with 6,752 variations. Who was the one character that didn’t make it into Ralph Breaks The Internet? Turbo, of course. #ByeTurbo
Wow. What a wealth of information for those of us animation nerds. Ralph Breaks The Internet is sure to delight our eyes, ears and hearts. Are you ready for it? I know I am!