Behind the Scenes of #WreckItRalph (#DisneyOzEvent)


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I knew before my visit to the Disney Animation Studios that the process of creating an animated movie was complicated and arduous.  Well, only in the general sense.   But after having a morning to chat with the actual creators of the film and diving into just a portion of the work involved,  my mind was reeling.  The amount of time, dedication, and work needed to create an animated movie like Wreck It Ralph is astounding.

I previously wrote about my Motion Capture experience with Wreck It Ralph.  But that meeting was just one portion of many.  An animated movie the size and scope of Wreck It Ralph take years (4 to be exact) and numerous level of production.

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Our morning was divided into different aspects of the film production.

1) Story Creation with Raymond Persi
2) Visual Development with Mike Gabriel and Bill Schwab
3) Rigging with John Kahwaty
4) CAPTURE STAGE: Evan Goldberg and team
5) Animation with Amy Smeed
6) Digital Copy with Anthony Mutalipassi and Nicole Elmes

Of course, our experience doesn’t even touch upon the entire spectrum of creation.  Our visit was merely a snippet of the work involved.

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To make us feel at home, they created Wreck It Ralph images in our likeness.  How awesome is that?!  Is it wrong that I have spent an obscene about of time staring at my character thinking, “is that what I really look like?”.  LOL: )

Here are all 25 of us!  Isn’t this awesome?!


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First that morning we chatted with  Raymond Persi regarding the creation of the story of Wreck It Ralph.  It’s hard to imagine, but the story as we know it didn’t always exist.

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As with any movie the story is typically not set in stone.  Through a process of trial and error the writers work on creating the best movie possible.  This can mean testing jokes or removing entire scenes that take away from the overall message.   Mr. Persi has a genuine passion and excitement for what he does.  His journey with Wreck It Ralph has spanned over a number of years, but the enthusiasm from which spoke made it seem as though he was  just starting.

If you have ever had the privilege to visit Disneyland or Disney World you were probably surrounded by helpful and happy employees.  This might not be Disneyland, but the employees of the Disney Animation Studio are some of the most passionate and positive people I’ve met.

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Next we chatted with the Visual Development including artists  Mike Gabriel and Bill Schwab.   These very talented creators essentially walked us the through the formation of the character Ralph.  When we see Ralph on screen is only natural to assume that this is how they visualized him from the very beginning, but this assumption is entirely false.  The artists spent months dissecting every little aspect of Ralph until they reached their preferred image.  They tried literally every kind of idea as you can see from the images below.  Originality and creativity are obviously highly encouraged in this department.

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Here are some other images they considered.

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It was amazing to listen to the creators of the image of Ralph discuss how they attempted to fit the perfect shirt for Ralph.  And they even pondered different colored shirts.  Literally every option is given consideration.

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We are pretty fond of the image they decided upon:)

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Next on our to-do list of the evolution of Wreck-It Ralph was rigging.  I’m going to be honest and confess, I had never heard of this before.  Rigging?  What is that!?  In the world of animation rigging is essentially the same as it is in the sailing world.  It is the process of bringing movement to the characters.  This portion of the process was something I had never considered before.  And lucky me, I actually had the opportunity to add movement to Ralph myself!

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I know with plenty of practice and lots of know-how Disney employees like John Kahwaty create like-life movements from animated objects.  But me?  Clearly, I do not have a future career in rigging:)

Our final two sections of our Wreck It Ralph morning consisted with  Amy Smeed from Animation and Anthony Mutalipassi and Nicole Elmes from
Digital Copy.

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I must confess my brain was on overload by the time we meet with animator Amy Smeed.  As I like to say, my gears were spinning.  Catching this quick glimpse into all the hard work and extraordinary talent that went into the creation of  Wreck It Ralph was overwhelming.  Making a movie is truly a mammoth undertaking.

I did manage to understand that animator Amy Smeed worked only on a small portion of the film- less than two minutes actually.  She spent almost an entire year working on that very small section of film.  Isn’t that extraordinary?!  And what I also did not realize it that there are well over 100 animators that work on a movie such as Wreck It Ralph.  Each animator has a specific scene to master.  This is certainly detailed work on a grande scale.

The Digital Copy team tried to get a regular mom’s opinion on the availability of digital copy vs DVD.  As tech loving bloggers we were happy to share our thoughts;)

I definitely have a new level of respect for the amount of work and talent involved in making a movie like Wreck It Ralph.  I can’t wait to see the next Disney animation movie creation!

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Wreck-It Ralph is currently available for digital download and will be available in DVD/Blu-ray on March 5th!

Follow WRECK-IT RALPH on Twitter: @WreckItRalph

Like” WRECK-IT RALPH on Facebook

My trip to the #DisneyOzEvent was funded entirely by Disney, however all opinions are my own.



  1. Wow that’s cool. I love the first picture!

  2. Sandy VanHoey says

    I learned alot from your review. How neat and I chuckled when you said you spent so much time wondering if that was what you really look like… funny. Never heard of Rigging before either. Interesting! Always wondered about what all goes into making these and love the Ralph they decided on as well.

  3. What an awesome opportunity – I really liked the images of the 25 of you they created. Missed this movie in the theater but can’t wait to rent it!

  4. Colleen Maurina says

    What a fascinating experience! You will probably never watch an animated movie the same way again. It amazes me how animation has changed and improved. Thank you for this bit of insight into the animation world!

  5. Carrie Phelps says

    What a great adventure, definitely one I also would have enjoyed!!

  6. thanks for the intro – i’ve been wondering how these films are made these days

  7. You look like you had a Great Time! You’re so lucky!I would love a chance like that! I’m amazed on how much work is put in for a Disney Movie!

  8. Livivua Chandler says

    i heard good things about this movie

  9. Megan Cromes says

    i think this would be a great movie.

  10. I want to see this movie. When it first hit theaters I was ambivalent but the more I have seen and read the more interested I am.

  11. Christy Anderson says

    How cool! I’d love to go behind the scenes and see how movies are made!

  12. Helene Tienda says

    I haven’t seen this movie yet, but now I really want to! Thanks!

  13. You are so lucky getting behind the scenes with Disney. By the way I loved this movie. Vanellope von Schweetz was adorable

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

  14. That is SO COOL!!!! I’m super jealous but glad you decided to share your experiences with us! Thanks!

  15. There’s a large amount of work and talent involved in making a movie like this, guess I really did’nt relize.

  16. jamie braun says

    we loved this movie! how lucky you are that you got to visit there! jealous!

  17. cindy jones says

    Wow….looked liked so much fun….

  18. My kids want to see this.

  19. Jennifer F. says

    What a great family movie!

  20. How cool! I love animated movies and Wreck it Ralph was a great one. Visiting the Animation Studios is something I would love to do myself.

  21. Ashley Morrissey says

    Ah, can’t wait to see that movie!

  22. mary gardner says

    looks like so much fun – lucky you! 🙂

  23. Very cool. Looks like a good time was had.


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