The Disney execs behind the forthcoming Wreck-It Ralph must have been asking: How do you get more aging gamers to see your videogame movie for kids? The answer: Aggregate cameos from nearly every recognizable videogame character ever. Maybe even make a game out of seeing how many you can spot while watching the film. IGN wanted to know how they got away with it.
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Just to put it in perspective, most animated movies have somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 or 50 character designs, but Wreck-It Ralph boasts a staggering 188. What’s more, dozens of these models are based on actual characters from actual video games. Especially in locales like Central Station — the arcade cabinets’ master power strip — we see numerous familiar faces like Q*Bert, Sonic the Hedgehog, Chun-Li and Bowser all interacting in one place.
And it looks like the casting became a fight between developers over who could take up the most screen-space, according producer Clark Spencer.
“We did have kind of a check-in process, where we would show them the footage and say, ‘What do you think? Is it good?’ At one point, [Nintendo] said, ‘Bowser’s much bigger than that. He’s way bigger than Zangief.’ We were like, ‘Okay, we’ll make him bigger. How’s that?’ They’d say, ‘Yes, that’s good — but he wouldn’t drink his coffee like that. He wouldn’t make that mouth.’ [Laughs] Of course, then people from Sega said, ‘Well, Doctor Robotnik is bigger.’ [Laughs] They wanted their characters bigger and bigger.
Spencer insists that the who’s who is subordinate to the narrative, which develops around nothing else but bi-virtual love between John C. Reilly’s Ralph and Sarah Silverman’s Vanellope von Schweets.