Disney’s upcoming film Wreck-It Ralph has a lot of trademarked characters in it. In his interview with Total Film, producer Clark Spencer gives a behind-the-scenes look at the process of getting the necessary permissions.
Rich [Moore, director] and I went to E3, and pitched the movie to all the different game companies, talking about the concept. What was great about that was we developed a one-on-one relationship [with the people at the game companies], and people warmed to the idea. So they felt like it could be something interesting, but they were still a little skeptical, as they were giving their own creative characters over to Wreck-It Ralph. And so we said we’d keep them involved in the process, and give them the script pages. We showed them the models, we showed them the early animation tests, and even the final animations. We brought them along the entire way, and it made companies willing to participate, because they felt like we were going to be true to their characters. As a result we got pretty much almost anything we wanted, because the companies started feeling the momentum and everybody pretty much said yes to us.
The games companies were very specific – there’s a scene in which Bowser drinks a cup of coffee, and they were very specific about how Bowser would drink coffee. The other thing that was fascinating to me was that all of the companies know how tall their characters are. There was lots of conversation about which character would be the biggest character in that Bad Anon scene. Even to the specifics of centimeters.