Disney inspiration is huge for 'Ralph' director
05:00 AM, Feb 22, 2013
With the Oscars and a Blu-ray release looming, Rich Moore is already feeling a little nostalgic about his Disney animated film Wreck-It Ralph enough that he likens Ralph, that big and lovable video-game lug, to a third child.
“I think of it almost like raising my two kids,” says the director. “You put as much effort as you can when they’re young into trying to teach them to be good people or make them the best they can be, and they’re older now, my kids. I’m at that stage where I let them go and you just hope that all that nurturing you did earlier on sticks and you launched good people out there.”
So far, so good in the case of Wreck-It Ralph, a favorite going into Sunday’s Oscars. This awards season, the animated film has won a Critic’s Choice Award and Annie Award, and will be in the Academy Awards field for best animated feature along with ParaNorman, Frankenweenie, The Pirates! Band of Misfits and Brave.
For those who missed the theatrical run in the fall, Wreck-It Ralph is available on demand via cable providers. Or just wait until the Blu-ray release on March 5 that features deleted and alternate scenes, video-game commercials, an interactive look at all the gamer references in the movie, and the Oscar-nominated Disney short Paperman.
Moore says “it’s almost overwhelming” that critics and audiences embraced Ralph and its tale of a villain (voiced by John C. Reilly) and his quest through various video-game worlds such as the war-torn Hero’s Duty and the candy-coated racing environment of Sugar Rush to see if he has the goods to be a good guy.
In honing the story, Moore found that universal theme also touched Oscar voters, he says. “That’s true not just for an older person but for younger people, too. They empathize with Ralph and where he’s at.”
A former director with The Simpsons and a longtime supervising director for Futurama, Moore, 49, isn’t too concerned about winning an Oscar on Sunday because, award or not, he’s got the job he’s wanted since first watching Disney’s The Jungle Book when he was a tyke.
“This is the kind of stuff I used to do in my backyard, making little films,” the director says. “With the awards, though kind of exciting and electric and edge-of-the-seat tension, I have to stop myself and say, ‘You know what, the movie is the thing.’
“What we’ve done now sits with those films that inspired me as a kid, and I hope there is a kid like myself today who is watching Wreck-It Ralph and he or she is inspired the way I was inspired when I was 5 years old, and now they’ll pursue this crazy dream.”