Oscar Week: Co-Directors Explain How ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’

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CHICAGO – The Best Animated Film category at the 91st Academy Awards honor both these visual treats and their status in the new Golden Age. The visual density of today’s animation reaches a new height in a rare Walt Disney Studio sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” This is a follow-up to “Wreck-It Ralph,” a huge animated hit film. Returning to guide the sequel, which has Wreck-It Ralph “inside” the internet, are co-directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore.

Also returning for the sequel are a number of the voice actors and characters from the first film, including the saucy-tongued Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman), Felix (Jack McBrayer), Calhoun (Jane Lynch) and John C. Reilly as Ralph. Joining them in this new outing is the new character of Shank (Gal Gadot). The story involves the arcade that Ralph and Vanellope live at (in their respective video games) and an accident that changes everything. To try and fix the situation, R and V will have to conquer a new frontier… the internet and the world wide web within it.

Co-Directors Rich Moore and Phil Johnston of ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet,’ an Oscar Nominee for Best Animated Film
Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

The animated internet universe that comes alive is due to two of the original creators of “Wreck-It Ralph,” Phil Johnston and Rich Moore. This dynamic cartoon film duo took a break between the “Ralphs” to also help create a little Oscar winning film called “Zootopia.” Phil Johnston teamed with veteran animation director Rich Moore (“The Simpsons,” among others) as a contributing writer on the first Ralph and Zootopia, and also co-wrote the screenplay for the current Ralph, along with taking the co-directing reins for the first time. Johnston also scripted a notable independent feature called “Cedar Rapids,’ a film in which John C. Reilly was a main character. HollywoodChicago.com talked to the duo in November of 2018.

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, co-directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” talk about imagining, then creating, the world wide web for the Ralph universe, and the three laugh about the classic episodes that Rich Moore directed of “The Simpsons.”

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” is available on Blu-Ray/DVD and digital download. See providers for details. The 91st Academy Awards will take place on February 24th, 2019, at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater, and will be broadcast on ABC-TV beginning at 7pm ET/6pm CT.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2018 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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