Director Rick Moore discusses ‘Wreck-It Ralph,’ animation work
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
The first movie Rick Moore, the director of Disney’s newest animated film Wreck-It Ralph, ever saw when he was a kid was The Jungle Book. From then on, Moore knew he wanted to work in animation.
“After having that experience of seeing that movie in the theater with my family I knew, somehow, that I wanted to be involved in animation,” Moore said. “As a little kid, I didn’t know what that meant but I always pursued it will all my life.”
Moore eventually graduated from the California Institute of Arts with a degree in character animation. One of his first jobs out of college was working on the storyboard team for the legendary animated television series The Simpsons.
“I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time,” Moore said. “During the first season of the show, I was promoted to director because they were having trouble finding people that really understood the sense of humor and what the show was really about.”
Wreck-It Ralph is an expansive animation effort that delves into the world of video games like no movie has ever tried before. Moore, who grew up loving video games, was the perfect fit to direct the feature.
“I grew up with video games,” Moore said. “When I was a little kid, that was when the first video games were coming out, like Asteroids and Pong. I can remember seeing a Pong game in a pizza place growing up and it felt like you were in control.”
Moore started working Disney’s animation department in 2008. While there, a co-worker mentioned to him that the studio had been trying to crack open a picture that dealt with the subject of video games.
“I was presented with a couple of options [and] videos games were something I certainly knew,” Moore said. “I remember getting ‘the talk’ from my parents multiple times telling me that I was playing too much video games.”
Moore eventually encountered the idea for Wreck-It Ralph. The rest was history. Ralph possesses a multi-layered storyline that features its main character jumping through games. Each jump challenged Moore and his animation team to create a uniquely different world.
Essentially, there are three worlds prominently featured in Wreck-It Ralph. One in particular gave Moore the hardest time.
“Sugar Rush, a mix between Mario Cart and Candy Land, was especially a challenge for our lighting and design team,” Moore said. “Funny enough, I had to program the computer to make a Jolly Rancher, you know, look like a Jolly Ranch. It was much harder than it sounds.”
While Moore was dealing with developing the unique worlds, more and more characters were being introduced to the story. At the end of the production, Wreck-It Ralph adopted 190 characters — the most for any Disney movie to date.
“The Simpsons has a gigantic cast, so I’ll be honest, 190 characters doesn’t seem that much to me,”Moore said. “Like the Simpsons, Wreck-It Ralph is very ambitious and I’m never one to back down from a challenge.”
See Moore’s hard work come to the screen as Wreck-It Ralph opens in theaters nationwide Friday.