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Q&A with “Wreck-It Ralph” director
Rich Moore has been directing animated films and television shows since the early ‘90s, from “The Simpsons” to “Futurama.” Moore recently co-wrote and directed the Oscar-nominated “Wreck-It Ralph,” starring John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman (“School of Rock,” 2005) and Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock.”)
The North Texas Daily spoke with Moore about working with his ensemble cast and how the film was so personal for him.
How was it being in a single room, directing all the voice actors? Did you find that to be easier than working with them individually?
“That’s one of my favorite parts of the process because I love working with actors. Animators and actors are basically the same type of person. One uses a pencil or pixels, while the other uses their body. I really loved the time I spent on the recording stage with John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch — with everyone. That’s a really magical and sacred part of the process because it’s so spontaneous. I tried to be democratic about how we handled that process. I didn’t want to say, ‘OK. I’m trying to go for this and let’s do this. Let’s hit exactly what I am thinking in my mind.’ People like John and Sarah, they are going to bring something to the characters that I can’t possibly anticipate. My job as a director is to listen and create an environment where the best comes out of people. Where everyone involved feels this trust where they speak their mind, make suggestions and try to find the best solution for whatever the problem is that we’re trying to crack that day. It was like a little family. We would go onto the recording stage — myself, the producers, writers and whoever had scenes those days. The bulk of it was John and Sarah because the movie is mostly about their characters Ralph and Penelope.
When we got to the final days of recording, we were all sad because it was over. We had really gotten to the point where we were a team who worked really well together. We respected and admired what each individual brought to the table. To me, that’s when the creative process really works the best.”
Was there a certain character that you personally had to have in the film?
“Definitely Pac-Man. It was great to have him in the movie because that was the game that I loved to play as a kid. It was very special to me. Q*Bert was another one. I loved that character so much. He was such a strange character. To be able to use him in a pretty big role, the homeless character— it was great.
I’ll have to say when we got word that Nintendo said yes to letting us use Bowser— that was the one that felt like, ‘Oh. We landed a big one.’ It was the equivalent of having Robert De Niro be in your film, or having Marlon Brando come back from the dead to be in your film. Yeah, I’d have to say having Bowser was pretty cool.”
“Wreck-It Ralph” will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on March 5th.