Wreck-It Ralph’s 8-Bit Animation Was A Downshift Disney Had Trouble Making

Wreck-It Ralph’s 8-Bit Animation Was A Downshift Disney Had Trouble Making

Wreck-It Ralph comes out on Boxing Day in Australia. The film, Disney’s newest animated feature, seeks to do with video games what Toy Story did for toys of the non-digital sort, and tie into nostalgia for the 8-bit era.

Pulling off a retro look seems simple but was deceptively difficult for the studio, the filmmakers explained to the New York Times. Animator Wayne Unten recalled explaining to the director, Rich Moore, that pixels rule the 8-bit world. “I was seeing things where, instead of two pixels wide for the eyes, it was one and a half pixels. And to break a pixel into a half was a big no-no for me. That’s not how it was in the games. I would say, jokingly, ‘We have to respect the pixel’.”

Jokingly, perhaps, but a touch that no doubt purists and viewers who remember the ’80s will appreciate. Throughout production, 8-bit images consistently had to be scaled back: made less realistic, less curved, less fluid. Moore said that at first, that didn’t sit well with the animation team: “They’re used to classic, realistic animation, and this style goes against everything that they’ve ever learned about what makes good animation.”

Eventually, though, squarer heads prevailed. From trailers, it seems that inside his game, Ralph — and his nemesis, do-gooder Fix-It Felix — do indeed feel like they fell out of a thirty-year-old arcade. As for how it works in the film? Most of us can find out this Friday.

Disney’s New Hero Is So 1982 [New York Times]


  • I’ve seen it happen on and off, but I can probably use this as an example. There’s a problem when American articles get Australian details stealth-added like this. I read a post by someone I know is American and wouldn’t add something like the first sentence, it’s confusing. Especially with the last sentence.

    • Well it goes both ways too. Avengers came out here in April, while it came out in May for America. Iron Man 3 is going to do the same next April-May.

  • “Most of us can find out this Friday.”

    And yet Hollywood still wonders why people pirate movies?
    Staggered release dates FTL

    • Pretty much this. A few days, sure. But two whole months? Yeah right. I’ll watch a crappy version and then just watch it again in the cinema to cancel out the karma.

      • love these comments coming from people with no idea what the film distribution industry is like. Not meaning to be a jerk but there are actually reasons why films are delayed for international distribution. Things such as Licencing agreements, different codes of practice for content, tax regulations as well as exhibitor relationships all play into this. Not to mention advertising line ups, release strategy (people don’t like to release films of the same type against other films of the same type as it splits the audience and both suffer). This is even further compounded by the fact that in AUS we are so strict on our imports that I am half surprised they even let films made by non-Australian companies into the country.

        Not defending the studios – they can do better but at the same time there are reasons…

        • That wall of text has got pretty much nothing to do with release strategies, especially in regards to kids flicks. Our “Holiday seasons” don’t line up with the US, so the movie was delayed until it could have the biggest impact. Taxes are basically meaningless in terms of release dates.

      • I don’t understand why you’d watch a crappy version and then rewatch it at the cinemas??? I’d rather just wait two months and watch it properly than have to watch someone’s taped version…

    • It’s annoying, but I think it’s mostly to do with trying to hit the holiday crowds. Given that it’s a kids movie, the piracy probably won’t have any impact on the millions of parents who will be on leave with their children on Boxing day and looking for something to do.

      That being said, I loved what I saw in Malaysia a little while ago. Rampant piracy meant that movies basically came out in the cinemas and on DVD at around the same time. So you could walk out of a movie you loved and pick up the DVD on the way home. Pretty cool.

  • Surely they mean the TRAILER will be out this friday, it would make no sense at all having a two month gap between releases. If they do mean the release, then I hope they’ll learn their lesson when they get ‘pwned’ at the box office boxing day onwards, this film probably won’t take in much to begin with.

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