Though no longer the crown jewel of the Disney stable, the Disney animation department are still working on aniated features (often computer animated) that aren’t under the Pixar brand, and some Direct to Video titles. The D23 presentation of films started with talk of the Straight-to-Video spin-off Planes, which features the voice talents of Jon Cryer, with a trailer that emulated Top Gun, and features the song “More Human than Human” by Rob Zombie. But the pleasant surprise of the panel was information on the film Wreck-it Ralph, which stars John C. Reilly as the bad guy in a video game. And there is also Tim Burton‘s stop-motion Frankenweenie.
The premise of Wreck-it Ralph is that Ralph is a Donkey Kong-esque bad guy in the video game Fix-it Felix. Felix is voiced by Jack McBrayer, and we were shown the fillm’s opening four minute, which show Ralph in a support group for video game villains. Ralph is tired of his role in life, and wants to be the hero, and so he enters a video game junction, which allows him to enter the other games in the arcade. He also notes that some games are now gone. He then enters a Halo-esque game (with a voice from Jane Lynch) and a Candyland-esque racing game, which features voice work from Sarah Silverman. Though the premise is vaguely similar to that of Toy Story, and plays on similar nostalgia, the footage presentation was winning and suggests a playful and winning feature (Reilly is great casting). It was the best surprise of the event.
Frankenweenie is still in production, and the film will be 3-D stop motion, with the film done in black and white. It’s an expansion of Burton’s original short film of the same name. Though only the film’s producers were on hand, it was noted that Winona Ryder, Martin Landau, Catherine O’Hara, and Martin Short are in the cast, and Danny Elfman will be doing the music.
Does Wreck-It Ralph or Frankenweenie sound appealing to you?