Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Laying Down the Bricks: 'Wreck-It Ralph 2' Cast Details Surface

The sequel to Walt Disney Animation Studios' video game adventure Wreck-It Ralph is almost just a year away from hitting theaters. As expected, some new details are oozing out...

Wreck-It Ralph 2, unsurprisingly, will bring back its four main players: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, and Jack McBrayer. When the film was first announced this past summer, some were worried that the two latter two wouldn't come back, but I had a feeling all along that they'd be in numero due. I mean, why scrap two major characters in the first one? I guess it was all based on the concept art and the plot synopsis mentioning just Ralph and Vanellope.

Today, it was revealed that two good-sized names are part of the cast. First up is the voice of Ariel herself, Jodi Benson. This will be Benson's second Disney Animation role ever, as he hadn't lent a voice to anything produced by the studio after The Little Mermaid debuted in 1989. Benson mostly did voice work for Disney's direct-to-video sequels and TV shows in the 90s and 00s, and also voiced Barbie in cousin studio Pixar's Toy Story sequels. It's a bit unusual to me that Benson wasn't in any Disney animated films for nearly 30 years, but it's great to see her return to the house. I can only imagine what kind of character she'll be playing in this film.

The other new arrival is also no stranger to voice acting, James Corden. Corden's animated resume may not be great (Norm of the North, the English dub of Animals United, yeesh!), but he must have the chops, for the studio barely ever miscasts in my opinion. Give him the right script and he'd probably nail it. When you're given something like Norm of the North, what the heck are you supposed to do?

Now according to Den of Geek, John C. Reilly might be voicing other characters in the film. They also suggested the possibility of Ralph meeting other versions of himself, which is what I've been speculating for a long while. I love the idea of Ralph - who comes from a 1982 arcade game - meeting a mid-90s, more-detailed, console game version of Ralph, or a really detailed, hyper-realistic PS4/Xbox One-like Ralph.

This is played with in the first film, as the three game worlds are all visually very different from each other. There are little details and such that enhance this, such as the Nicelanders in Ralph's home world having limited movements and very simplistic, shape-based character designs. I have a feeling they won't pass that opportunity up. I think it'd be fun to see these 80s video game characters meeting future versions of themselves, and perhaps meet characters that were introduced in later games. Did Fix-It Felix, Jr. become some sort of big Mario-like adventure series in the mid 80s? Who knows!

I have a feeling some breaking news will come about in a month, because the film opens in March of next year. This year is basically 2015 all over again, because two Pixar films are opening, hogging up the usual November slot Disney Animation likes to take. So I guess we'll hear some real news on March 9th, some time before that. As for a teaser? Since the movie is a March release, and Pixar's got a film hitting in the summer... I think that's when we'll get our teaser. Zootopia's teaser debuted before Inside Out in summer 2015, so I see a similar roll-out for this one.

What say you?

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