Rich Moore

November 5, 2012

I Am Rich Moore, Director of Wreck-It Ralph. AMA

I am Rich Moore, Director of Wreck-It Ralph. You may know some of my previous work including The Simpsons, Futurama, and The Critic. AMA!


UPDATE #1 (1:30pm PST): Stepping away for a bit. Will be back at 4:00pm PST to answer more questions. Keep 'em coming!

UPDATE #2 (3:50pm PST): I'm back! Will be able to answer questions til about 6:00pm PST.

I'm gonna reddit!

UPDATE #3 (6:00pm PST): Thank you Redditors! It's been a pleasure talking with you today. THANK YOU for all your kind words, they are appreciated immensely.

And to all my talented friends and colleagues at Dreamworks, I love you guys. I wish you much success with RISE OF THE GUARDIANS and a happy, healthy relationship with 20th Century Fox.

Any word on the Wreck-It Ralph sequel I hear? P.S. Vanellope rocks!

I would jump on it in a New York minute-- I LOVE these characters and the people who play them. And yes, Vanellope indeed rocks!

What's YOUR favorite videogame?

Old school: tabletop Pac Man

New school:Mario Kart

I guess this is a SPOILER, but why is Vanellope still able to glitch after she crosses the finish line?

You just ruined the movie for us!! But seriously, she learned how to master it when she saved herself from Turbo.

Kind of reminded me of the Matrix where Neo could see code after leaving the Matrix?


But wasn't the whole reason she was able to glitch because she was MISSING programming? Why, after the game RESET, was she able to continue glitching?

I hate to sound like a nerdy Simpsons character, but it was one of very few things that really bothered me about the film.

Also, from a game design perspective this makes absolutely no sense. Why would anyone choose any of the other racers if she could still glitch? It would make the game greatly imbalanced.

Sorry for the nerd-out. I saw it last night and I really loved it.

NEVER doubt the determination of a 9 year old girl.

It took forever for me to figure out how to make spoilers on here too ;)

Amen to that. Cut me a break, Reddit!

Would she be able to leave the game afterward though or is she still stuck there because of having the glitch?

Yep, she can leave. She was the bridesmaid at Felix and Calhoun's wedding

Yep, she can leave. She was the bridesmaid at Felix and Calhoun's wedding

Hey, I figured out the spoiler function!

I have yet to see it, but hopefully will soon.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck, or 1000 duck sized horses?

Editted for grammar.

I say bring 'em all on!

Did Sarah Silverman request that there be "duty" jokes in the movie? Or did you make that call yourself?

That was duty collaboration!

were there any problems getting the rights to use all those game characters?

Not really, but a certain Italian plumber had a problem getting a work visa.

First off, movie was GREAT (if you haven't seen it, go see it now). What was the biggest challenge behind making the movie?

Making a film with 3 distinct worlds, well 4 if you count Game Central Station, actually 5 if you count the arcade... the credits were kind of a world too if you think about it... wait, what was the question again?

I believe there was going to be a Sims/GTA type of world that never made it into the final version.

Extreme EZ Livin' 2!

Which was your favorite department to work with at Disney and why?

They're all wonderful to work with, but Forrest in the Security Department has all the best gossip.

what arcade game have you spent the most money on?


What game are you most excited for in the future? Also, loved the Metal Gear reference!

I put off playing Skyrim while making the movie, so I look forward to disappearing into its clutches now that the film's done.


Whose idea was it to make the movie? Great idea. Someone needs to thank that person.

His name is John Lasseter and his phone # is KLondike5-3226. Ask about the employee discount!

How many hours were wasted spent playing video games as "research"?

Not hours, years. Many many years.

And I consider that all "pre-development work".

Futurama and the Simpsons are some of my favorite shows! What was it like working with Matt Groening?

It was a huge pleasure working with Matt on both shows. He's always been one of my favorite cartoonists.

I just want to say that I loved the movie and it brought back so many memories. :3 thank you

Thank you, the pleasure was all mine.

Why didn't you use licensed video game characters for more important roles than just cameos? It seems Q*Bert was the only one that had any real importance to the story.

One word: nepotism. Q*bert's a second cousin on my mom's side.

love the critic! what was your favorite part about working on the critic?

JON LOVITZ! The greatest animation voice ever!

You made a brilliant animated movie. Do you plan on making more and working with Disney again in the future?

Absolutely. Making this movie was the creative high point of my career.

What concerns did you have going into production of the film? Was there anything in particular you were worried about?

Dreamworks stealing the idea, slapping it together and getting it out first.

Whose call was it to include a kill screen in the logo at the very end?

That, as a classic gamer, was the thing that made me laugh the hardest, because it showed that the people who made this are true nerds, and it's why I tell everyone I can to go see it. Thank you for your incredible work!

EDIT: A request, as well, one that I figure may be ignored but that's fine: A screenshot of that logo, all kill-screened. If not, absolutely no worries at all, but again, that meant so much :)

I think it was Clay Kaytis' idea. Yes we are nerds. And geeks.

I'll work on that screenshot for you.

Who is your favorite video game character???

Q*bert. For all the right reasons!

Which character from Wreck It Ralph can you most identify with?

Definitely Ralph... and I'm not sure what that says about me exactly.

Ooh, okay, so:

Ever been on any crazy adventures?

What's your favorite color?

Favorite Band/Artist?

If you could have one dumb super power (like the ability to mind meld with llamas) what would it be?

How would you utilize your new ability?

Yes. I'd tell you about it, but I can't spell Tijuana.



The ability to create a soft baked-style chocolate chip cookie so soft, that it would bring peace to the Middle East.

Love your work, Rich! My question is what was the path you went through to get to such an awesome position?


But seriously, thank you. I directed many hours of awesome stories to arrive at this place in my career.

Who decided AKB48 would be good to do the Sugar Rush theme song and how did that all come about? Because that was a perfect combination of sugary pop and sugary themed game.

Our Music Supervisor Tom MacDougall brought AKB48 to my attention and I've been a fan ever since. I'm with you, I think they're the perfect sound for Sugar Rush.

Was Alan Tudyk directed to do a Mad Hatter/Ed Wynn impersonation, or was it just an amazing, astounding coincidence? Either way, he rocked it.

Who is this Ed Wynn guy everybody keeps talking about?!

Alan's awesome and great to work with. I'd love him to come back in the future as an entirely new character.

Whatever you do, please don't put us through the same emotional trauma that Joss Whedon did with Alan Tudyk.


What is your favorite episode of "The Simpsons" that you have directed?

I have 3 favorites in no particular order:

Marge vs. The Monorail Cape Feare Lisa's Substitute

Just want your opinion on the Disney buying Lucas thing. From a director's standpoint and a personal standpoint.

I think it's AWESOME!

I'm on the set on Star Wars VII right now. It looks amazing!

What do you think Jay Sherrman would say about, "Wreck-it Ralph"?

HOTCHIE MOTCHIE! Subway, eat fresh!

What should I watch on Netflix? I'll watch any show or movie.

The complete 3rd season of MANNIX.

"This is why television was invented." --Leonard Maltin aka Mr. Sarah Silverman

My first date is this weekend. Would you recommend taking her to see your movie, Taken 2, or skyfall?

First date with this particular girl, not my first ever:P haha. I'm not that bad;)

You'd take her her to Taken 2 without seeing Taken first? what kind of date is this?

How was it like working with Skrillex on this movie?

Awesome. Sonny is incredibly talented and a fantastic collaborator. He's fantastic.

Are you related to him in any way?

We're now blood brothers.

What do you think of these Wreck-It Ralph t-shirt designs I created? ♥

I LOVE them! The OUT OF ORDER one is my favorite. Sweet and ironic!

I LOVE them! The OUT OF ORDER one is my favorite. Sweet and ironic!

Btw-- I'm forwarding your link to our legal department.

Loved the movie Rich! I just thought you should know that for some reason, the 2nd time I saw it, the end scene with Ralph and the Mento's Volcano made me cry EVEN THOUGH I KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN! Clearly you're some kind of warlock.


My question to you is, was it hard coming up with the layout for the arcade and Game Central Station and making sure everything fit together right, as well as coming up with the differnt styles of each loading dock? It seemed like a lot of work went into that!


I'm no warlock. I'm an enchanter.

Our design and story department put a lot of thought into GCS and I think the final result is outstanding. I will pass your kind words on to them all.

My 6 year old daughter keeps asking me how Turbo got into Candy Rush after getting turned off. I told her He was hiding in Central Station for a few years but i'm hoping you have a better answer, and she will think I am very cool for having asked the director!

We thought of it this way: He escaped Road Blasters before it was unplugged, lived in the bowels of GCS growing more and more bitter, learned a thing or two about code, saw Sugar Rush plugged in and made his move before anyone played the game. That's our story and we're stickin' to it.

What was it like working with Jack Macbrayor??


Mr. Moore, thank you for the great movie. My 4 year old son's "Hulk SMASH!" has been replaced with "I'm gonna WRECK IT!"

Thank you! My condolences to your household.

Favorite John C. Reiley movie? (Not including yours, obviously.)

Boogie Nights

Do you have any words of advice for an aspiring animator? Should you be going to animation school or work on your portfolio? Does going to the top, most expensive schools make a difference?

I would recommend going to a school and connecting with a group of like-minded people. These freaks will become your second family and support system.

Is there any chance of making actual video games from the fictional ones in the movie? I would love to play Sugar Rush at parties and online!

I would really like to see Sugar Rush as a genuine, for-real game. I'd never leave my home!

I loved the movie! Thank you and...Aerith Lives!!!

Testify, brother!

Any word from Disney on expanding Wreck-It Ralph into the Theme Parks?

I think a Disney cruise based on Hero's Duty would be beautiful!


John was instrumental in rounding out Ralph's character, so I felt it was only right to give him a story credit. John's an amazing collaborator... and a snappy dresser!

Was using Darth Vader's respirator as Ralph breathed through the tube a knowing reference to the Disney/Lucas merger? If so, when was it added in?

That was the work of the great Gary Rydstrom, and it was added before the merger. Bob Iger then bought Lucasfilm to ensure we wouldn't get sued.

If you could describe your shows in ONE word, what would it be?


How do you feel about Woody Harrelson's movie "Rampart"?

Too short and didn't feel genuine.

If, hypothetically I were to stream your movie from a shady site, would you take it personally?


Hello Mr. Moore,

I saw your movie this weekend and was honestly underwhelmed. It seemed like you were really restricted by the use of video game likenesses. Did you run into a lot of turbulence getting the rights of these characters and games?

Are there plans for a second movie?


Always a pleasure to meet an underwhelmed fan! You'll be happy to know there are currently NO plans for a second film, but after a strong weekend at the box office and a tremendous outpouring of goodwill, that all may change soon. I'm sorry.


I haven't seen it yet, in your opinion, Should I?

Should you?! SHould is for SHit. Live life and go see this movie!

How do you feel about Wreck It Ralph being in the new Sega All-Stars Racing? To me personally, it seems like Wreck It Ralph is looking to become its own besides being a homage as it may have intended to be.

I am over-the-moon, thrilled-beyond-belief, jumping-out-of-my-skin THRILLED to have Ralph in Sega's All-Stars Racing! We're working with the great Sonic, guys!! Who wouldn't love that?!

Who's idea was it to have Kano rip the zombie's heart out, and did you guys have trouble getting that approved by Disney?

I literally squealed like a little girl.

Surprisingly, nobody objected! That's when I gave out my little girl squeal.

Do you like hammocks?

For my money, nothing relaxes a man/woman better than a hammock. The rock, literally.

I want to tell you a little story about how this obscure movie became part of my favorite movies list. About 2 years ago at Disneyland I saw the teaser poster for Wreck-It Ralph with just the logo and his face. I knew absolutely nothing about it except it was made purely by Disney. As the year went by more information leaked out about it, learning that it was about video games, and two of the things I love most in this world are Disney and Retro video games, so I was already in love with this movie but it was still an overall mystery to me. In June 2012 I saw the first trailer for Wreck-It Ralph on my YouTube feed, without hesitation I clicked on it and waited for all my questions about this movie to be answered. I am not exaggerating now when I say I watched that trailer almost 30+ times that day, it was one of the most exciting things I've seen in a long time. Flash forward to Friday November 2nd, I've been waiting 2 years for this movie to finally be released, I had watched all 3 trailer numerous times, played the iOS Fix-It Felix, Jr. game countless times, done my research and since I am a DL passholder I had been worked hard on my Wreck-It Ralph pin collection. Me and all of my friends, who were as excited about this movie as I was, went to Downtown Disney with our WIR shirts that my friend got from E3 to watch Wreck-It Ralph the way it should be watched, at DL. None of us were disappointed with the outcome, both Paperman and Wreck-It Ralph were pieces of art that rank high among Disney's other classics. All of us went into the film with open minds never anticipating a movie about video games to pack in so much emotion, depth, story, references, and lovable characters as it did; heck, we were all ready to cry when Ralph destroyed Vanellope's kart. Rich Moore I just want to say thank you so much for making the last two years of my life the most mysterious and most exciting time I've had, this movie is something I'll appreciate for a long time and that I'd love to show my kids when I have them. As someone who plans to work for Disney Imagineering some day I'd love to see a true Wreck-It Ralph attraction in the parks some day. I hope that your experience making the film was just as fun I did waiting for it. Thank you Rich Moore, thank you.

Thank you for your kind words and taking the time to share them with me. I had a complete blast making Wreck-it Ralph and I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Good luck in all your future endeavors!

The phrase "It Stinks" is forever ingrained into my mind because of The Critic. Did you have a particular character you liked on the show?

Duke Phillips! I've been a life-long fan of Charles Napier and it was a pleasure working with him.

how did you get such an amazing job?

  1. Passion
  2. Gumption
  3. Tenacity (aka Stick-to-it-ness)
  4. Laser-like focus
  5. Luck

Where are the hidden mickeys?

There are 3 that I can think of... the billboard outside of the arcade, a pattern in Ralph's HUD, and a design on the shoulder-piece of Calhoun's armor.

How annoyed are you with everyone calling this a Pixar movie?

Hey, it's better than calling it a Dreamworks movie.

Haven't seen the movie yet, but dying to!

How was it working for Disney Animation and compiling the ideas for the movie? I just did a year course of 3D Animation and would love to hear about the behind the scenes work that went into Wreck-It Ralph :].

I know you've directed other animated shows but how was it, if different at all for a 3D animated movie?

I absolutely love working at this studio. The group of artists and technicians here are the most talented I've ever met and I hope to work alongside them all for a long, long time.

As for the difference between directing 2D shows compared to 3D movies, I think the job is always the same-- tell a compelling story with characters we care about in a believable world.

What's your personal favorite Disney movie?

The Jungle Book was the first movie I saw in a theater as a little boy and I can remember that night as if it happened yesterday. My entire family was there and everyone had a great time. I knew at that moment that I wanted to be involved somehow in animation and I've been relentlessly pursuing that dream ever since.


This is my favorite movie of the year so far, and I plan to see it a second time too!

One question: Why did you choose to focus on Ralph in this movie, instead of the more well known villains that the current generation seem to recognize better like Bowser and Dr. Eggman?

And also, that Wizard of Oz joke was hilarious. Great job!

Can you believe that there are still good jokes to be mined from a 73 year old movie?! It blows my mind!

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Rich Moore conducted on Reddit on 2012-11-05. The Reddit AMA can be found here.