Picture a large, rather macho man licking a colorful lollipop in a candy store filled to the brim with young children. Better yet, envision a big grizzly man being yelled at by a little girl.
These two scenes are what come to life when watching Vanellope von Schweetz and Ralph interact in the movie Wreck-It Ralph. While on the surface these two individuals look like polar opposites, in actuality they are very similar in that they are both vying for exactly the same thing — recognition and respect.
John C. Reilly, who voices Ralph, the “villain” in the game Fix-It Felix Jr., states that his character is having a bit of an identity crisis in the movie.
“You just never know what the internal experience of someone is and that’s kind of what Ralph’s journey is in the movie. He is this big scary destructive character in the game, but on the inside he is just like, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if someone just gave me a pat on the back every once in a awhile?’”
All Ralph wants is to be treated with a little respect, just the way Fix-It Felix Jr. is valued in their game.
With this in mind, Ralph decides to escape his game via the power cord to prove to himself and others that he has what it takes to be a hero. Of course, his plan goes awry and lands him in the game Sugar Rush, where he meets as Sarah Silverman, the voice of this feisty character puts it, a “scrappy 9-year-old girl” named Vanellope.
Ralph quickly learns that Vanellope wants to be treated with respect as well.
“She wants to race and lives in a racing game, and she’s held back because she is a glitch. She goes through this journey where she realizes that her greatest or biggest downfall can really be her superpower, ” Sarah expresses with empathy for her character that she grew quite close to.
In the movie, Ralph and Vanellope emit an almost big brother-little sister bond that is very endearing. In real life, John and Sarah’s own chemistry played a large part in that as Sarah explains to SheKnows, “It was written perfectly. They did such a great job. But they also gave us the opportunity, John and I recorded a lot together and we got to overlap and improvise, and we had a lot of fun.
"They gave us a lot of creative leeway that I didn’t expect. It was so cool, and I think it gives the movie a little more nuance that it wouldn’t have. It was real and conversational and confrontational and in the moment… and I wasn’t just in a booth by myself.”
John really could not agree more and adds, “I really like doing voice acting because you can just kind of roll up in your pajamas as long as you don’t have a cold or you’re not hoarse, you can just dive into that world.”
The passion John and Sarah show for their characters translates beautifully into the energy Vanellope and Ralph need to get what they want in life. They prove that determination and perseverance are absolutely necessary in achieving one’s life goal, no matter what one may look like on the outside.
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