Rich Moore: "Wreck-It Ralph", Artists at Google

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 01.11.2012


RYAN GERMICK: Thank you all for coming or
tuning in on the internet.
RICH MOORE: Hello, internet.
RYAN GERMICK: You don't want to know what this man does
with the internet.
RICH MOORE: The-- you're--
Go ahead.
RICH MOORE: No, go ahead.
Go ahead.
RYAN GERMICK: No, your turn.
You're the star.
RICH MOORE: You don't want to know
what I do on the internet.
That's true.
This is Mr. Rich Moore.
Give it up.
RICH MOORE: Thank you.
RYAN GERMICK: He's visiting us from--
Wait a minute.
Google's chair is all-- this is--
RYAN GERMICK: It's to add to the drama.
We want to care about the characters on the stage, so
you put them in some danger.
We do.
You kind of created a little conflict here.
And you're trying to see what I'll do, how
I'll adjust to it.
RYAN GERMICK: My goal is to create as much conflict--
RICH MOORE: Checkmate.
Well, I have the same thing.
I think they just have one nail or something.
It's to fold up.
So it folds up.
RICH MOORE: You guys have a slide here in your lobby.
RYAN GERMICK: We have a slide, yeah.
RICH MOORE: That's pretty cool.
RYAN GERMICK: It goes into the lobby.
Correct me if I'm wrong.
I think the entrance to the slide is on a floor that you
can't go on unless you have, like, a special badge.
RICH MOORE: Well, where's it's the fun in that?
RYAN GERMICK: Yeah, that's what I want to know.
RICH MOORE: Why would they-- it's like the Winchester
Mystery House or something.
RYAN GERMICK: There's also, in building 43, there's a bunch
of doors that open into nothing.
It's really spooky.
What are we here for?
RICH MOORE: I don't know.
I came for the slide, and now I'm finding out that
I can't ride it.
RYAN GERMICK: We'll get you in.
RICH MOORE: Do you have a fireman's pole?
Like the Ghostbuster house?
AUDIENCE: New York has one.
RYAN GERMICK: New York has one?
Well, good.
RYAN GERMICK: Oh, of course.
What else do you want to know?
RICH MOORE: Do you have one of those balls where you put your
hands on it, and the plasma makes your hair stick up?
RYAN GERMICK: Oh, like a Tesla coil kind of thing?
I would imagine.
RICH MOORE: You got one of those?
RYAN GERMICK: Nerd fail.
RICH MOORE: Do you have a Jacob's Ladder?
RYAN GERMICK: Is that like a--
Well, it's really cool here.
It's an amazing place.
It's my first time coming to Google.
RYAN GERMICK: We're really happy to have you.
RICH MOORE: Well, thank you.
RYAN GERMICK: You all know this man is a director of
Disney's new film, "Wreck-It Ralph."
RICH MOORE: Thank you.
RYAN GERMICK: But that's just the tip of
the iceberg for you.
RICH MOORE: The tip of the animation iceberg.
RYAN GERMICK: You've done so many things.
I want to go over some of those things as we start.
I have this clicker, and I'm gonna go first.
RICH MOORE: Whoa, this thing just changed.
RYAN GERMICK: Yeah, it changed.
RICH MOORE: Oh, you did it.
So you are a college graduate.
RICH MOORE: I did go to a college, yes.
RYAN GERMICK: Did you graduate?
RICH MOORE: I graduated from a college
with a degree in cartoons.
RYAN GERMICK: Fantastic.
Which makes me the dumbest person in this room.
RYAN GERMICK: Well, college was less expensive.
RICH MOORE: No math.
RYAN GERMICK: I also went to art school.
Which one?
RYAN GERMICK: I went to Parsons in New York.
RICH MOORE: That's nice.
RYAN GERMICK: If they had a cartoon program, I
would have done it.
But they didn't, so I couldn't.
RICH MOORE: I love Parsons in New York.
That's great.
RYAN GERMICK: But I also don't know a thing about math.
I have no idea.
RYAN GERMICK: It'll be just the three of us.
RICH MOORE: We've got all these guys to ask, you know?
RYAN GERMICK: And your school was pretty impressive.
A lot of animators come out of there.
RYAN GERMICK: Started by Mr. Walt Disney.
RICH MOORE: Mr. Walt Disney.
Walt Elias Disney.
RYAN GERMICK: When you work for a Disney movie, do they
just forgive your student loans?
Is that how they pay you?
RICH MOORE: No, actually, they know where you are.
And they were on my back every day.
It was just, the email, every day.
Just a reminder.
It changed again.
Back here.
So I did a little research on the internet.
And you had some pretty amazing people in your class
back at CalArts.
Do you want to identify some of the folks back here?
RICH MOORE: Well, let's see.
That would be me in the yellow shirt, or that
kind of orange shirt.
RYAN GERMICK: Basketball player.
The athlete of the group.
RICH MOORE: Yeah, see, look at that.
No, that's Steve Markowski standing next to me, and I
thin he was holding the basketball.
That's Tony Fucile on the right hand
side, an amazing animator.
RYAN GERMICK: All these people are wicked accomplished.
And we have Andrew Stanton in the black shirt, in
the front row there.
RYAN GERMICK: Director of "Wall-E."
RICH MOORE: Director of "Wall-E" and "Finding Nemo."
We have right behind him Jeff Pidgeon, who is a
story artist at Pixar.
RYAN GERMICK: This is his picture, actually.
I stole it from his--
RICH MOORE: Really, from Jeff?
He's a good guy, you know, to share it with.
Thank you, Jeff.
That's a nice picture.
And right next to Jeff in the Hawaiian shirt, that's Jim
Reardon, co-writer of "Wall-E" and co-writer of "Wreck-It
Ralph." And Jim and I worked on "The Simpsons" together for
a long time.
And right in front of Jim, in the pink blouse, is Brenda
Chapman, the director of "Brave." So a lot of good
people in that class.
RYAN GERMICK: A lot of good people.
That's exciting.
RICH MOORE: Good folks.
Salt of the earth types.
Just good Midwesterners?
RYAN GERMICK: What did you learn in art school?
You didn't learn math.
We know that.
RICH MOORE: What did I learn in art school?
Well, we learned from each other, really, in art school.
As you see, our class was a little bit bigger than this.
This is not everyone in our class.
But we were like a little family.
There were about 25 of us in our class.
And we really learned how to collaborate with one another
very, very well.
At CalArts, then as it is now, the main goal is to produce a
student film at the end of the school year.
And it was always our opinion of our class, like the better
our entire class's selection of films were, the
better the show was.
No one was ever in it just for themselves.

We really helped each other a lot with our films.
And that wasn't always the way in other classes at CalArts.
And I can remember Brenda was working on a movie, a student
film about an old lady who'd been forgotten on her
birthday, and was having some troubles with the story.
So even though it was not something that the rest of us
had any interest in-- doing that type of film was very
serious, it wasn't very funny at all--
everyone kind of put aside our own tastes and really jumped
in to help Brenda with her film.
And that's just the way we were.
And we would always kind of check on each
other and go around.
We really enjoyed each other's company, and we really kind of
honed the art of kind of being there for one another and
collaborating and helping each other make each other's films,
or whatever the project was, better than it could be with
just the one person working on it.
RYAN GERMICK: It's like the Wu Tang of animation.
RICH MOORE: That's right.
Pretty much.

We were year 10 at CalArts of the character animation
And this was also kind of the way that year one was like,
and that was guys like Brad Bird and Joe Ranft and John
Musker, John Lasseter.
This was kind of a tradition and a way of collaborating
that was kind of born earlier at CalArts.
And really, I think when John and Andrew and Pete Docter and
all these guys from that school begin to kind of
creatively percolate at Pixar, what they talk about the
process at Pixar, you hear about that a lot, and the
brain trust, and just that kind of collaborative effort
that goes into all their movies, is really, I think, a
principle that was born kind of from that college, from
those classrooms at CalArts.
So I really look back at those days, like day one, as being
just the beginning of a journey into a wonderful kind
of medium, and mindset that's just served everyone who's
been a part of it so well in their careers
and in their lives.
RYAN GERMICK: So another project that after you got out
of school that you started on was Mighty Mouse-- the "New
Adventures of Mighty Mouse." That was another hugely
collaborative pool of genius.
There was a lot of great people working on that show.
And you have to remember that this was the summer of 1987.
I'm sure a lot of these people weren't born at that time, or
were very young.

You, little guy, I'm sure you weren't around.
And the state of animation was not good in those days.
RICH MOORE: It was-- yeah.
RYAN GERMICK: A lot of cheap stuff.
RICH MOORE: It was a lot of Saturday morning cartoons and
afternoon half hours that were basically commercials for
cereals and for toys.
So it was not as we know it today.
So none of us graduating at that time were really going
into this business for the money or the
prestige or the fame.
We didn't know what we were kind of stepping into, just
that we loved the medium.
So to graduate and then be able to step into a project
like Mighty Mouse, that was spearheaded by Ralph Bakshi,
who was an absolute hero of mine for the different kinds
of things that he tried to make, or that he did make when
I was a young person--
to be working with Ralph as a first job was the best first
job a young animator could have at that time, because
Ralph's a maverick.
He's a bigger than life type of guy who really made a name
for himself in animation and did some great stuff.
And to see him in action, I mean, he's loud,
kind of just big.
It's like Jackie Gleason and Fred Flintstone smushed
together into one weird person.
A lot of people here don't know who either of those
people are.
But it means a big loud guy.
RYAN GERMICK: Who lives with dinosaurs.
RICH MOORE: With dinosaurs.
He was a great man to work with, and a mentor to me,
because you would look at him and say like, wow, if Ralph
could make it in this business, I can too!
He was a real artist, and a visionary, and a wonderful
person to work for.
And on that crew were people like myself, and Jim, Andrew,
Jeff, John Kricfalusi was a major contributor.
RYAN GERMICK: Creator of "Ren and Stimpy."
RICH MOORE: Creator of "Ren and Stimpy." Tom Minton who's
a really well known animation writer, wrote for things like
"Pinky and the Brain." Bruce Timm, who kind of rebooted and
revamped Batman into the animated "Adventures of
Batman." And just a ton of others.
Eddie Fitzgerald.
I mean, I could go down.
RYAN GERMICK: It's an amazing pedigree.
RICH MOORE: It was an amazing, amazing group of people to be
working with, who really loved animation.
We were not there to sell a product.
We were not there to sell a cereal or a toy.
We were there to tell good stories, funny stories, and
make entertainment.
And we were very lucky as graduating artists out of
CalArts to kind of land in that position at that time.
RYAN GERMICK: So you did a bunch of other stuff as well.
But in the interest of eventually talking about
"Wreck-It Ralph." there's a few other projects I want to
hear your thoughts on.
So you were a huge contributor to these guys.
RICH MOORE: Well, yeah.
About a year after working for Ralph, another friend in the
business said, you've got to check it out, because the
Tracey Ullman shorts, "The Simpsons" shorts that they did
for TV, they're going to make a series out of it.
They're hiring people right now.
And they've got some storyboard positions open.
I know you like it.
You should check it out.
Because I love Matt Groening.
I loved "Life In Hell," and just all his comics.
And I loved Jim Brooks.
From a young age, I liked "Taxi," and "Mary Tyler Moore
Show," and his movies that he did.
And it was like, wow, they're going to do a primetime
animated show?
And a lot of people thought, like, oh, well, I give it two
episodes and it bombs.
RYAN GERMICK: 27 seasons later, or whatever--
So that was the summer of 1989.
And I started as a storyboard artist.
And it was a very, very small crew of people, again, who
were there because they loved animation, and they believed
in this project.
And along the way, to just make the story short, I was
promoted to be a director after doing a few storyboards
on that show, because the producers felt that I, out of
a lot of the people there, got the humor and understood what
the show was about.
RYAN GERMICK: And some of the greatest episodes, like the
first Halloween episode.
Well, that particular story.
The first Halloween episode was divided up between the
three directors at the time--
that was myself and David Silverman and Les Archer.
We each took an act.
And I did this act.
Which was so much fun, and I mean, I loved designing the
characters, and it was a chance to kind of do something
very kind of a pulpy '50s schlocky
horror type movie thing.
So it was great to be a part of.
And it's not seldom in your life, or in my life, at least,
that you have a feeling in the moment when it's happening
that you kind of get it.
Like, you get what's going on.
And I remember when I first started directing on The
Simpsons, that reading the scripts that we were producing
and working with that this was really what I got into the
business for.
It made sense, like, well, this is what I wanted to do.
And now I have this opportunity to do it.
And this could be great.
This is as good as like, a Jay Ward cartoon or something.
That this really could be something.
And I had this feeling of I would not be able to live with
myself if I do not give every bit of my heart and soul for
this show, because I wouldn't want to think, like, what if
I'd worked harder?
Could "The Simpsons" have been something?
There was just this moment of dedicating myself to the
thing, of like, I believe in this material so much that I
will do whatever it takes to deliver what I think is the
end result that it deserves.
RYAN GERMICK: What did that mean in real life?
Like, did that mean you pulled all-nighters, or you--
RICH MOORE: I mean, it's funny, because I was just
talking with Amy, who came in with me today.
I would say between 1990 and 1992, that's a big period of
time that I don't remember a lot of stuff other than being
in those studios working on those shows.
Like, who was president, or current events, or what shows
were on, or what movies were out was just out the window.
RYAN GERMICK: "Terminator 2" was decent.
RICH MOORE: And I resent "The Simpsons" for robbing me of
that experience.
But it was at least a year and a half or two years of seven
days a week, 12 to 18 hour days for a year, year and a
half straight of producing those episodes.
No one was telling me to do it.
It was coming from me.
I was demanding myself to be there and just make it the
best it could be, because we were doing it with a really
tiny crew, too.
I mean, a fraction of the people that
work on the show now.
I was doing the job of what they would now divide between
five people.
And the other directors were doing the same thing, too.
It wasn't just me.
It was that very small crew was like, killing themselves,
because they really, really believed in it.
RYAN GERMICK: So that wasn't your only
project with Matt Groening.
RYAN GERMICK: And so it's something that has a lot of
love at Google.
RICH MOORE: Would be this thing.
RYAN GERMICK: Yeah. "Futurama."
RICH MOORE: "Futurama."
RYAN GERMICK: So talk a little bit about going from a
scrappy, upstart, small team to like, kind of the second
version of a kind of vision here.
Like, how did that work out?
RICH MOORE: It worked out that--
well, I was on the Simpsons for the first five seasons,
and then I worked on another show with Gracie Films, who
produces "The Simpsons," called "The Critic." And we
did two seasons of that.
And after that was finished--
see, Matt, even from season two of "Simpsons," always had
the idea for "Futurama." I remember one afternoon, he
took David, Wes and I--
the other directors--
out to lunch, and kind of pitched through this idea for
And we were like, that sounds really cool, Matt.
Are we going to work on that?
Yeah, I'm on it!
When do we start?
Oh, I just have to kind of write some things down.
And then we'll get around to it.
But I'm working on it.
And then in Matt style, he's got so much stuff going on
with "The Simpsons," it was just such a big beast that
took his time.
It wasn't another seven years or six years until I heard
from him again.
And I was now working at another studio called Rough
Draft that was founded by another
CalArts grad, Gregg Vanzo.
And I was a partner in that studio, and Greg was
associated with the Simpsons also.
And Matt came to us and said, OK, I'm doing this science
fiction show.
And I want you guys to work on it.
And it was a pretty scrappy production.
It's not like things became kind of fat and benign.
It was still lean and mean.
Because at that point, "The Simpsons" was still kind of
considered like, well, that's an anomaly.
"King of the Hill" was kind of recreating that success.
And "Family Guy" was kind of happening at the same time as
"Futurama." So Fox was really kind of banking.
It wasn't a done deal.
It was like, well, what can you guys do?
And one thing that Gregg and I said to Matt about "Futurama"
was, look, if it's going to be a science fiction show, the
quality of the animation has to be higher than "The
Simpsons." We can't do like we would do on the Halloween
shows, where we would try to kind of animate cool looking
stuff, and it was a little clunky.
We really wanted it to look nice, but
also in Matt's style.
And that was always Matt's thing, was, well, don't make
it too nice.
I don't want to be shiny.
I want it to look like someone drew it.
So it was at that point that Gregg and his brother Scott
Vanzo, who was the head of technology at Rough Draft,
they kind of cracked and they wrote this program that could
take computer animation and render it with the black line
around it where it looked like it was like toon
shaded type of stuff.
And today that means nothing, but this was in 1989--
or no, 1997, I'm sorry.
Big difference.
So before that, you had stuff like, what was that movie,
"Titan AE," that Fox did?
RYAN GERMICK: Yeah, like particle animated, like fluid
dynamic stuff that's really weird.
RICH MOORE: Well, it was like, all the vehicles looked like
these beautiful, rendered shiny ships, and then with 2D
animation flopped on top of it.
And it didn't marry together.
And it made the world unbelievable.
RYAN GERMICK: Which is maybe a good transition into your
latest picture.
This is a Spanish film, it's a foreign film.
RICH MOORE: I wanted to work in Spanish, you know?
RICH MOORE: I'm from Southern California.
And I have a deep love for our southern neighbors.
RYAN GERMICK: Sure, sure.
So this is totally goes into the realm of computer
generated 3D.
Although before "Wreck-It Ralph," there's a really
beautiful short film that seems to be--
RICH MOORE: "Paperman." Yeah.
RYAN GERMICK: That's really terrific, and plays around
with the 2D/3D--
RICH MOORE: Well, yeah.
It's, again, taking that concept that we were talking
about with "Futurama," of how to kind of
marry 2D and 3D together.
Because at Disney, where this was produced and where
"Paperman" is produced, where I work, it's unlike any other
animation studio today, because we have a group of
traditional 2D artists and animators that are the best in
the world at what they do.
So a lot of credit goes to John Kahrs, who created
"Paperman" and directed it, because he wanted to try and
create something using digital animation, but then also
merging it with the hand drawn art in a way that's different
from what you've seen before.
And I think it's really a beautiful, really successful--
RYAN GERMICK: So even if you go to the theater just to see
that and leave before "Wreck-It Ralph" starts,
that's probably--
RYAN GERMICK: But I'm saying, that's the added value.
RICH MOORE: But the only thing, it's black and white.
RYAN GERMICK: Well, there's spot color.
There's a spot color.
RICH MOORE: There's a little bit of color.
So you're gonna want to stay for some color--
RYAN GERMICK: The first 10 minutes.
RICH MOORE: --in "Wreck-It Ralph."
RYAN GERMICK: So speaking of color in "Wreck-It Ralph,"
let's talk about--
RICH MOORE: Trying to sell it somehow.
RYAN GERMICK: It's in color!
It's an amazing film!
RICH MOORE: Guys, if you want to see a movie in color, come
see this one.
We've got new colors.
We've got some colors you--
it's kind of purple, and a little yellow.
RYAN GERMICK: So besides the color,
there's an awesome cast.
All right.
We're going into "Wreck-It Ralph" land now.
Got it.
RYAN GERMICK: All right.
The cast is amazing.
Very, very good.
RYAN GERMICK: They just seem perfectly cast.
So you have Jack McBrayer, and Sarah Silverman, and John C.
Reilly, and Jane Lynch as the principles.
Can you just talk about what is it like to, as a director,
harnessing the talent of these terrific performers into their
cartoon avatars?
Like, what is that experience like?
RICH MOORE: Well, it was a terrific experience.
When Phil Johnston, who's the screenwriter of the movie, and
I were developing the story for "Wreck-It Ralph," Phil and
I have a similar kind of method.
We really love the characters.
We like to start with the characters, and really start
from the inside of the main character and kind of build
out, rather than just starting with the big world and then
kind of populating it.
So we were always really, really conscious of who these
characters were, and who we thought would be great to
portray them.
And a lot of times in animation, sometimes the
characters will be created and developed without any thought
going into, well, who could play this?
But I'm a firm believer in, there's the old saying that
good directing is 75% good casting.
So we really wanted to play to the strengths of our actors by
creating characters that they felt
comfortable in their skin.
And Sarah Silverman was the first one that really just
kind of presented itself clearly in my mind, because we
knew we wanted to have this world of Sugar Rush that was a
candy kart racing world, game world.
But we wanted the character from that world to be
seemingly innocent but
inappropriate at the same time.
And it was just like, a bell went off, and Sarah's face was
in my head.
So that one was kind of nailed very quickly.
And once we kind of landed on who Ralph was as a character,
as a main character, it was very easy to imagine John in
that role, because I'm a huge fan of John's.
And to me, he can play a character very funny and very,
very flawed.
But what's amazing about those characters that he creates is
that I always care about them.
I always love those characters.
And I want them to achieve their goals and get what they
want, even if it's the character in "Boogie Nights"
that wants to make his bad record.
It's as wrongheaded as anything, but I
want him to get that.
And that just speaks to John's ability to just find the
humanity in every character that he plays.
And I wanted that for Ralph.
RYAN GERMICK: Can I change tracks for one second?
RYAN GERMICK: So I'm wondering about-- we talked a little
earlier, like before the show, because we vacationed
together, and we had this--
But I'm guessing you were a kid who
loved to draw cartoons.
RYAN GERMICK: And maybe a bit of a smart aleck or something,
and you ended up doing like--
RYAN GERMICK: No no no no.
Well, you don't know any math, so something
happened there in school.
RICH MOORE: No math.
RYAN GERMICK: At what point did you go from a kid who
loves to draw cartoons to being someone who thinks about
caring about a character?
Because that transition seems like a very adult, grown up
thing to transform as a storyteller into, like, this
is funny to, like, this is somebody that's going to be
emotionally impactful to me.
Well, I can't say exactly when I realized that component of
But I think that that's something, as filmmakers or
cartoonists or animators, that that's something that they're
always striving for.

Because as we create these characters, we create them to
tell stories.
And in order to do that, they have to kind of reflect the
audience, in a way, or the wishes of the audience, or
feelings and emotion that the audience themselves have felt.

And that was something, going back to "The Simpsons," I
would say that that's where I learned it would be on "The
Simpsons" in those early days.

The goal wasn't just to make a funny cartoon.
And Jim Brooks himself would always say, look, guys, make
the fact that it's a cartoon secondary.
We're not making a show that's trying to show off the humor
of animation or cartooning.
We're making a sitcom, and it happens to be animated.
That's where we sit with this thing.
And with that information, I knew what he meant.
Having watched a lot of sitcoms, and watched a lot of
sitcoms that he had produced and written, I knew exactly
what he meant.
And then it was learning in practical terms
how to achieve that.
And for me, it was never losing sight of the Simpsons
as a family.
That they were very dysfunctional--
over the top dysfunctional.
But at the end of the day, it was always my goal to depict
them as a family.
Like, this is the dad, the mom, and the kids, and the
baby, and they love one another.
And within this household, there are situations that get
out of control.
But they are a family.
And I would kind of inject what I knew of my family into
them and try to create characters that would connect
with the rest of the world.
So I would say it was those informative first years of
"The Simpsons" where that kind of clicked in my mind.
RYAN GERMICK: I have some of these images of the
development of Ralph.
Could you give us the director's commentary of what
you think was going on at this point, and how did it get to
the next level?
RICH MOORE: Well at this point, there was a point in
the development, looking at this picture right now, that
this would speak to kind of the process of finding the
who he is, what he looks like, how he's going
to appear in animation.
And it was at this point that we would depict Ralph a lot as
a beast or a monster or sometimes an inanimate object.
He was a bulldozer at one time with a face and everything.
We knew that he was something that destroyed things, that he
was a wrecker.

And at the same time as this drawing, or this painting, was
being produced and worked on, a story team was working on
the story of the movie.
And in doing that, we were discovering the main
relationship that Ralph had in the movie
with another character.
And in filmmaking terms, or the way that we think about
it, that main relationship between our main character and
another one, between those two lies the heart, as they call
the movie, of the story.
So at this point, we didn't know that Ralph and Vanellope,
that their relationship would be the main one.
And as the story kind of dictated, well, Ralph is going
to become kind of this big brother.
He starts out kind of like a kid himself, because he's
selfish and kind of immature.
And he's going to meet this kid who's got things way worse
than he does.
And he's going to kind of mature into this kind of big
brother character to Vanellope.
So as we start to kind of know that about the story, we look
at this design, these ideas for who Ralph is.
And this doesn't kind of play into that.
When he was an ape or an animal like this one, he
seemed more like a big teddy bear or
something to a little kid.
He didn't seem like a big brother type of character.
It seemed like Sully to Boo, where she thought he was kind
of like a doll or something.
So at that point, once we knew that the relationship between
Ralph and Vanellope was the main one, and it was going to
be an immature guy kind of becoming a parental figure to
this kid, then we started to kind of refine.
And as you can see, it came out just like this.
And then it became more human--
someone that the kid could relate to
him as like an adult.
And the two things kind of help inform one another of
where the design and the story goes.
This is kind of where we end up.
RICH MOORE: And there he is.
RYAN GERMICK: So I know a lot of people at Google, or maybe
in the audience here, are really excited about the
inclusion of the kind of pop culture crossover of video
games in the movie.
My favorite crossover is probably Qbert.
Mine too, I would say.
RYAN GERMICK: There was something about Qbert was
like, it scratched an itch for me.
I don't know what that was.
Because he's kind of weird, and he kind of hasn't really
made it into this generation.
But you still kind of love him anyway.
RICH MOORE: No, but he's out there.
And he's iconic, and just mysterious enough that there
was never a lot of information behind him, other than he was
jumping around on a pyramid changing colors and things.
RYAN GERMICK: Was he swearing?
He had this weird language.
RICH MOORE: Was he swearing?
Was he talking?
And the supporting cast was kind of cool, these weird tear
drop shaped guys, and a coiled snake.
A very strange world.
But super appealing.
Very appealing.
I saw some other interviews that you did.
And people always try to-- it was usually a lot of video
game outlets, and they'll be like, so, are you a gamer?
And I've seen you sort of struggle with the
question, to be honest.
RICH MOORE: Well, because it means so many different things
to different people.
RYAN GERMICK: Totally, yeah.
RICH MOORE: It's like, I've talked to some people like,
well, do you play Xbox Live?
It's like, well, no.
I'm making a movie, guys.
I don't have the time to get on there.
And it's like, well then, you're not a gamer
unless you do it.
So it seems like there's lots of different
definitions for it.
But if it means am I someone that as a kid played games and
followed them through the different iterations of their
history, then yes.

And to be able to take a character like Qbert, from my
childhood, and be able to put it next to a character that
looks like he's right out of Halo, to me is like, that's
better than any math.
That's better than solving any math problem, to me.
RYAN GERMICK: There you go!
Take that!
So I thought I also heard you mention something along the
lines of like, we're kind of at the point where video games
are enough of a part of our culture where there can be a
rich, universal story told there.
And that might actually be a new thing.
It might be only recently, I think, maybe.
RICH MOORE: Well, I think there's a good reason why this
movie got traction right now.
And I know at Disney, they were trying to kind of crack
this one for 15 years, I think, without success, up
until about four years ago when we started to kind of
work on this iteration of it.
And it may speak more to culturally people being ready
to hear a story like this, with video games as the
backdrop of the story, than they were maybe 10 years ago.
I think "Roger Rabbit" came out right at the right time
for that kind of movie, where those types of animation had
been around long enough that children knew what it was, and
very old people knew what it was.
And I think we may be at that point with video games, where
the timing's appropriate.
Like, it knew when it wanted to be made, I think.
RYAN GERMICK: I think the "Roger Rabbit" of video games
is pretty apt, in many ways.
RICH MOORE: That's pretty cool, because I really loved
that movie.
RYAN GERMICK: It's a great movie, yeah.
I think it lives up to it, too.
RICH MOORE: And that's another one that right around the same
time that I was working on "Mighty Mouse." And Disney
Studios was beginning to kind of launch into their second
Golden Age, as they call it, with "Little Mermaid." "Roger
Rabbit" came out also.
So there was like an explosion of animation going on.
It was a right around the time that John Lasseter and Ed
Campbell were beginning to kind of roll with Pixar.
So to have this called the "Roger Rabbit" of video games
is quite an honor.
RICH MOORE: Thank you.
RYAN GERMICK: So this is actually the game in the
movie, "Wreck-It Ralph." And there's an interesting divide
in the movie, I think, between these types of like, Donkey
Kong, Pac-Man, sort of more friendly, accessible games, to
the kind of horror world that Ralph finds himself.
RICH MOORE: Of Hero's Duty.
RYAN GERMICK: Of Hero's Duty.
I thought that was a really apt commentary, because I'm
someone who feels left behind in the ultra violent, ultra
realistic, murky world.
RICH MOORE: Right, the horrific video games.
Does that resonate with you?
Or what kind of commentary-- were you trying to make
commentary there?
Was it--
RICH MOORE: Well, I mean, it was something that started
more as a joke.
And it's like any kind of thing, as people start to
inject a point of view to it, it becomes kind of commentary.
And I think it began as just, like, what would Donkey Kong
think if he was thrown into Halo?

That would be an awesome game, actually.
And it became just kind of like, his thought on it.
But it is interesting.

Why weren't the games ultra-violent
like that back then?
Is it just because we need a bigger rush, or we're callous
to the old ones?
I don't know.
But and when you think about it, what I like about it is
that it does give pause to kind of reflect on something
like that, because do people realize, like, oh my god,
yeah, they are pretty violent.
I would hate to make them not violent, because I think there
is a reason and a need for that type of thing.
But it is interesting.
And I find it is very interesting that over the
course of 30 years, these things have
become very, very graphic.
And I think if it opens up a discussion, then I think
that's good.
RYAN GERMICK: So another one of the games that they enter
in the movie is Sugar Rush, which is kind of like a Mario
Kart racer game.
RICH MOORE: And Candy Land kind of all mixed together.
RYAN GERMICK: So here's something I thought was
interesting in the film was that all of the other games,
like the Hero's Quest and the sort of Wreck-It Ralph," they
have real life analogs.
RYAN GERMICK: But I wonder, this is like the ultra girly,
sort of clearly marketed towards women video games--
those don't really exist.
Has the industry failed women?
Or is that just a stupid stereotype that shouldn't be
pursued anyway?
RICH MOORE: Well, with Sugar Rush, we were trying to play
more like it was for children.
If Hero's Duty was more adult and graphic and more for men,
that this was for little children.

But as to have women been left behind, I don't know.
I guess like, it doesn't seem like--
all I know is that my daughter, let's say that this
was your favorite type of game.
Like Mario Kart, that was one.
My sister destroys me in Mario Kart.
The day that my daughter beat me in Mario Kart was the day
that I knew I should hang it up.
But I didn't.

So I just go by what I know, and that was always a game
that in my house was popular not just for my daughter, but
my son, too.
So it was more kind of trying to depict something like that,
just to give the contrast of these two worlds and Ralph's
journey of going from one that's like this, and violent,
and going to very kid friendly.
But also, it's the point in the story where what I like
about it is it's this very saccharine sweet type of
place, but holds kind of the most nefarious secret of the
story in it.
RYAN GERMICK: No spoilers.
RYAN GERMICK: So talking a bit about the story.
You know "Save the Cat!"
RYAN GERMICK: I have to totally call you on this.
Like, when Qbert gets the cherry, that's a total "Save
the Cat!" moment.
RICH MOORE: It kind of is, yeah.
It kind of is.
RYAN GERMICK: That's cool.
RICH MOORE: But it's cool.
RYAN GERMICK: Yeah, it works.
It totally works.

RICH MOORE: And that book does float around at
our studio a lot.
Some people, that's their Bible, and some people,
"Robert McKee's Story" is their Bible.
RYAN GERMICK: For anybody who doesn't know, and I've never
this book, and I'm a total hack in most things in life,
including knowing story structure.
RICH MOORE: Well, it comes from-- do you know what movie
it comes from?
RYAN GERMICK: No, I don't, actually.
RICH MOORE: Um, neither do I, off the top of my head.
RYAN GERMICK: "Home Alone 3," I'm pretty sure.
RICH MOORE: But the one that they always cite is "Sea of
Love," with Al Pacino, where he's playing
this undercover cop.
The movie begins with all these dads coming in with
their sons, thinking that they're going to get free
tickets to a baseball game.
And it turns out the whole thing is a sting operation,
that all these dads are criminals, and it's been set
up by Al Pacino.
RYAN GERMICK: Who seems like a bad guy.
RICH MOORE: Yeah, who seems like, oh, that's cold, man.
And so as he's leaving the sting, they're locking all
these guys up.
Actually, no.
The guys are coming in without their sons.
It's just a bunch of guys coming in to get free tickets.
And then as Pacino's leaving, in the hallway, the last crook
is kind of coming in.
He's late, and he's brought his son with him-- this little
kid-- and says, am I too late for the free tickets?
And Pacino, seeing this, he doesn't want the kid to see
his dad get cuffed.
He's like, no, we're all out.
You missed it, man.
Maybe next time.
And the guy gets to go away free.
But we feel like Pacino's got a heart, that he's not just
the tough, mean cop, that he cares about this guy's kid
seeing him get locked up.
So that's where it comes from.
And it is kind of one of those moments.

RYAN GERMICK: Can I spoil one thing in the movie?
Is that OK?
The whole ending.
RYAN GERMICK: Can I whisper it into your ear what it is?

RICH MOORE: I think that's OK.
So I like the character arc of a story.
Close your ears if you don't want to hear this.
It's an extremely minor plot point.
RICH MOORE: It's minor.
RYAN GERMICK: I love the way that this develops characters
and the way that characters have an arc in this film.
It's a really good movie.
I really enjoyed it.
RICH MOORE: Thank you.
RYAN GERMICK: But the one thing is that you can't leave
this movie saying that the main character didn't change,
because in the beginning, he doesn't like chocolate, and in
the end, he likes chocolate.
So at least you have that.
RICH MOORE: That's not the one you just whispered to me.
You just ruined the whole movie for these people.

I thought we were friends.
I thought I could trust you.
You invite me to Google.

We're joking, guys.
RYAN GERMICK: There's a million clever
things in the movie.
So a couple here-- like, do you want to
talk about Grand Central--
RICH MOORE: Game Central Station.
RYAN GERMICK: All right.
Bring it on.
RICH MOORE: Well, once we made the decision to set the whole
thing in an arcade, we knew we wanted the characters to be
able to visit one another in the different cabinets.
So as Phil Johnston and I were trying to kind of crack like,
well, how are they going to go from game to game?
And the process that we use is we just kind of throw out any
idea, like how about this?
Where we weren't afraid to say anything dumb.
And there was a good two weeks where we
thought, OK, this is it.
The device that they're going to use to travel from game to
game is that in a toilet, there is a vortex.
And for at least two weeks, we thought this is
in the final movie.
This is so good.
It means nothing.
I mean, it has nothing to do with video games.
It has nothing to do with anything.
But at that point in developing the story, we
thought it was great.
And then two weeks go by, and we thought, the toilet vortex
thing is not so good.
And Phil was living in Brooklyn at the time.
And I was flying out there a lot to New York
to work with him.
And this is one of those stories that you
go, oh, come on.
But Phil was going back to Brooklyn, I was in Manhattan,
staying in a hotel, and we walked over to
Grand Central Station.
I was walking him to his train.
And it was like, man, I think it should just be like this.
It should just be like this.
It should just be like a big Grand Central Station, but
it's in the power strip or something.
And these trains, these are the plugs, you know?
These are the plugs.
And I was like, yeah.
And it would be like Game Central Station, right?
And he was like, yeah.
It could just be something simple like that.

And we were like, are we having an idea right now?
RYAN GERMICK: Did you hug or something?
RICH MOORE: No, it was just kind of, we got very quiet,
and kind of like an animal gets kind of bristly after
it's done what it's built to do, where it's that kind of
like gorillas or something.
And it was like, looking at one another and thinking, I
think something just happened here.
And we agreed, OK, before we decide anything, let's sleep
on it and see what we think in the morning.
And we both as soon as we got up, texted each other, I
really like that Game Central Station idea.
And that's what it was kind of born from.
So if you're ever trying to figure something out, I
recommend going to New York, go to Grand Central Station,
walk around with your friend.
RYAN GERMICK: I'll do it.
RICH MOORE: It comes like that.
RYAN GERMICK: Well, like animals that have finished
building what they came out to build--
RICH MOORE: Animals don't build-- well, beavers do.
RYAN GERMICK: Beavers do.
RICH MOORE: They do.
You're right.
RICH MOORE: They do, all right.
Yeah, they build.
RYAN GERMICK: So if there are any audience questions,
there's a microphone phone around that Chris has.
And he will pass it around.
AUDIENCE: How do you, from a director's role--
RICH MOORE: This is going to be a hard one.
I can tell.
I can already tell this is going to go for the throat.
RYAN GERMICK: It's gonna be a math question.
AUDIENCE: It's gonna be a math question.
2 plus 2 equals window.
AUDIENCE: So my question to you is, how do you as a
director keep your team motivated,
especially your artists?
Since it's such a long endeavor.
RICH MOORE: That's a good question.
Well, it is a long endeavor.
And we worked for four years on this movie.
And sometimes animated films can go on for eight years.
There's some that have gone on for 10 years in development
and production.
And what's interesting is, too, it's a very non
spontaneous process.
And my job is to, by the end, make the whole experience,
what the audience is seeing, feel as if they're watching it
kind of happen right before their eyes as if it was live
action captured on film.
So I would say the way that I kind of keep that exciting or
spontaneous is just we challenge each other in making
the artwork or the performance the best it can be.
I think that I work with a group of people that really
want the best out of everything that they do.
So they're looking to me for guidance on
this kind of thing.

What keeps it interesting and satisfying for the artists and
myself is that I remind myself I'm a director.
I'm not a dictator.
I'm not there to dictate to someone, no, do it like this.
I want it yellow.
And I want it like this, and I want-- you know.
My job is to kind of bring out what this person can bring to
the idea, not tell them.
To me, they're not just a wrist.
And that's where the best of someone comes-- the best of an
artist or technician or production person
working on the movie.
So I always try to encourage the crew to take ownership of
what they're doing, to not look to me
for the final answer.
Like, I'm not going to tell you exactly how to do it.
I want you to discover it, because you are going to bring
something to it that I'm not thinking of.
Your point of view is going to make it better.
So I try not to dictate.
I try not to tell people exactly how they should do it,
because to me, there's no fun in that.
It's not fun for me, it's not fun for the artist.
The fun is to kind of watch the thing grow as different
minds are kind of put onto it.
So I was delighted by the way you captured the essence of
the '80s era video games like Donkey Kong and Rampage and
Elevator Action in the Wreck-It Ralph game.
RICH MOORE: Thank you.
AUDIENCE: I'm curious, what was your creative process for
imagining that game?
And what was the technical process for
developing the visuals?
RICH MOORE: The actual game?
What we did is--
and that was one of the first things that we kind of dove
into was the actual gameplay, or just concept of that world,
what it was about.
And the process was working with the story crew and the
design crew of just kind of creating boards.
First, putting up images of games that we thought that
this was like.
It's kind of like Donkey Kong.
It's kind of like Rampage.
And then breaking down, like, what made those games unique?
How much detail did they have to them?
What were the goals?
And what made them appealing?
And then beginning a lot of visual just boards of
different people's ideas of what can the gameplay be like,
starting with this idea of one guy fixes, one guy wrecks.
And it was months and months and months.
It did not happen overnight.
It was a lot of experimentation, and a lot of
going back to those old games.
Because I found, for me, it was one thing to kind of
remember them fondly and have nostalgic feelings for them.
But to go back and then just see them again with a more
critical eye and more kind of study them was a whole
different kind of experience altogether for myself.
So it was a lot of trial and error.
It was a lot of trying different things and trying to
kind of capture the kind of off-beat nature of them.
They're kind of funky in their concepts.
And that's where the idea of fixing a broken window with a
hammer came from, because it just doesn't make any sense.
But it seemed like, well, but that seems like what they
would have had in one of those old games.
So we never let logic ruin of the good ideas.
And again, it was a lot of trial and error.
It was a lot of going back and forth.
And then we tried designing kind of a very crude version
of the game, what the graphics would look like.
And I think we did that in Flash.
And as we got further into production, we knew we wanted
to build an actual cabinet with the game
in it that was playable.
And for that, we went to someone who programmed games
back in that time period.
And he used the 8-bit boards.
And there's a CRT in it.
We wanted it to be as authentic as it could be.
And because of making that one game, the studio realized,
well, this would be great.
People would love this if we built a bunch of these things
and took them around the country, put them in theaters,
and at old arcades that still exist.
So the first one that we built was made out of a gutted--
it was a Donkey Kong game.
So the studio was saying, we would love 50
to 60 of these things.
So not wanting to be the studio that put 50 Donkey Kong
cabinets out of commission, we decided, well, we're going to
build them from the ground up.
So I think a couple were here.
Did they bring some over?
RYAN GERMICK: Nobody let me play anything.
RICH MOORE: Oh, Google, I am sorry.
I feel like a jerk now.
RYAN GERMICK: Thanks a lot.
Movies in color, everybody.
That's it.
But they did a great job of weathering them.
They really feel like they're 30 years old, and they play
very much like those old games.
I'm really proud of them.
And it happened kind of right in tandem with the movie.
So we made a movie and a game.
Pretty good, huh?
RYAN GERMICK: Not too bad.

AUDIENCE: All right.
So in seeing you with your classmates and hearing you
talk about them and that experience, I realized you
must have been there at the same time that my roommate's
grandfather was teaching.
And I was wondering if you could say something about the
teachers, and specifically if you--
RICH MOORE: Wow, that makes me feel--

AUDIENCE: Uh, Bob McCrea.
RICH MOORE: My father's Daddy Pop's uncle was there.
About the teachers that were at CalArts?
Who was--
AUDIENCE: Um, Bob McCrea.
RICH MOORE: Oh, Bob McCrea was the director of the program at
the time, and he was a wonderful teacher.
He was someone that worked at Disney during the golden age
of animation, and he was kind of a father figure to us.
And he had, let's see.
Hal Ambro was our animation teacher.
Our design teacher was Bob Winquist.
And Bob Winquest took over for Bob McCrae, because he became
ill during our--
he was very old--
during our sophomore year, and Bob became the director of the
department our junior year.
And I really, really loved Bob Winquist.

Not only was he a great designer and a great design
teacher, but he had a way of talking to us in our class.
He was very nurturing.
He really knew how to kind of bring out the best in people.
People in our class who did not consider themselves
designers, by the end of his classes really felt like, wow,
I never knew I could design something.
I didn't know I had this in me.
So he was just someone that really fostered feeling in us
that we could do something in animation.
We had one teacher in particular who felt it was his
job to teach us another vocation, because he said we
would never make it in animation, that animation was
a dying business, and it was going nowhere.
So we really knew how to paint.
We would have to know how to paint paintings to be Denny's
menus covers.
And he thought he was helping us.
But Bob Winquist really instilled in us this feeling
that if enough people with a passion for something were to
go out in the world, that you could change it.
And that you could bring back an art form that seemed at
that time to be--
there's nothing going on.
It was dead.
And I credit him a lot for awakening up our ability to
have vision for the future, and our
careers, and our lives.
And I miss him a lot.
He passed away three years ago.
And he was a wonderful guy.
And so many people credit him as just an instrumental figure
at that school at the time.

RYAN GERMICK: Do we have time for one more question?
This man came all the way from Los Angeles.
RICH MOORE: All the way from LA.
RYAN GERMICK: The land of video game arcades that we'll
never be able to play.

One more?
In the middle over here?
AUDIENCE: So one thing that's really interesting to me is
you talk a lot about how Ralph had go back and be redesigned
several times.
And the game had to go back and be redesigned.
And like, every element it seems like you chose like 30
different things before you finally decided on one.
Have you ever reached a point where--
RICH MOORE: I'm indecisive.
I'm wishy washy.
RYAN GERMICK: I'm not gonna tell you what to do.
It's just gonna--
RICH MOORE: You know what, he flip-flops.
He's a waffler.
AUDIENCE: So it seems to me like a movie is a very-- like,
a really great movie--
RICH MOORE: I thought we were gonna have a debate.
RYAN GERMICK: Yeah, more conflict.
AUDIENCE: So my question basically stems from the fact
that a great movie seems to be a very delicate balance of a
lot of things.
And in being so indecisive you find that balance.
But have you ever gotten maybe halfway through making a movie
before realizing your entire premise was wrong, and either
giving up or starting over on everything?
RICH MOORE: Well, that has not happened to me, personally.
But I know some people that that has happened to.
So it does exist.
It does exist.
Or they won't give up on the whole thing.
But they will try to take elements of something that's
not working and reimagine it as something else.

And I think that having that ability to
do that at a studio--
and it sounds scary.
And it sounds like it's a horrible thing.
But some really good movies have come out of moments like
that, where they were going in one direction and turned into
something else.
And movies at Pixar, things like that have happened.
And I think it speaks a lot to the management of the studios,
like Pixar and like Disney, that are willing to give the
artist and the directors the room to make mistakes and to
try different things and to really take a stab at
something and gamble.
And if it didn't work, then it didn't work.
So now let's try something that did work.
And that's what we always tried to do on this movie was
to be wrong quickly.
Let's just throw it out there and see if it works.
And if it doesn't, OK.
We know what we're shooting for.
We knew early on in this movie who our characters were, when
Phil and I were designing the characters and putting
together the cast.
So we knew from a very early point in the development of
the film who those characters were.
And the story changed quite a few times.
We knew exactly what we wanted to happen to Ralph at the end,
so the mechanics of the thing changed.
And we got there, to the one that we have now, the final
one, by trying lots of different things.
And it doesn't just happen like that overnight.
It takes time to kind of let these things percolate.
And the whole thing has an organic feeling to it.
It grows at its own pace, I believe.
I think things will happen when they want to happen.
Things will be solved when they need to be solved.
And for me, it's just being patient enough to
kind of let it happen.
AUDIENCE: So one quick follow up.
I kind of have a theory that a lot of the really great shorts
come from movies that just couldn't be fished out as long
as they wanted to.
Do you know if any of those were just made from elements
of a failed path?
RICH MOORE: What, like the Pixar shorts?
Or shorts like the classic shorts?
Or just shorts in general?
AUDIENCE: Whatever you know about?
RICH MOORE: No, I think a lot of the shorts that you see
before a Pixar movie or a Disney movie
did begin as a short.
They were imagined as shorts.
I can't think of one off the top of my head that began as
something more than a short.
And usually, they've began as avenues for a new director to
try his hands at directing or getting his feet wet in
something a little more manageable
than a feature film.
I can't really think of something that--
it's a good theory.
I credit you on that.
RICH MOORE: It's astute.
But I don't have any evidence to back up your theory.
RYAN GERMICK: Rich Moore, thank you so much
for coming to Google.
RICH MOORE: Thank you.
Thank you.
RYAN GERMICK: It was truly a pleasure.
RICH MOORE: Thank you, Google.
It's a real pleasure.
RYAN GERMICK: The movie is "Wreck-It Ralph.
It's in theaters November 2nd, and it's in color.
Check it out.
RICH MOORE: In color.
Glorious color.
Thank you very much, everybody.