A Walt Disney movie is rarely just a movie. For generations, parents and kids have been gladly re-digesting Disney movies in theme parks, tie-in toys, and, most of all, illustrated storybooks. The videogame-based animated adventure Wreck-It Ralph, however, presented the folks at Disney with a unique opportunity. The film features three fictional games inside it: The Donkey Kong-esqu “Fix-It Felix,” the Halo-inspired “Hero’s Duty,” and the Mario Kart-ian “Sugar Rush.”
Producer Clark Spencer tells EW that the filmmaking team spent six weeks figuring out just how each of the film’s three videogames would work, from power-ups to level design. “The interesting thing is we show maybe a minute-and-a-half of that gameplay from the outside,” he says. “And then you’re into a story and then you never see that gameplay really again. But to us, we had to figure out the entire game, otherwise we wouldn’t know what we wanted to tap into or not tap into [for the movie].”
With the explosion in tablet computing over just the last few years, however, Disney realized that audiences could actually play those games for real. EW has an exclusive first look at the deluxe storybook app for Wreck-It Ralph, which includes both an animated storybook of the film, and a fully playable version of “Sugar Rush.” Check it out below:
Spencer says the storybook team worked closely with the filmmakers to select the right moments from the movie to highlight in the storybook, and the art team began working on the animated illustrations a year out. He remains gobsmacked by how quickly the technology has advanced since his first Disney animated feature, 2002's Lilo & Stitch. "The last film I did was Bolt, and [Storybook apps] did not exist as an idea," he says. "To think in four years how it's changed is really pretty phenomenal. If I was a kid, I'd go crazy [for this]."
The Wreck-It Ralph deluxe storybook app is available on Nov. 1 on iTunes, for $6.99.