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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): The 'Grand Theft Auto'-style game that was almost in 'Wreck-It Ralph' -- EXCLUSIVE

The makers of Wreck-It Ralph – Walt Disney Animation’s joyful love letter to the quarter-popping world of arcades — created three fictionalized videogames for its pixel-perfect characters to super jump and power slide through. There was Fix-It Felix Jr., a Donkey Kong-style game in which the film’s titular hero (voiced by John C. Reilly) is the high-rise smashing villain; Hero’s Duty, a space aliens first-person shooter akin to the high sci-fi style of games like Halo; and Sugar Rush, a racing game that’s like a candy-coated version of Mario Kart and plays home to the film’s other ne’er-do-well protagonist, wannabe racer Vanellope von Schweetz (voiced by Sarah Silverman).

Each of the faux titles was meant to evoke a specific gaming experience, but well into pre-production on Wreck-It Ralph, the filmmakers were planning on including a fourth game designed to capture the uninhibited open worlds of games like The Sims and Grand Theft AutoIts name: Extreme EZ Livin’ 2.

Below, producer Clark Spencer explains how this game would have fit into Wreck-It Ralph‘s story — and why it was cut from the film. But first, check out an exclusive first look at concept art for what Extreme EZ Livin’ 2 would have looked like had it made it into the film (click the image to embiggen).

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.

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'Wreck-It Ralph': Read the story, and play the racing game, in new iPad app -- FIRST LOOK

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:

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'Wreck-It Ralph' game trailer -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Wreck-It Ralph is a videogame based on a movie based on a videogame… well, a fictional videogame dubbed Fix-It Felix Jr. The game’s story picks up after the events of the film, but complements its family-friendly action and puzzling play with characters and environments ripped straight from the movie. The game, like its personality-packed celluloid counterpart, is also brimming with cool call-outs to classic and contemporary gaming culture. We look forward to watching Ralph on the big screen — and playing him on the small one—when he stomps into theaters Nov. 2 and onto game consoles October 30.

Check out the exclusive launch trailer below. READ FULL STORY

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