Disney designed, programmed, and constructed a working arcade machine of Fix-It Felix Jr. for the 2011 D23 Expo (and yes, it does look like it was made in the 1980s)! You can even play the game at Disneyland's Starcade in Tomorrowland, no quarters needed!note It's also available at DisneyQuest at Walt Disney World in Florida, but that requires separate paid admission. With this film being about original video games, expect more of these to come!
You can play the game, along with Hero's Duty and Sugar Rush, on the movie's official site, and on the iPad. However, since the movie website version was once marked as "beta code", the Disney.com Games version and, by extension, the Facebook version of Fix-It Felix Jr. is more faithful. Of the three games, only Fix-It Felix Jr. is available on mobile phones.
Taking cues from Pixar, Disney made a series of TV commercials for Litwak's Arcade, each set in a different year. The first, set in 1982 and featuring the Fix-It Felix Jr. arcade game, is also made to look like it's ripped from a 1980s VHS tape, poor quality and all! The other two commercials feature Sugar Rush Speedway (circa 1997) and Hero's Duty (circa 2012), with a bit of Serial Escalation involving birthday giveaways.
Fan Nickname: The four main characters are often called "the Core Four".
God Never Said That: Many people on the Internet insist that Mario didn't get a cameo because Nintendo's price was too high. In a video interview (around 15:30) with FirstShowing.net, director Rich Moore clearly states this is false. He thinks the rumor grew out of a joke John C. Reilly made at the San Diego Comic-Con, saying "Luigi wants more money than Mario," which the rumor mill morphed into an "official" statement by Moore himself. (See What Could Have Been for the real reason Mario didn't get cameoed.)
Hey, It's That Sound!: Too many to list. The movie's like a pop quiz for gamers if they can recognize all the classic video game sound effects.
AlanTudyk does an uncanny Ed Wynn impression (especially like his characterization of the Mad Hatter in the animated Disney film of Alice in Wonderland) for King Candy. Curse his sudden and inevitable betrayal!
Name's the Same: King Candy's "Fungeon" is a pun on "Fun" and "Dungeon". There is a place in a medieval-themed Las Vegas resort that's called the Fun Dungeon (Made long before the movie). Thankfully it's nothing like Sugar Rush's Fungeon.
In the Japanese dub, other than Sonic the Hedgehog, no one of the characters from the Japanese-developed games keeps their original voice actors.
Playing Against Type: All of the main cast are well known for appearing in films and TV shows that no self-respecting parent would let their kids watch until they reach at least 13 years old (The Sarah Silverman Show, Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job, Chicago, Modern Family, Married... with Children, Glee, etc).
Well, Kenneth himself could really only be considered family-friendly, but his show (30 Rock) isn't.
Personality-wise, Calhoun is a somewhat more intense version of Glee's Sue Sylvester with a PG-rated vocabulary and a fondness for cool/funny aphorisms.
The villainous King Candy/Turbo is a far cry from Alan Tudyk's usual heroic/anti-heroic roles.
Saved from Development Hell: The first traces of the premise appeared as early as the late 1980s when it had the Working TitleHigh Score. Then it was revived in the 1990s, dropped again, and re-revived in the early 21st century into what it is now. It was supposed to be screened before Tangled, and then after it, and then it was Cancelled, and then Un-Cancelled and so on.
Troubled Production: Averted in that after the film finally became a firm go at last, the production proved so smooth that Disney decided to shift the release to an earlier date because it was done ahead of schedule.
Considering that the filmmakers wrote and even animated some scenes with cameo characters in mind, even before obtaining legal permission from their respective creators, this was bound to happen:
Dr. Wily was originally in the Bad-Anon support group, but he was removed from the final film for unknown reasons.
Concept art of the Tapper's scene includes Glass Joe as one of the patrons.
Mario was originally planned to have a cameo in the movie, but according to the director Rich Moore and screenwriter Phil Johnston, they didn't know what to do with him. They thought Mario was too important for a sight gag, but couldn't come up with something that had more substance (it wasn't about the fact that using him in the movie would be expensive due to licensing fees: see God Never Said That). Rich Moore hopes that if a sequel gets made, Mario (and possibly Luigi) can find a place there. Mario does get mentioned in the movie.
Felix: I'll bet that's Mario! Fashionably late, per the norm.
However, it's been said stated that Mario will appear in the sequel, and have a more prominent role. As well, Dr. Wily has been rumored to appear, as well as Mega Man.
It's to be hoped that, if Tron appears in a speaking role in the sequel, they get Bruce Boxleitner to voice him.
Originally, Felix was the lead character with Ralph as the supporting one. They were two video game sidekicks who traveled into the other games together in order to become heroes and Ralph himself was hairier and more Donkey Kong-esque. This shifted around as Ralph became a more interesting viewpoint for the story and they realized how Ralph and Vanellope's big brother/little sister dynamic might appear to be recycling Monsters, Inc..
Q*bert's role as a homeless character was originally written for Dig Dug, but Namco took offense. Dig Dug still appears in the final film, getting out of Ralph's way in Game Central Station.
Game Central Station was also meant to be more grimy and run down, similar in appearance to the back alleys of Los Angeles, but the crew felt it be more appropriate if Game Central Station looked more like an airport terminal.
King Candy was originally intended to have a slightly different role in earlier drafts. Though he would still attempt to stop Vanellope from racing because he had usurped her throne, he and Turbo were different characters, with King Candy merely being The Dragon. According to deleted scene commentary Candy was originally going to redeem himself once everything hit its worst, leaving Turbo as the true Big Bad.
A fourth game was proposed for the script called Extreme E-Z Livin' 2, which would've been a mix of Grand Theft Auto and The Sims. Instead of going back to the Fix-It Felix Jr. game to show off his medal, Ralph would've gone there instead with a native of that game as his guide that he met while being in the Hero's Duty jail cell. While enjoying the recreational facilities in the sim game, Ralph realizes that Vanellope is more important than the medal, bails out, and heads back to Sugar Rush. This sequence was even taken to the storyboard phase before the team eventually scrapped it because it seemed to drag the plot in an unnecessary direction, and added 20 minutes to the already-90-minute-long film. Moore hinted that they may include it if a sequel is produced.
Sgt. Calhoun was originally planned as male, but Rich Moore thought that the character would be boring that way and thus the sarge became a woman.
If going by the defictionalized arcade machine back at that year's D23 con, the design of Niceland Apartments was more bland, and Fix-It Felix Jr.'s design makes him look like a Captain Ersatz of Mario. By the time we saw the first trailer, the apartment's design became more intricate and Felix is redesigned to be a lot more distinct to the person who seems to have inspired him.
Minor character Candlehead was initially named "Minty Zaki" before that name was given to another racer (initially named "Emmareld") later in development. Other racers' names were also changed around, with Rancis Fluggerbutter's original intended name being "Peterbelly Buttercap".
Disney asked for permission to use Dragon's Lair characters, but Don Bluth turned them down. The cabinet still appears in the arcade though.
The Jawbreaker Canyon scene in the race is very reminiscent of a Dragon's Lair level, the one with the bowling balls.
Joe Jump and Reboot Ralph, the prototypes of the film, had more focus on game jumping and were apparently more like Who Framed Roger Rabbit (except for video games), though the main character's dissatisfaction for his role still persists.
Concept art for the Tapper sequence features additional Nintendo references: Glass Joe is seen as a customer in one drawing showing an early version of how Ralph hears about Hero's Duty and the Lost and Found box included the Master Sword and a Piranha Plant.
There were numerous scrapped Sugar Rush racers from the concept art, including a witch racer who drove Gloyd's cart, a Girl Scout racer, and a baby racer driving a cart made from a slice of birthday cake.
In test screenings, it was Chun-Li acting as the DJ to the party instead of Skrillex.
Word of God: Achieving the Nicelanders' deliberately choppy animations was much harder than it looked, as the animators, who were trained to make graphics and animation as smooth and cutting edge as possible, were suddenly asked to downgrade the quality of their work in order to achieve the retro-looking effect.
Working Title: Was originally called Reboot Ralph and Joe Jump. (Though it should be noted that those versions of the film, other than involving video game characters, had somewhat different premises.)