How Ralph Breaks The Internet's Princess Scene Came To Be

The filmmakers of Ralph Breaks the Internet discuss the much-hyped Disney princesses scene and explain the origins of the standout sequence.

One of the most popular things since the trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet was released, is the appearance of the Disney Princesses.  Many Disney fans are anticipating the 57th animated feature from the Disney Studios just because of them.  Co-Director Phil Johnston, who helped make Wreck-It Ralph and Zootopia, talked about bringing back the original voice actors for the princesses.

In Ralph Breaks the Internet, Ralph and Vanellope need to keep Vanellope’s game Sugar Rush from being scrapped.  The duo journey into the Internet to find a rare replacement part that can fix her game. During their adventure, Princess Vanellope von Schweetz ends up face to face with her fellow princesses.  Explaining the process, Johnston said, “Well, we did the scene first with temp voices. And so, we knew what the scene was all about when we went to them. And we sent them the sides, so everyone knew kind of what the scene was like. And we thought, well, I hope everyone's game to do something that's part irreverent, but respectful of their characters at the same time. And every single actress that we went to loved the idea.”

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Johnston continued:

“And actually, when they came in, they helped to elevate the comedy as an actor does, or scene as an actor does, and would point out like, well, my character wouldn't say it like that. She would say it a little bit more like that. And it just added that extra kind of layer of authenticity to the princesses. Because as we got to work with each one of them, it became really apparent to us that they really embody those characters.  There is a huge part, just, beyond the voice, that they provided, obviously. So much of the character is embodied by their personalities. It was amazing.

“And we even… after each record session, set apart a little time where the actress would sit with our animation department.  Just to kind of talk about the characters and the approach that they have when they played the characters. And it was great to watch, this new crop of animators who were inspired by, say like, The Little Mermaid or the movies from the 90’s to meet these actors that provided the voices. I mean these were the characters that inspired them to become animators. So, it was a great thing to facilitate.”

Johnston went on to explain the origins of the scene and how it was conceived:

“It started as this idea of, wouldn’t it be funny if somehow Ralph was taking one of those kinds of quizzes or tests of like, are you an Anna or an Elsa? He and Vanellope getting into an argument over it. And we thought, well, wouldn't it be funny if somehow Anna and Elsa are there? And that started us kind of thinking. Well, how could we do something like that?

“And then we realized, there's that fan site, the Disney fan site. And oh my God, wouldn't it be great to do a set piece that was all Disney? And why not have fun, at our own expense of the characters and their foibles. And what makes them weird, and what's kind of crazy about them. And the fact that that even within the Disney pantheon, Ralph and Vanellope feel like kind of misfits. So, it was fun. Just the idea of putting Vanellope in that world and what she would think of it was kind of the emphasis of the whole thing really.”

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