2012’s Wreck-It-Ralph featured appearances from a nostalgia-inducing array of video game characters, but as the sequel takes the action online, the possible cameos are limited only by the legal rights. And since this is a Disney movie we’re talking about, perhaps it was to be expected that Ralph Breaks the Internet would find a way of working some princesses into a scene.
All the same, it comes as a slightly surreal moment near the end of the film’s trailer when Sarah Silverman’s Vanellope arrives in a room that’s flooded with familiar faces spanning several generations of animation history. In an interview with ComicBook.com, writer Pamela Ribon reflected on the sequence and how it came about, saying that they were aiming for a ‘meta’ moment.
“I was still working on Moana in 2014 when they started working on the treatments and the ideas for this sequel,” Ribon said. “I was also thinking at the time, ‘Why isn’t Vanellope canon? She is a princess. She’s also a president, as she has clearly stated.’ I believe a woman can have more than one title. And I felt like this is, of all the princesses, I’m the one in the hoodie. I love my comfy clothes. And I just had this idea in the back of my head. So when we were working on this movie, and we all got back together after Zootopia in early 2016, we knew that we’d like to do a scene that was meta. As we were talking about all these different parts of the Internet you gotta be meta. It’d be fun to have a scene of Disney poking a little fun at itself.”
Of course, in these early script stages, you could argue that it was less a case of Disney poking fun at itself than Ribon poking fun at Disney, and so the scribe was a little worried that the studio wouldn’t be too pleased with her mocking the various tropes of the animated princesses.
“So I wrote the scene, and I read it. And then I had a panic attack, and I laid down on the floor. And I was like, ‘Well I’m either going to be fired or this might be a big deal.'”
Evidently, the joke at least made its way into the trailer and will presumably feature in the final cut, which is more than you can say about all the Star Wars jokes that the movie had planned. Co-director Rich Moore recalled earlier this month how the pic was originally going to include a jab at the villainous Kylo Ren, likening Adam Driver’s character to a spoiled child, but the gag was ultimately taken out at the request of Lucasfilm.
Nonetheless, you can expect plenty more crossover moments when Ralph Breaks the Internet arrives in cinemas on November 21st.