Disclosure: This post is part of my all expense paid trip to Los Angeles, CA provided by Disney, in exchange for coverage. However, opinions are 100% mine
Oh My Disney Dot Com is the scene we’ve all come to refer to as “The Princess Scene”. It’s fitting that Wreck-It Ralph 2 is surnamed Ralph Breaks the Internet because the Oh My Disney Dot Com really did break the internet! It’s no surprise, the princesses are an iconic part of Disney, and seeing them all in their comfy clothes put a personal, real-world feel to the iconic characters that we all know and love. As part of my Christopher Robin red carpet premiere experience, I was able to take part in a presentation on this iconic scene and get a peek at what went into making it.
The Oh My Disney Scene
The Princess Scene, as it’s been referred to, is the brainchild of Pamela Ribbon, blogger and co-writer of Ralph Breaks the Internet. She was the one who first imagined the princesses when they weren’t on their adventures and how they would be just relaxing with each other. Pamela envisioned a scene where Vanellope, a Disney princess herself, should meet the other princesses.
Pamela; Ami Thompson, Art Director; Kira Lehtomaki, Head of Animation; and a host of other talented individuals worked together to bring together a scene that has quickly become iconic of the movie. It’s fitting because the idea of the scene was that, while exploring the internet, Vanellope needed something that would go viral in the film. Getting a selfie with all of the Disney princesses seemed like the perfect vehicle to make that happen.
The question behind the scene quickly became, “Isn’t Vanellope a princess, too?” The answer was yes, Then the question became, “What kind of princess is she?” Obviously, this spunky pistol of a girl isn’t a princess in a dainty dress who bursts out into song. From there, another question arose. “What happens to the other princesses when they aren’t off on adventures and singing?”
That’s when the Oh My Disney Dot Com scene really started to gel.
Making a Meta Scene
For those of you who don’t know, a meta scene is one in which the characters are out of a cannon or in some way outside the setting. All the princesses are, strictly speaking, in their own movie worlds. Normally, Snow White wouldn’t be hanging out with Princess Jasmine. However, in this scene, all the princesses are together in their changing room, and Vanellope – not your classic Disney princess – gets to meet them.
Pamela met with Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, and together they worked to create a scene that would bring all the princesses together. That began with research on Pamela’s part. To create the Oh My Disney scene required a real insight into all the Disney princesses both past and present. To get that, she consulted her friend, Elise, a huge Disney princess fan who had plenty of insight into the princesses and the scene itself. The research and collaboration with everyone paid off because almost all of the first draft is actually IN the movie.
Oh My Disney Gets Tons of “Oh My’s”
When the rough cut of the scene was finished, Rich said, “Do you think we can get away with this?” Remember, this scene is a far cry from the familiar princess scenes we’ve seen all of our lives. With no small amount of trepidation, they pitched the scene. The crowd was tough. Directors and writers who worked on the film, and even directors and writes of other princess movies, were there to see this unique take on the princesses.
What Pamela and Rich discovered when they showed the scene was that the answer to Rich’s question was a resounding, “YES!”
Designing the Princesses
Ami Thompson got into the specifics of creating the princesses, which was a real eye-opener. We’ve only known many of the princesses in the Oh My Disney scene as two-dimensional characters. One of the challenges of the art team was translating those princesses into three-dimensional characters. They all had to look like they belonged in the same world. Each princess had to be redesigned and reimagined individually to ensure that when they were all together they looked like they were meant to be there.
Designing the princesses was essentially a reverse makeover. When you think about princess movies – be the Disney or otherwise – every great one has a makeover scene. There’s always a scene in which the girl is transformed into a princess who is shiny and sparkly. This scene was essentially a reverse makeover scene. Ami Thompson and the rest of the team had to basically reverse engineer a scene which took the princesses from glam to just comfy.
Creating the Look
Initially, all of the princesses were going to be in their pajamas. After going over that look for a while, they realized that it would be a bit TOO laid back. They finally decided on modeling the looks of the other princesses after Vanellope. It gave it a uniform feel, and it also showed that princesses might actually have relaxing clothes other than just pajamas. They decided to go with looks that were modeled after Vanellope’s hoodie and leggings. They even showed Cinderella’s ears, which – fun fact – we NEVER saw int he original movie. Each princess had something in their outfit that referred to their movies. Nothing was left to chance.
Creating the Vibe
After figuring out how the princesses would look, Kira Lehtomaki and her team had to figure out how to make them interact with each other in a believable way. Her animation team actually went to Disneyland to meet with the princess actresses to pick their brains about being a princess, and how that looks and feels.
In addition to getting the right look, the team needed to get the right voices, which meant getting as many of the original princess voices into the film as possible. As they interviewed the women behind the princesses, they began to learn how much of themselves these actresses brought to their roles. These actresses were also interviewed with questions about how each princess would react to specific situations. They also had the help of Mark Henn, the original supervising animator on five of the Disney princess movies, who was on -hand to help make the princesses in the scene as authentic as possible.
All of this led to a scene in which each princess remained true to their characters while being in a world in which they are all good friends. In each and every moment in the scene, the princesses – whether they are speaking or not – all the princesses are still uniquely themselves.
The Oh My Disney Scene is Just One of Many Greats
Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet already has one of the most iconic scenes in any Disney movie to date, but remember something: The Oh My Disney scene is just one of many in this amazing film. Learning about the Oh My Disney scene was just one of the many things I learned about the film while on this trip, and it’s left me with one overall feeling about this film. It’s going to be one of the best Disney has ever put out.
Ralph Breaks the Internet releases in theatres nationwide November 21!!! Don’t miss this!
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