In the promotional trailers and videos so far, Penelope visiting the princess dressing room in Ralph Breaks The Internet is by far the most memorable scene.
The nostalgia of 3D animating of all fourteen princesses became a dream come true for Disney animated fanatics. Not only that, there are countless Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the scene that Disney sleuths will need to pause frame-by-frame to catch them all.
LRM Online traveled to the Disney Animated Studios earlier this summer to sit down with Pamela Ribon, writer, Ami Thompson, art director of characters and Kira Letomaki, head of animation on the discussion of the famous “Oh My Disney” scene.
They told us about the Easter eggs like the t-shirt designs, modeling the scene after the Dream Suite in Disneyland and coming up with all the voices.
Ralph Breaks the Internet opens in U.S. theaters on November 21.
Read our interview transcript below.
LRM: Wonderful presentation. I do want to remark one very important thing is that a lot of people have seen this, a princess video and they loved it so much that they’re going to watch Ralph Breaks The Internet just because that. How do you feel?
Pamela Ribon: [Laughs] That’s what the trailer is for, right? The trailer is to entice people to come see the movie. I guess it’s doing it’s job. [Laughs]
Ami Thompson: That’s great that people are coming to see the scene. There’s so much more they’re going to get to see. That’s exciting.
LRM: Is there actually more than what we actually have seen with these princesses?
Kira Lehtomaki: Maybe. [Laughs]
Ami Thompson: There’s also a a whole movie! [Laughs] I mean a whole movie about Ralph and Penelope.
LRM: Not the princesses? [Laughs]
Ami Thompson: I mean maybe in the future, but that’s not this one. We have to finish this one.
LRM: Absolutely. When you came up with the idea of this scene, did you already have envisioned the 14 princesses or was it a much smaller scale?
Pamela Ribon: No, it was these, this, this group of gals. They’re the canon princesses, the official princesses at Disneyland that have had their coronations. Sometimes you do talk about their people. For me, it was those specific Disney animation princesses of other movies that have come out of this building.
LRM: The process of actually developing all of this–how did you manage basically processing that we want this joke or we want this Easter egg from this specific princess and so on. Have you ever thought that some people may not even catch it?
Pamela Ribon: I’m confident that there are things that people won’t catch until hopefully for the umpteenth time.
Kira Lehtomaki: I’ve must’ve seen it a hundred times. [Laughs]
Pamela Ribon: Now there are times where I’m like I’m gonna have to go back and watch it. I haven’t seen that yet. I think the important thing about putting in those like little fun Easter eggs–it’s like you never wanted to detract from what the scene is about or what the point of the story is. You don’t want like all of this distraction over here just for the sake of like, “Oh yeah. We threw this little nod and do this.” It’s decoration to set the scene for what the story and the emotion of the scene.
Ami Thompson: There are authentic moments too. They add to the believability of this scene.
Kira Lehtomaki: That’s like for the t-shirts designed that we have done. We want to put a meaning for every, each princesses.
Ami Thompson: There’s not a shot on every tee shirt to make sure that you see it. It’s just kind of if you happen to notice and to make it out of it.
LRM: Well that’s interesting that you basically come up with a tee shirt design for every princess. How many different variations of t-shirt designs did you finally ended up?
Kira Lehtomaki: [Laughs] It was countless. A lot of fun.
Ami Thompson: We have more than one meeting. [Laughs]
Kira Lehtomaki: I was so excited. [Laughs] I get to go to a meeting coming up with practice t-shirt ideas. It was well attended. Did not skip that one. It was a fun time.
Ami Thompson: It’s not just the designer. The whole group just decided to come up with that idea.
Kira Lehtomaki: We would email them in too.
Ami Thompson: Kiera, had like a bunch of ideas. I have a bunch of ideas too. We just kind of did a couple of them. No, like hundreds of them. It was just on deciding to narrow down the idea.
LRM: What are the chances that the Disney Products is going to make some of these tee shirts in real life?
Ami Thompson: I hope so because I will be the first in line to buy. [Laughs] I’m already wearing the shoes. I got my princess shoes. I will get a whole new wardrobe.
LRM: For each of you, which t-shirt that you hope that they will make it in real life and that you would wear?
Pamela Ribon: Sleeping Beauty. That speaks to me. [Laughs]
Kira Lehtomaki: I always found a kindred spirit in Ariel. She was a collector and so I wouldn’t be able to choose one. I would have to find them all. [Laughs]
LRM: There could be a hundreds of these designs that come out. Right?
Kira Lehtomaki: Well I’d have to buy them all. [Laughs]
Ami Thompson: I really like Meredith’s shirt. I also love Mulan’s bomber jacket too. The second I saw it that I need one of these. How can I have a real life? One of these please. That thing is cool. It is cool.
LRM: The setting is imitated after what the Dream Suite at Disney land. Did you ladies actually have a chance to actually step into that room yourselves and what was that like?
Kira Lehtomaki: Some of the designs team were able to go into that room. That’s where we got a lot of inspiration for the princesses dressing room. They had this like the mirrors and the archs. It referenced on to what the princesses room probably look like. They also had this specific emblem right in front of that to the suite room. That’s how we got the idea of placing it for each one in front the princess of the mirror. We can recognize that on who sits where.
Pamela Ribon: I have not been in this room.
Kira Lehtomaki: It’s very magical. [Laughs]
Ami Thompson: I have not been in it either.
LRM: You just made everyone jealous that they worked on the project and you’re the only one who knows what this room.
Kira Lehtomaki: It’s not just me. There were others in the room from the design team.
Pamela Ribon: I was hanging out talking to the princesses figuring out like, “What’s your personality like?”
Kira Lehtomaki: Jealous. You get to talk with them.
LRM: You did the what the voices? When you were pitching this presentation–did you really do all the voices yourself?
Pamela Ribon: Yeah. In that clip you saw. All the princesses were me. I do a lot of the voices in the movie.
LRM: For some of us, we could probably maybe do try to imitate one or two voices, but how did you do all them? What’s your background to come up with 14 different voices? You must watch a lot of Disney movies.
Pamela Ribon: I have an acting background. I’m a decent enough mimic. If I can hear something, then I can try and duplicate it. All of their voices all live in different parts of their body. Some of them have their voices in their heart. Some of them it’s up in their nose. It’s no different than how they were drawing and designing and animating. They know how someone moves. They put their, put their voice somewhere else. No one could see me. That’s the thing. You just have to hear it.
LRM: Obviously, this is the princess room and we’re probably going to have to watch the movie to see more. Where do you suppose are all the princes at? Where are all the men in the movie? Is there a separate room for the locker room?
Kira Lehtomaki: Are they relevant?
Ami Thompson: I don’t know on where the men are. They have their own thing going on. When you see the movie and the world is a little more opened up–I think you’ll understand.
LRM: Such a tease. Okay. Well thank you very much.
Source: LRM Exclusive