Get ready to blast off into a whole new world when Ralph Breaks the Internet — the sequel to the 2012 hit film Wreck-It Ralph hits theaters this week. Ralph’s follow up isn’t just notable for its distinction from its predecessor, as it prepares to dabble in a whole new generation of gaming and technology, far from it’s 80’s arcade game premise, but also because it has a few powerful tricks up its sleeves. To market Ralph Breaks the Internet, Disney has full-out thrown down the Mickey gloves and hasn’t held back from showcasing their own synergy in one of the more unique ways possible. As showcased in the trailer, Vanellope finds herself caught up in the world of Disney when she visits Disney’s own ‘fan’ entertainment website OhMyDisney.com, and encounters Disney characters from all across The Walt Disney Company, and most notably, all of the Disney Princesses. From what we’ve seen, these scenes are funny and clever, and we’re excited to see it in its entirety.
However, Ralph Breaks the Internet isn’t the only time that Disney characters have crossed over from other Disney films and franchises throughout the years. Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best, and most notable times that other Disney characters have made the venture into other Disney films throughout the years.
Tangled’s Rapunzel and Flynn Rider in Frozen
The first entry in this list is the appearance of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider in 2013’s Frozen, who appear to have made the trek all the way from the Kingdom of Corona to Arendelle for Elsa’ coronation. This appearance sparked an ongoing fan theory about the likelihood of these two films not only existing within the same universe but also having a whole lot more to do with each other than we thought.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit and a Smorgasbord of Inter-Franchise Crossovers
Before Wreck-It Ralph debuted in theaters in 2012 and featured a wide array of video game character cameos scattered throughout, one film has outdone it in its wide use of other properties. That film of course, is the quintessential animated masterpiece, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which features characters from Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, and Paramount. This spectacular film undoubtedly created the art of the crossover, even in a way that remains unparalleled and natural. While there’s so much that could be said about this phenomenal film, having the opportunity to see inter-studio characters like Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny appear alongside each other in a sequence, or see Donald Duck and Daffy Duck battle it out over an epic piano performance, this film has everything.
Sebastian and Pinocchio in Aladdin
Thanks to the Genie’s wacky nature and abilities, the limits were pushed for Disney’s Aladdin in 1992. Paying tribute to John Musker and Ron Clements’ earlier breakout film, The Little Mermaid just three years earlier, Sebastian the crab makes a brief cameo in one of the film’s early scenes, and later in the same scene, Genie briefly shapeshifts into Pinocchio, in one of the film’s best visual gags.
Belle in The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Just a few years after Aladdin’s visual gags and cameos, the tradition continued as the Disney Renaissance continued to evolve, with the forgotten but undeniably spectacular animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996. In one sequence early in the film, Beauty and the Beast’s own Belle makes an appearance walking through the streets of Paris, with her head in a book, naturally.
Parody Films in Zootopia
The most recent film on this list is Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia, which doesn’t feature any character interactions but is memorable for a hilarious sequence where Duke Weaselton attempts to profit off cheap knock-offs of Disney animated movies. Included in this lineup of tacky films is Pig Hero 6, Wreck-It Rhino, Wrangled and then-upcoming films, Meowana, Floatzen 2, and Giraffic (a parody of the now-canceled Gigantic film). These films are some of the first times Disney has openly parodied their own work in one of their animated films before Ralph Breaks The Internet makes significant use of their parodic ability.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Ralph Breaks the Internet hits theaters on November 21st! Be sure to see it, and keep your eyes wide open for a large smorgasbord of Disney references!
Mitchell Stein is the founder and operator of the Disney-fan based website The Mickey Mindset which is a leader in delivering Disney news, articles and opinions across the company. He can be contacted by following him on Twitter @MitchellStein1.