Sugar Rush is a kingdom inside the arcade racing game Sugar Rush Speedway in the film, Wreck-It Ralph. It is an island made entirely out of candy, confections, and other sugary sweets, treats, and snacks. It is ruled by Princess/President Vanellope von Schweetz (though the game was taken over at one point by the villainous King Candy). It's the home of various anthropomorphic cakes and candies, as well as the various racers of the game.
Sugar Rush is a kart racing game which features wonderful colorful 3D graphics. It is much like many Mario Kart games, as Power-ups can also be obtained. As it is a racing game, racers must race through large areas of sweets, candies and chocolate. The speedway itself is filled with exciting twists and turns like Gumball Gorge and Cakeway. It has many attractions like Diet Cola Mountain, King Candy's Castle and the Sugar Rush Speedway. During the cy-bug attack, the speedway gets devoured only to be returned to normal when the true ruler is revealed, Vanellope Von Schweetz.
Places of Interest
Sugar Rush Castle: Home of the infamous King Candy, his majordomo Sour Bill, and King Candy's two donut cops named Wynchel and Duncan. It also contains a hidden chamber that leads to the games code which can be accessed with the Konami Code. It later becomes Vanellope's home when she is revealed as the true ruler of Sugar Rush.
Candy Cane Forest: A forest full of red-and-white striped peppermint trees. It's a favorite hangout spot for Vanellope. It has Laffy Taffy vines, a taffy swamp, and a Nesquik-sand pit. Double-striped canes disappear when touched.
Diet Cola Mountain: A soda bottle shaped volcano with a pit of boiling hot Diet Cola instead of lava. There are Mentos stalactites that sometimes fall from the roof of the volcano, causing fizzy eruptions! Diet Cola Mountain was home to Vanellope, who lived in a secret un-programmed hideaway inside the mountain (by entering through two sugar free lollipops at its base) before she moved into King Candy's former castle. There is an incomplete racetrack within the mountain, suggesting that the mountain was intended to be a bonus level, but the game creators never got around to finishing it; this is loosely confirmed by Vanellope, as she is only guessing it's true. The volcano has two major roles in the movie: it serves as the destination where Ralph teaches Vanellope to drive, and it is also where Ralph eventually goes to kill the Cy-Bugs, by smashing apart all of the stalactites and sending them into the volcano's crater creating a beam of light that instantly kills the bugs in the process.
Sugar Rush Speedway: The Sugar Rush Speedway is a scenic race track that traverses all the environments which make up Sugar Rush.
Kart Factory: The place where all the racers' karts are made. Vanellope and Ralph break into the factory to create a kart for Vanellope. The factory serves as a minigame within the game, where the player has to make their own kart in one minute. The mini game consists of three parts:
Mixing: The player sorts ingredients, dumping the right items into the bowl, while separating the bad ingredients (such as underwear and a fire hydrant) into a trash can.
Baking: The player uses an air pump to heat a large oven to the correct temperature.
Decorating: The player uses a gun to hit targets on decoration dispensers, adding the items to design a personal kart.
Fungeon: A prison located inside King Candy's castle. Vanellope and Felix were briefly held in the Fungeon, until Ralph rescued them. The windows of the Fungeon are made of Pocky sticks that reinforce themselves whenever Felix tries to break them apart ("Why do I fix everything I touch?!") Vanellope's fungeon cell appears to be decorated with a circus-themed mural, with smiling clowns on the walls saying quotes like "Someone's been naughty!" and "You are a bad girl!"
Junkyard: Where destroyed, worn-out, and scrapped karts are stored.
The Sugar Rush Speedway machine is a twin cabinet, allowing 2 players to sit down and race, in the same vein as Outrun or Cruisin' USA.
The lighting team's job of rendering the candy to look realistic and delicious was one of the most difficult jobs in the entire movie.
Lorelay Bove, one of the visual development artists, was inspired by the colorful architecture of Antoni Gaudí on her trip to Barcelona.
Sugar Rush was inspired by the board game Candy Land, as with various cartoon racing games like the Mario Kart series.
Some elements of the Mario Kart games are spoofed here: the power-ups are contained in sugar cubes, the marshmallow holding the stoplight is based on Lakitu, the Sweet Seekers parodying the Koopa shells, the final stretch being based on Rainbow Road (the final racetrack in those games), etc.
Unlike the other video games like Fix-it Felix Jr., Pac-Man and Hero's Duty, Sugar Rush does not appear to have a train that transports video game characters from there to Game Central Station via the game's power cord and back. The train either was never implemented or more likely it was removed or shut down by King Candy, in order to isolate Sugar Rush and its inhabitants from any contact with Game Central Station and other characters, maintaining Candy's deceptions. It is also suggested that most characters from the other games in the arcade can not enter or choose not to enter Sugar Rush. Ralph first enters Sugar Rush by flying through in a shuttle from Hero's Duty, he then proceeds to gripe about how unfamiliar the area is. Later on Calhoun and Felix prepare to enter the game and they use Calhoun's hover cruiser to enter as the train is missing.
However, when King Candy first meets Wreck-It-Ralph, he orders Wynchel and Duncan to send Ralph away "on the first train back home". Also, when Cy-Bugs invade Sugar Rush and Sergeant Calhoun orders the evacuation of the Sugar Rush Residents to Game Central Station, all the residents know to escape through the game portal.
A couple of the "Teddy Graham"-like characters appear at the Fix-It Felix, Jr. 30th anniversary party.
Some concept art appear to show what the train leading to this would've probably looked like.
It's also worth noting that the Random Roster Race, which took place every night after the arcade closed, could have deterred most of the inhabitants from leaving the game especially the racers themselves.
Not counting King Candy, Rancis, Gloyd and Swizz are the only three male racer characters in the game in an otherwise mostly female cast.
Although there is an online and iOS version of Sugar Rush, there has yet to be an exact replica of the actual game cabinet from the film in real life.
The online version runs on the Unity Web Player plugin, while the iOS version is a sub-game in the Wreck-It Ralph Storybook Deluxe app. The Sugar Rush game available in the multi-game app is not a racing game at all, but a platforming mini-game called Sweet Climber, wherein Ralph must bounce his way up a candy cane tree. Another game with a similar basis on the tree-climbing scene is available online, called Candy Cane Catapult . (Other apps with titles containing the words "Sugar Rush" are unrelated to Wreck-It Ralph and not produced by Disney, only sharing the name by coincidence. The term "sugar rush" refers to the fast energy spike given by glucose or by anything with a high glucose content, such as common sugar.)
Diet Cola Mountain could be a reference to gaming in real life; Diet Cola Mountain is supposed to be a scrapped level, but Vanellope managed to make a home out of it. In real life, people can use cheats and hacks to access elements in video games that were scrapped or left unfinished.
It is also based on a popular internet meme involving an explosion in a form of a fountain caused by Mentos being dropped in Diet Coke. The "Bit by Bit" feature about the making of Wreck-It Ralph, which can be found in the Blu-Ray extras (sadly not on the DVD), shows the production team actually trying this experiment themselves.
The CPU room's door is a classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) controller.
For some reason, despite the game having supposedly been released in 1997, Sugar Rush's graphics are the modern CGI used for the rest of the film and with most CG games released nowadays, when games released in 1997 (see Super Mario 64 (Sept. 1996) or Mario Kart 64 (Feb. 1997) for example) often had block polygons like the graphics of game systems like the Nintendo 64.
Just like the Strawberry Shortcake characters, the characters names are involved with candy in some kind of way.
The go-kart selection icons in the kart factory show pictures of go-karts that did not make it into the final film.
One of the paintings in the Fungeon shows a clown in a racecar with a facial expression similar to Turbo's.
Both Fix-it Felix Jr. and Sugar Rush appear to be made by TobiKomi, a fictional game company that means "to jump" or "to dive" in Japanese.
The sign leading to the portal between Sugar Rush and Game Central Station during the Cy-Bug attack scene reads "Parting is such sweet sorrow...", a reference to Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.
The part of the ending where the game is reset to its original glory is visually reminiscent of the ending of TRON where the same thing happens to the ENCOM system. This was probably a deliberate shout-out.
To create the scene where Vanellope and Ralph create a kart, the animation crew visited the Ford manufacturing plant in Detroit, Michigan to watch the entire assembly of Ford trucks for inspiration.