Who is the voice of Vanellope in Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph”?
—Adrianna Korda, Lincoln. Neb.
That would be Manchester, N.H., native Sarah Silverman, 42, who is best known for her biting, sometimes controversial standup comedy. For many she was a surprising choice to join the Walt Disney family, but the truth is, she loves kids and she’s a huge Disney fan.
“Seeing the script, I couldn’t believe what a gift I had been given. I know this girl. I had a total handle on her. I fell in love with her,” says Silverman, who admits to tearing up while watching several animated Disney films.
And then as the character came more and more to look like her, it got even better. “As the character developed, the sketches changed. When I first saw the eyebrows, I was like, ‘Hey, that’s like me.’ And when the hair turned black in a ponytail… It’s so neat. It was already so cool to be in a Disney movie.”
Silverman, who doesn’t have kids of her own, took a look at the final version of Vanellope and realized they had a lot in common. “I think she’s kind of an every-girl. She’s obnoxious, she’s precocious, she’s scrappy and she’s tough, but like any tough kid, she’s scared. She’s tough because she is scared inside, and that is very relatable.”
Silverman, who recalls her own fears as a kid growing up, was also a natural to play a character in a movie about video-game characters from the ‘80s because she is very familiar with games from that era.
“We had an arcade named Space Center where I grew up in New Hampshire, and my sisters and I went there all the time,” she says. “I can smell the quarters. I played everything: Astroids, Frogger, I loved Centipede and Paperboy. And there was a game called Joust in our local Dairy Queen that I mastered between dipped cones.”