PROFILE: Vanellope Von Schweetz
One of my favorite characters in the Disney universe is Vanellope Von Schweetz, the diminutive hero/antagonist in Wreck-It Ralph. She is voiced by comedian Sarah Silverman who animators drew inspiration from.
She made her first appearance in 2012's Wreck-It Ralph. She is from the video game Sugar Rush, a Japanese chibi racing game. The problem is that she is a "glitch" and isn't allowed to race with the other racers. King Candy, the leader of the Sugar Rush Racers, explained that if a glitch were to race, players could think something is wrong and lead to the game being unplugged leaving all its residents homeless. Vanellope, nonetheless, dreams of racing and winning.
As a glitch, she is a pariah and mercilessly bullied by the other racers, especially Taffyta Muttonfudge. One day, she comes across an oafish visitor to Sugar Rush. It, of course, is Wreck-It Ralph who crash landed there after getting the hero's medal in another video game called Hero's Duty. She steals his medal and makes him help her get in the race in order to get his medal back.
The two work together and, while Ralph is initially irritated by her, they quickly become friends. The two are all set to go to the race when King Candy gets Ralph to believe the story of how glitches can ruin the game. And, since she is a glitch, she wouldn't be able to leave the game. Believing he is protecting his friend, Ralph destroys Vanellope's car so she can't race. But, soon, Ralph learns the truth about Vanellope and King Candy. Candy was actually Turbo from another race game that had become obsolete. He entered Sugar Rush to, once again, become the greatest racer in video game history. He tried to delete Vanellope from the game, but she ended up becoming a glitch. All the residents of Sugar Rush were made to forget her.
Ralph then finds Vanellope and helps her get back in the race. They manage to defeat King Candy and she wins the race. After winning the race, she becomes a princess and, suddenly, the residents of Sugar Rush remember her. They all embrace her in the end and Vanellope walks away with a best friend in Ralph.
In Ralph Breaks The Internet, Vanellope and Ralph have a wonderfully established relationship. But the Sugar Rush game breaks down when the steering wheel comes off. They discover a wi-fi router that sends them into the Internet where they hope to save Vanellope's game.
While Ralph does not enjoy being in the fast paced world of the Internet, Vanellope is totally enthralled. They end up going into the dark web where they are told they can get the money for the new steering wheel if they steal a car from Slaughter Race. But, they are outsmarted by the racer Shank who, despite their attempted theft, is impressed with Vanellope and helps them out by telling them to do viral videos.
In order for them to get more likes, they had to do market him. Vanellope goes out to do this, but ends up in the Oh My Disney web site where she meets the Disney Princesses. Since she is a princess herself, she is accepted into the group. She also realizes that she wants more than Sugar Rush and thinks Slaughter Race might be her destiny. At the same time, she doesn't want to hurt Ralph. But, Shank encourages her to talk to Ralph. Ralph, however, does not take it well and the two fight. But, as all stories go, they are reunited and Ralph eventually understands and accepts Vanellope's wishes.
While some might dismiss her as a simple cutesy character, she's got lots of layers. Her sassy personality can get her into trouble, but, at the same time, shows that she has an inner strength that allows her to connect with her inner desires of wanting more with the world. She is just a great character all around and that is why she is one of my favorites!