Comic Con: Day One included a few panels and a lot of walking around the show floor. I am going to make this simple; I will list each panel I attended and delve into the details for each. I will conclude by summarizing my trek on the show floor.
11:00AM – 12:30PM – Disney: 3D Panel (Hall H)
This panel was located in Hall H, the largest room at the San Diego Convention Center. When I got to this event at around 8AM, there was a line of over 1500 people wrapped around the building! Little did I know today would be my lucky day. My first strike of luck came during this panel. Somehow I bypassed the entire line by befriending some front-liners (who all slept outside overnight!) who kindly let me sneak in with them. Once I got into Hall H, I was given 3D glasses. Fun fact: This panel is the first in Comic Con history to shoe 3D visuals during the presentation. Three upcoming Disney movies were discussed during this panel: “Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “Tron.” The panel was moderated by Patton Oswalt; he sat with the director of each film and discussed its current state of completion.
First up was Robert Zemeckis, writer and director of “Disney’s A Christmas Carol.” Zemeckis discussed the gorgeous animated film and how it relates to the term “uncanny valley.” As technology continues to evolve every day, computer animation becomes more realistic and human-like. The example he used for this particular movie was the retina (eye) movements. They are very real and genuine movements. To show off what he has in store for audiences, he revleaed a never-before-seen (and Comic Con exclusive) scene from the movie. Simply put, “A Christmas Carol” looks fantastic in 3D and it will be a sure fire hit when it lands in regular, IMAX 3D, and 3D-optimized theatres this November. The film stars an animated, but very real looking Jim Carey. In fact, Jim Carey will be playing eight characters (including Scrooge and the three Ghosts of Christmas).
Next was Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” One sentence sums it all up: This movie is going to ROCK. After a very brief discussion with Oswalt, Burton unveiled the first official (and also never-before-seen, Comic Con exclusive) trailer for the movie. The trailer was so good that it was played three times in a row, in 3D of course. After the third showing, Johnny Depp made a surprise appearance on stage. No discussion here; Depp said hello, goodbye, and left the stage. Although this was a quick meeting with Burton, the trailer made it all worthwhile. Up to this point, only stills from the movie had been shown; witnessing these strange and colorful characters come to life was magnificent. Expect this gem to be released in regular, IMAX 3D, and 3D-optimized theatres in March 2010.
Last was Sean Baily and Steve Lisberger’s sequel to the 1982 film “Tron” called “Tron: Legacy.” (Note: Baily and Lisberger are the movie’s producers.) They discussed the premise of the film in short detail, quickly jumping to test footage and two bass-heavy and visually stunning trailers (again, both never-before-seen and Comic Con exclusive). All I can say is that the reboot looks great. The cast is very young and will bring a new and welcome vibe to the series. Cast members include Garrett Hedlund (playing Flynn’s adult son), Jeff Bridges, the original Kevin Flynn himself, and the beautiful Olivia Wilde, who plays a confidante of the young Flynn. Also worthy of noting is that the original score of the film will be composed by Daft Punk. “Tron: Legacy” will be in regular and 3D theatres in 2010.
All in all, the Disney: 3D Panel was spectacular. All three upcoming Disney 3D films look amazing; the visuals, audio, characters, and plot lines are very impressive and intruiging. As much as I would like to share with you the images from the trailers and other on-screen footage, Comic Con policy states that I cannot do so. However, please take a look at the image gallery below to view what I can share with you.
2:00PM – 3:00PM – Sony Pictures Animation: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (Room 6BCF)
The main reason I attended this panel was to see the hilarious Andy Samberg and Bill Hader, the beautiful Anna Ferris, Role Models’ Bobb’e J. Thompson, and the smart dudes behind the cartoon “Clone High,” directors Chirs Miller and Phil Lord. (Hader could not make the panel due to an illness.) Although this is a “kid’s movie” based on a classic childhood book, the film looks to be a very funny and visually pleasing adventure. Miller and Lord showed some exclusive scenes from the movie, revealed some of the plot to put the scenes in context, and took questions from the audience. Many questions were aimed at Andy Samberg and involved his famous SNL Digital Shorts and SNL career. In the end, this was a fun panel filled with lots of laughs and what looks to be an exciting and hilarious animated motion picture. “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” comes out on September 18, 2009 in regular and 3D versions.
8:00PM – 10:00PM – Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (screening) (Room 6A)
First let me start out by saying this is where my second stroke of luck showed up. When I arrived about half an hour before showtime, the line was capped; it was the second longest line I’d seen all day (the longest being the Hall H line in the morning). Somehow, yet again, I got myself in the front of the line and was able to attend the screening of Dr. Horrible. This was just flat-out EPIC. Room 6A is a fairly large room; it can hold over 450 people). So, the room was packed with tons of Dr. Horrible fans who knew all the lyrics to the hilarious and extremely well-written Internet sensation. There was a fun “Rocky Horror Picture Show” -esque twist. All attendees were given Dr.H goggles and a packet with lyrics for each song and callbacks. After the screening of the 3-Act series, the DVD special “Commentary! The Musical” was played. This was a nice treat to end the night on. But there was one last surprise before everyone packed up to go home: Dr.H star Felicia Day stopped by, along with writers (and stars) Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen. After belting out all of the songs and laughing at all the jokes, it was time to leave the convention center to get some shut eye for Day 2.
In between the panels, I was able to walk the entire main show floor, grabbing pictures of everything in sight. The images themselves tell the story of the show floor better than I can in words. Take a look for yourself below. It is worthy to note that I met Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet)! She’s awesome.