2009 San Diego Comic-Con: Disney 3D Presentation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, and TRON LEGACY

     July 23, 2009

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There are some great human beings in the world (although there are definitely some douchebags and I might get to them later…) and sometimes, spending so much time at home being snarky towards everything, I forget that.  I met some great folks in line yesterday as I was waiting to get a “Dexter” bag and met some more today while standing in the line for Hall H (a special thank you to Jackson Bishop (best name ever, BTW) and thanks to total saint giving me a special pass, I was able to get a VIP seat and it is amazing.

Hit the jump for more.  Trust me: you’ll want to know about what I saw for Disney’s 3D Presentation of “A Christmas Carol”, “Alice in Wonderland”, and “Tron Legacy” (now the official title).  And please forgive the rapid-fire approach.  I was writing as fast as I could so there are probably typos, bad grammar, and incomplete thoughts.  Finally, I’ll be sure to post pictures later in the day.

Oh, and nothing heavy fell on Steve so it’s already an improvement over last year.

As my group and I herded in like cattle, I grab some special “9” cards where if you complete the set, you can get them autographed (I’m still missing “6” and “9” but being the OCD human being I am, I kind of just want them so I can have the whole set) we’re given 3D glasses (which we’re told to return so good luck with that although unless you’re a germaphobe, there’s no reason) as well as the special “Home of Tron/Flynn’s Arcade Coin” (I’d say Steve’s “Flynn’s Arcade” theory is about 99% correct at this point).

I will say this about the “Twilight” fans: they’re mostly women and they’re mostly short so it’s easy to see over them. While it’s easy to poke fun at them (it’s really, really easy which is why I do it), in front of me are a daughter hugs her mother and father and my enmity is wiped away.

INTRODUCTION

- New Big Screen

- Patton “I Am Your God” Oswalt comes on stage to present the Disney stuff. He notes that this if the first 3D panel at Comic-Con. He notes that the 3D won’t look perfect but he’s seen it in theatres and he says it looks amazing. I will believe anything this man says. I love him that much.

- Oswalt notes the Twilight fans and they make themselves known.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

- First up is Robert Zemeckis. And “Back to the Future” was apparently done all with hand puppets.

- First up: “A Christmas Carol”.

- Robert is the first one out and therefore, according to Patton, is “Punk Rock”. I’m gonna be repeating a lot of jokes because they’re always great. This is like getting a free show from him.

- Robert talks about “The Uncanny Valley” (“I’m scared!”) and compares them to a mediocre actor. They note that just because the technology isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean it won’t evolved and that’s a good point. “You’re making the path by walking it,” notes Patton. They’re even tracking retina movement. I wish I could ask Zemeckis about

- HOLY SHIT. It’s not funny. It’s not a spoof. It’s a terrifying ghost story with bits of humor thrown in. Little kids will be scared to tears. You will be absolutely exhilarated. I mean, Robert Zemeckis done it. The crazy son of a bitch has done it. He’s beaten The Uncanny Valley. I almost want Patton to stop cracking jokes so I can write all my thoughts about the footage. The level of detail is astonishing. Before I thought that “A Christmas Carol” was too done to be done again but you’ve never seen it again. I was totally uninterested in this film before and now I can’t wait to see it. And the sound design, my god. When Jacob Marley threw his stone blocks from his shackles to the ground, the theatre quaked. After seeing that full scene, we got a quick montage of the various ghost haunting Scrooge.

- The scenes we saw were Marley haunting Scrooge (we saw a little bit of it online and it was totally worthless and misleading to what it really is).

- Patton notes that the skin looks different depending on the environment.

- A lot of the audience questions tend to focus on the choice to cast Jim Carrey. In the audience’s defense, everyone’s mind was just blown.

- Just watching this footage, which was probably my least-anticipated 3D footage of the Con, I am now excited out of my mind for what’s next, not just this year but what’s in the future like “Tintin”. Bravo, Mr. Zemeckis.

- Question about making a sequel to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” He can neither confirm or deny…We all groan. But if it ever does happen, the 2D animated characters will remain 3D. The audience cheers.

- Patton makes sure to thanks Zemeckis. Then he finishes up with cracking a quick “Used Cars” joke and Robert laughs.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

- This is Tim Burton’s first panel at Comic Con (although Patton notes that he’s attended six times before as Sailor Moon).

- I can’t believe how the cynicism melts away in the face of such overwhelming excitement and such great footage we’ve seen from A Christmas Carol. I thought they were starting off small and they started it off with an absolute bang.

- Also, getting Patton to host this was a brilliant choice. He can’t fake excitement and he’s absolutely genuine about what we’re seeing. Even if you’re not a fan of his comedy (although I don’t understand how that’s possible), he charmed the hell out of 6,000 people. He’s probably made thousands of new fans today (although they may be surprised by some of his raunchier material).

- Stephen Fry is the voice of the Cheshire Cat.

- My jaw drops at the footage. Patton jokes he’s always wanted to try PCP. I mean, that’s the best way to describe it but they do show the Cheshire Cat and I feel a little bad for the folks at home now because while they’ll still love the footage, seeing it in 3D…my god.

- Patton gets them to show the footage again (I know I’m raving about him but the footage is…my god). And when they show it again, I notice my knees are shaking. That’s not hyberbole. My knees were literally shaking.

- A young man tells Tim Burton that he is a total inspiration. Again, the cynicism melts away.

- I want to ask Tim Burton if he saw Mia Wasikowska on “In Treatment” and that contributed to casting her.

- I had given up on 3D before this showcase. Now I’m a complete believer. It may not work over the course of an entire film but I have to see that film.

- And then Johnny Depp makes a surprise appearance to a standing ovation. No question for him and he leaves as quickly as he arrived but who cares?

- The trailer one more time!

TRON LEGACY (or TRON: LEGACY, I’m not sure)

- Garret Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, and Jeff Bridges and the director of this film and the director of the original “Tron”.

- What does the title mean? It’s a story about a son’s search for his father. I’m just glad it’s got a title and it’s not “Tr2n” or something crazy like that.

- We haven’t seen any footage…yet. Just the title. I want them to show what Steve saw at ShoWest and caused him to go crazy.

- We’re gonna see some concept images. I’ll upload my photos of those as soon as I can (You’re allowed to take pictures of stills but not footage).

- They cut together a scene from the beginning it’s in 2D. Garret Hedlund (who plays Sam Flynn, Kevin Flynn’s son). He enters Flynn’s Arcade, it’s been closed for twenty years. Under plastic sheeting, all the old arcade games suddenly turn on and an 80s song start playing (I don’t know the name because I suck). He approaches the “Tron” machine and it’s playing old 8-bit light cycles. He pulls the machine out and discovers a small door. He walks through it and then the machine pulls itself closed behind him.

- Olivia Wilde plays a loyal confidant to Kevin Flynn.

- We’re gonna see the footage from last year and fan support from last year helped. I didn’t see it but I’m glad I didn’t because it’s mind-blowing. Also, we discover that it’s scheduled for 2010, not 2011 as I’d previously thought.

- Why did they choose Daft Punk? The director responds, “How could you not?”

- There will be some kind of Daft Punk synthesis event to coincide with their score.

- Patton pitches “The Big LeTronskey” and the tagline is “This time the bums win.”

- Patton talks about the coin and they were provided by “Friends of Flynn” and they can get you in to a special event at 1st and Jay.

- Go to Twitter.com/ImportantDate for a Tea Party…

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