San Diego Comic-Con: Walt Disney Studios Panel
This weekend, I’m having the pleasure of visiting one of the most fun and exciting of the year, San Diego Comic Con. The event is always a huge draw for movie studios, TV shows, and comics, and as such, features many great looks at some of the most highly anticipated movies coming out over the next year. Thankfully for Disney fans, Walt Disney studios started off this weekend with a bang, bringing what I consider one of the best panels I’ve seen at any convention in quite some time. We were fortunate enough to see things from Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie‘, ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, the first ever footage from ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’, as well as a surprise look at ‘The Lone Ranger’. This was a fully jam packed panel, and I’m definitely glad I got to be there.
The Panel began with a look at the highly anticipated Tim Burton film, ‘Frankenweenie‘. We were shown the newest trailer of the film, which was a throwback to the vintage 1950′s horror movies, and it absolutely blew the roof off of Hall H. It really gave us a great look at what exactly the tone of the movie is, and also introducing us to many of the characters in the movie. For a long time now, I’d really known very little of the story other then anything we’d seen in the trailers, so it was nice to really have that expanded on. The footage really shows what the core of the story is, which finds Victor trying to undo all the problems his classmates bring his town once they discover how to bring things back to life, as he did with his dog Sparky. It really looks like solid and goofy Tim Burton fun, and this trailer has been the best representation of what to expect from the movie so far, and my excitement is ten fold what it was before.
We were then presented two clips from the movie, one taking place in Victor’s school, and the other being a “Monster making” moment. The first scene featured Mr. Rzykruski, Victor’s teacher, as he gives the most over the top explanation of what happens to someone when they get hit by lightning. It leads all the kids in class to begin discussing just how lightning comes to be, featuring some funny and strange explanations, including graveyards and windmills. The second scene featured Victor explaining the science of bringing pets back to life to his friend Edgar, who doesn’t seem to be one who can be trusted. Edgar is obsessed with this new science, and wants to test it right away, so he goes and buys a goldfish, forcing Victor to show him how it works. It was a funny little scene, but it shows that not everyone in the movie is to be trusted.
The scenes were followed by a small Q&A by Tim Burton, who talked about how the movie came to be from parts of his past, and how he was very happy to finally get the chance to revisit the project and really bring it to life. The movie really seems to have reignited some artistic passion in Burton, so I can’t wait to see how this turns out, and the movies he does that follows, because he seems to be in a new, and very exciting place.
Oz: The Great and Powerful
The second part of the panel gave our audienc the first ever look at Sam Raimi’s new film, ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’, a new prequel to ‘The Wizard of Oz’. We were shown the first footage of the film, and man, does it look incredible. The film will start in a 4:3 style tube TV black and white, and once the film lands in Oz, will become a widescreen and color film. As Sam Raimi himself said, the movie follows “a selfish man who learns to be selfless.” James Franco plays a carnival magician named Oscar who, after too many cons on the people of Kansas, is chased out of town. He leaves by air balloon, only to find himself to be whisked away to a magical land that is in turmoil. Oz will have to learn to put his selfish nature aside and help save the land from evil forces. We weren’t shown too much footage, but what we saw gave me a good idea of what to look forward to and what the movie will be like. Raimi said the movie will feature some nods to the original film, but due to rights reasons, we wouldn’t be seeing the Ruby red slippers. He also said, seeing as the film is a prequel, characters like the Lion and the Tin Man won’t be making appearances. But I find that Raimi’s style really seems to fit the mystical land of Oz, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing more from this movie over the next year. This has a chance to be one of the best films to come out next Spring, so I’m really hoping Raimi pulls it off.
The third part of the panel focused on Walt Disney Animation’s newest film, ‘Wreck-It Ralph’. This is one I’ve been looking forward to since D23 last year, when we saw the first six minutes of the film. While at the time it was only in storyboard form, it was charming, quirky, and very funny, so I couldn’t wait to see how the movie progressed. Well today, we were shown the same opening of the film, but in a finished state, and let me tell you, ‘Wreck It-Ralph’ definitely seems to the movie to look out for this fall. The movie looks to be so well written and chock full of great entertainment, I’m dying to see it already. The opening features Ralph talking about how he feels being a villain at a Villains support meeting, which features cameos from many bad guys from famous video games. The scene was incredible heartfelt and funny, and I can’t help but laugh at it even now. We were then treated to a few brief scenes from throughout the film, including a look at one of the games inside the movie called “Hero’s Duty’, which features Jane Lynch as a seasoned Captain in a futuristic army. Really, everything we were shown just further solidifies the fact that ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ is the movie to look forward to this fall. John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, and the film‘s director Rich Moore were all on hand to speak briefly about the movie, and revealed that Skrillex would be helping to contribute to the film‘s score. They also revealed that Mario and Luigi wouldn’t have cameos in the film, but that many other famous characters would. I’d say that ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ was the film we easily saw the most footage for, and it was a great way to wrap up the panel. I loved every minute of it.
But as it turned out, this wasn’t the end of the panel. Disney had one last surprise, which was a two or three minute look at their new upcoming version of ‘The Lone Ranger’, starring Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger. We weren’t shown much, but what we did see gave us a good idea of what the tone and aim of the film is, and it looks to be a huge, action packed, and fun western in the vein of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. One thing I was very surprised to see was that Depp was incredibly reined in as Tonto, and it doesn’t look like he was providing a lot of humor in the role. For me, that’s great, because I was worried it would be along the lines of Captain Jack, so I’m glad to see they’ve steered clear of that. The action looks great, only in the way that Gore Verbinski can shoot, and I really can’t wait to see more of the movie over the next year.
Overall, Disney absolutely started off this weekend right with their panel, and I’m happy to report all four of the films that were showcased look absolutely great. It looks like we’ve got some fun movies on our way over the next year, and I for one can’t wait to see them. If the reactions of the crowd was anything to go by today, neither can they. Keep a look out for the rest of our Comic-Con previews this weekend, only here at Chip and Company.