Disney is present at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con with a combo panel that will include the latest Tim Burton (animated) film Frankenweenie, Sam Raimi’s (Spider-Man trilogy) Wizard of Oz prequel Oz the Great and Powerful and a presentation for the upcoming animated arcade game-based 3D cartoon Wreck-It Ralph.
The panel will include (from all three films) Tim Burton [TB], Sam Raimi [SR], John C. Reilly [JCR], Sarah Silverman [SS] and director Rich Moore [RM].
We’re just getting underway with the Disney Comic-Con 2012 panel, starting with Tim Burton’s 3D stop-motion flick, Frankenweenie.
We started off with a slightly tweaked version of the full Frankenweenie trailer, currently playing in theaters. Here, however, they included the sort of charmingly hammy narration and title cards you’d see while watching a trailer for an old-fashioned, B&W horror film.
After the trailer, TB recounted his experience working on the original 1984 Frankenweenie short, how the loss of his own dog informed the film – and how he had to learn how to socialize with other people, for the first time, while making it.
We were treated to two clips from Frankenweenie. The first featured a scene with the members of Victor’s classroom. Essentially, they’re a bunch of weirdos, headed by a substitute teacher who kinda looks like Vincent Price with a stretched face (voiced by Martin Landau). It got big laughs from the audience.
The second scene featured Victor and his Igor-like friend, resurrecting a goldfish and accidentally turning it invisible. Lots of Burtonesque touches: horizontal-stripes, big-eyed characters, Gothic music. Sorta a mix of straight-faced, kid-friendly monster horror and camp.
TB is taking fan questions now. The first guy (from Brazil) said he loved Alice Scissorhands, and wondered why TB isn’t tired of working with Johnny Depp. That got a big laugh, to put it mildly. TB took it well, though, crackin’ jokes about how he’s moved up in the world, working with kids and dogs now.
Another guy asked TB how they got the f-bomb in Beetlejuice without getting an R-rating.
A whole group of fans showed up with questions, dressed as various Burton characters – including, Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas and Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.
The final fan to ask TB a question broke down into tears, talking about what an inspiration he is to her. TB was very polite and appreciative.
Moving onto Oz the Great and Poweful. We start off with a best-of montage for Sam Raimi films. Lots of clips featuring Bruce Campbell as Ash (and his chainsaw hand), and scenes from the original Spider-Man trilogy.
SR introduced the film, then we were treated to the Oz the Great and Powerful teaser. It takes the Wizard of Oz approach, where the Kansas scenes are B&W, the Oz scenes are vibrant and colorful. 3D seems fairly promising, especially w/the scene where the young Wizard (James Franco) is transported to Oz via tornado.
Aesthetically, Oz the Great and Powerful kinda looks like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, but without the macabre touch. Oz itself came off as a more twisted and demented version of a Dr. Seuss world. If nothing else, the film will be visually trippy.
Mila Kunis [MK] and Michelle Williams [MW] joined SR on the stage. MW promises that her version of Glinda won’t be so dainty, like that in the original Wizard of Oz movie.
Fan questions now. One fan wondered where this is more a prequel or pseduo-sequel to the Oz books. SR says that Oz the Great and Powerful screenwriter Mitchell Kapner selected certain events from L. Frank Baum’s novels, placed them in chronological order, and kinda let his imagination run wild from there.
Fan dressed up as Mad Hatter inadvertently called MK “him.” Needless to say, big laughs ensued.
Final fan Oz question: SR says there’ll be no Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, etc. The film is primarily about how the Wizard came to be in this unique situation, before any of those characters enter the story.
Okay, one more fan question for Oz, about what inspired the look of the film. SR praised production designer Robert Stromberg (who’s directing Disney’s Maleficent), and says he was primarily inspired by the settings and imagery described in Baum’s source material. Oz the Great and Powerful nods its head to familiar Oz images from previous films, but still aims to be inventive and its own thing.
It’s Wreck-It Ralph time.
RM says he worked on The Simpsons some 22 years ago. That got a big laugh.
We’re treated to some ten minutes from Wreck-It Ralph, including the opening five minutes. Lots of fun jokes about 8-bit arcade graphics and riffs on modern video game series like Call of Duty. Plus, a lot of cameos from famous vg characters, including Sonic the Hedgehog. The villain group therapy session is as amusing as the glimpse in the trailer.
Fan-favorite Alan Tudyk is voicing one of the characters in the film.
JCR and SS are onstage now, taking fan questions.
Q: Which video game characters were the filmmakers unable to get the rights to? RM (jokingly) goes on a rant about the Mario brothers.
JCR: Voice-acting’s fun, you don’t have to worry about how you look (among other things).
JCR is asked if it’s hard balancing out two personalities, by an oddly-monotone fan wearing an earpiece (?). JCR rolled with it, said he’s a Gemini, so no problem.
RM talked about the task of acquiring rights to various classic video game characters for the film. JCR joked about how easy it would be to get the rights to Frogger.
Surprise portion of the Disney panel: A teaser for Disney’s The Lone Ranger, with Johnny Depp as Tonto. There was a big emphasis on the development of railroads, via Tom Wilkinson narration. It felt very large in scope, a la the Pirates of the Caribbean with a western flavor. Pretty serious in tone, with some stylized action beats reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes (but not so over the top). Disney might have something pretty cool here with Lone Ranger – even if it does cost WAY too much.
That’s it for the Disney panel. Stay tuned for more Screen Rant coverage of major panels live from Comic-Con 2012.
Keep an eye on the Screen Rant Comic-Con page for all the convention news.