Making his first panel appearance ever at Comic-Con, Tim Burton came on stage to show the few thousand of us in attendance the first footage of his unique take on Alice in Wonderland.

His introduction was met with strong applause and he came out with a big smile, waving to the crowd. It was good times for all!

Alice in Wonderland was the second out of three segments of Disney’s 3-D presentation at Comic-Con this morning to help kick off the start of major events at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Patton Oswalt did a great job of interviewing Burton and they had a pretty humorous discussion.

In a jokingly manner in response to one of Oswalt’s questions about how he came up with this idea, Burton explained that they decided to make this film because he hadn’t done one with Johnny Depp where he has red hair – He says they “scalped Carrot Top and took his hair.”

They started by talking about the film and showing some of the images that we’ve seen already online in recent weeks but they also showed a new one of The Cheshire Cat which Burton said “confirms his hatred of cats.” This generated laughter amongst the crowd followed by applause when he mentioned that The Cheshire Cat is voiced by Stephen Fry.

Next up, we finally got to the good stuff when Oswalt and Burton introduced the exclusive clip.

It was pretty awesome and although short it length, for the first time, I was excited to see this film. The 3-D worked very well for the footage we were shown as well.

Host Oswalt then continued to press over and over again to see if Burton had more goodies to show us and Burton kept responding that what we say was all he had and emphasized that there’s still so much work to be done. So, instead, they showed the clip a second time.

At this point, I expected they were tricking us and were going to show us something different. They didn’t but I was still happy to get a second chance to see the clip to focus on some of the details you miss the first time through.

Following this, they moved on to the Q&A session which unfortunately was very weak and full of people praising Burton shamelessly instead of asking interesting questions. The one good thing that came from this was someone asking him if he’d direct a Harry Potter film to which he responded, that’s already finishing up now but if they’d make a spinoff about Harry’s Owl, he’d be all over that.

After this, Oswalt again pressed the creative director/writer/producer if he had brought anything else to show us and Burton said that he did have this imaginary friend… and… that’s when Johnny Depp walked out on stage!

The place went nuts with half of the people standing to cheer and snap a photo of the well-dressed icon. He said a few words then left, and for the third time we watched the Alice in Wonderland trailer.

Fans go nuts over Depp’s surprise appearance [Click to Enlarge]

It was a strong presentation marked with a great trailer and a great surprise appearance by Depp. Burton really converted me with this footage and now this film is something I will look for and something you should too.

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The talented cast of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland includes Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Stephen Fry, Crispin Glover and Christopher Lee among others

Alice in Wonderland opens March 5, 2010.