Walt Disney Studios brought out Chris Hardwick from the Nerdist (fresh from being purchased by Legendary Entertainment) to introduce directors and talent from Frankenweenie, Oz: The Great and Powerful, and Wreck-It Ralph, with an added "One more thing!" being the first look at footage from The Lone Ranger. There were surprise guests, sneak peeks, and the always enjoyable questions from the audience. Read on for the tidbits, fresh from Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con!
THE MOST IMPORTANT HIGHLIGHTS
Frankenweenie is a special, personal project for Tim Burton, which stemmed from him having a dog who died when he was a kid.
Check out this special "homage" trailer for Frankenweenie that was released during the panel
The short, live-action version of Frankenweenie that Burton directed in 1984 was originally meant to be stuck onto the front of a Walt Disney Studios re-issued film in theaters, like Pinocchio. But, when they showed the movie, everyone sort of "Freaked out," according to Burton. Then when Pinocchio started, kids were screaming and yelling. "People tend to forget that Pinocchio tends to freak kids out."
Martin Landau lends his voice to the science teacher in Frankenweenie.
Oz: The Great and Powerful
The film is the story of who the Wizard was when he was just a carnival magician, and how he became the Wizard that we all know.
Sam Raimi and company were not allowed to use any of the imagery from the 1939 MGM film, like the Ruby Slippers, so you won't see them. In fact, none of the characters like the Scarecrow or the Tin Man will be in this movie.
Actual sets were built for locations like the Emerald City. Michelle Williams (Glinda) and Mila Kunis (Theodora) were brought out as surprise guests for the panel, and Kunis claims "Emerald City was unlike anything I've ever seen."
The 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 that finds its way into most of Raimi's film has a cameo in this film as part of its engine block and camshaft are used as part of the Wizard's machinery. Raimi said, "It's a very challenging role."
Yes, you'll see Bruce Campbell in this movie.
According to director Rich Moore, the movie is simply about a 1980s video game bad guy who after 30 years of doing the same job has decided there might be more to life than wrecking. This sets him out to prove that he's more than just a bad guy.
Moore worked on The Simpsons for five seasons, and then went on to work on shows like Futurama and Drawn Together. When Moore pointed out that it had been 22 years since his work on The Simpsons, moderator Chris Hardwick pointed out that there are generations who have grown up and had kids of their own since then, Moore pointed out his own 18 year-old son Seth in the audience.
The bad guy in the film, Wreck-It-Ralph, the antagonist to Fix-It Felix Jr. is in a support group for bad guys called Bad-Anon.
While it was easy for them to secure many of the video game licenses in the film, they had a problem with "A certain mustachioed plumber." So guess who you won't be seeing in the movie.
Firefly fan-favorite Alan Tudyk voices a role in the film, and Skillrex provides the music for Hero's Duty, the Call of Duty meets Gears of War game in the film.
John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman were brought in as surprise guests, with Reilly sporting a brim-back fedora, and Silverman in Daisy Dukes. Whaaaa?
They showed us a 1950's style 'shock and horror' trailer with phrases like "YOU WON'T BELIEVE YOUR EYES" and "IN THE CHILLING THIRD DIMENSION!" and "MILLIONS WILL BE THRILLED BY THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD!" intercut with scenes from the film. One girl tells the main character that she knows something bad is going to happen, because "Mr. Whiskers left a message." Yes, that's her cat, and the secret message is a skull and crossbones, rendered in poop. They also showed a scene from the science classroom where their teacher explains what death means, and a scene where ZZZZ and his Igor-esque friend try an experiment on a goldfish and render it invisible.
Honestly, this film looks loads better than Corpse Bride. Cute, creepy, and with a nice touch of the horror films from the 1950s tossed in.
Oz: The Great and Powerful
The first bit of footage was an action packed trailer for … Sam Raimi. Someone took the best bits of Spider-Man, Army of Darkness, The Quick and the Dead (nice to see that film getting some love) and other Raimi films and hyper glued them into a fast-paced trailer. You know, just in case you didn't who Sam Raimi was.
Then they showed us actual from Oz, which follows the formula of the 1939 film by having James Franco's magician in black and white, and the world turns to color once his balloon is whipped through the twister and into Oz. After some quick shots of the wonder and whimsy of the fantastic world, we see the Wicked Witch of the West's hand gouging marks into a piece of wood. Creepy. The film looks fairly spectacular, and it's nice to hear they used actual sets. Although strangely, I was really drawn to the black and white Franco when he was just a magician. Spinoff movie!
Moore brought ten minutes of the film (!) to show, although they weren't consecutive. We see Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) narrating the opening of the movie, explaining who his character is, what game he's from, and there's a quick montage that brings us from the 1980s to the present day. You also see the squalor that Ralph lives in (a pile of trash in the dump) vs. the luxurious home of Fix-It Felix Jr., filled with medals from his game playing years. There were also quick scenes showing Ralph and his support group of other bad guys, where they recite the bad guy affirmation, "We're bad, and that's good," and a scene where Ralph meets Penelope (Sarah Silverman), a "glitch" in the system who "Discovers that her glitch is her greatest asset," said Silverman. "And you've got a great asset," quipped Reilly. The movie looks like fun. Kids will love the animation and adults will appreciate the nostalgia, but I wish there were more 8-bit graphics in it.
The Lone Ranger
As a surprise at the end of the panel, Disney showed us a few minutes of footage from Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger, which looks action-packed and impressive, and you would expect from Verbinski. But this point, I'm wondering why the film just isn't called Tonto, because most of the shots in the footage were of Johnny Depp as Tonto, without any dialogue from either him or Armie Hammer's Lone Ranger. Then the logo came up on screen, complete with Tonto's eyes as part of the logo. Just embrace it, Disney! TONTO! TONTO 2! TONTO: EVEN TONTONIER, and well… you get it.
OUR FAVORITE QUOTES
From the Moderator
From moderator Chris Hardwick at the start of the panel: "Don't take the footage and upload it to Usenet or whatever you kids do these days."
Hardwick asked Tim Burton what shaped his dark and comic sensibilities, to which Burton replied "Uh, growing up in Burbank, I guess?"
When asked what it was like working with Colleen Atwood, Burton said "She's a bitch. No, I'm just kidding. She's great."
During the Q&A a fan asked Tim Burton what it was like to work on a project that he had started so long ago, and then she burst out into tears. "When I think about it, I start to cry myself. I think with every movie, I burst out into tears. For all sorts of different reasons."
Wreck it Ralph
When Rich Moore said he brought ten minutes, Chris Hardwick said "Whoa, did you bring the whole movie?" Rich Moore: "Well, it's 11 minutes long. So we cut it off right before the end. It'll be on before a Pixar movie." (Not really, folks. This is a theatrical film, rest assured).
When one of the Q&A people from the audience stepped up to the microphone wearing a Spider-Man hoodie, Reilly said "I was hoping for a Wreck-It-Ralph costume before the end of this… but I'll take a Spider-Man hoodie."
When asked whether he preferred working in animation or live-action, Reilly said "I prefer being employed."
When asked how hard it was to get the video game licenses, Reilly said "Just imagine you're the Frogger guy sitting at home. It's not that popular anymore. A phone call comes in from Rich Moore, 'We're making a multi-million dollar movie….' I think it's a pretty easy question to answer."