Quint at ShoWest! Disney! TOY STORY 1, 2, 3, BEAUTY & THE BEAST in 3-D, Alice In Wonderland, Christmas Carol, Tron 2 and more!
Published at: April 3, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST by quint
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with my first report of the convention. For starters, I must apologize for not having any coverage of the Sherlock Holmes footage for you. I skipped the 9:15 panel this morning, but I did so because nothing was listed in the program as happening and I hadn’t heard anything in advance.
It wasn’t even a Warner Bros panel, the only clue I should have picked up was that Alan Horn (CEO of Warners) was the keynote speaker. But the panel was listed as a celebration of last year’s $100 million movies… After yesterday’s similar presentation with Fox’s CEO Jim Gianopulos which just turned into a “3-D! 3-D! The industry’s good! Especially 3-D! Theaters are great!” theater-owner wankfest with no footage I figured this morning was going to be more of the same.
Then I showed up and hear I lost out on seeing some POTTER, SHERLOCK and TERMINATOR clips by about 30 minutes and wasn’t pleased.
So, apologies for that. I hear that the footage felt like they were PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEANing it a bit, focusing on the humor and the action, which is to be expected with a trailer in the first place, but also feels in line with Moriarty’s great set visit reports. Haven’t heard anything about Potter or Terminator. If you were there and want to give us a detailed look and opinion, email me and I’ll relay to the masses.
While the sneaky WB footage was going on, I was early in line for the Disney presentation, which has a fair amount of news and some interesting things screened. Also keep an eye out towards the end of the piece that has some info about AVATAR and a few 3-D tidbits from RealD's president Joshua Greer.
Much like the entire ShoWest so far, the focus was on 3-D, so you’ll see that dominating this report. I’m going to hit you with some quick nuggets of the news and then write a little more in-depth on the footage screened, art shown, etc.
Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group President Mark Zoradi walked us through their upcoming line-up and declared that with the current growth of 3-D screens that we’re soon to see our first 3-D exclusive wide release, but wouldn’t specify just how soon “soon” was.
- Disney/Pixar has 17 theatrical 3-D movies coming out between 2009 and 2012.
- Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are going to be re-released in 3-D on October 2nd, 2009 for a limited 2 week run. He indicated it’d be a double feature, but I’m unsure if that means there’ll be one charge for both movies.
- They will premiere the Toy Story 3 trailer on this release and it’ll be the only place you can see the trailer in 3-D.
- Toy Story 3 will release on June 18th, 2010.
- TOY STORY 3… They showed a piece of artwork from Toy Story 3 that I hadn’t seen before. It was kind of a haunting image, actually. Woody has his back to us, overlooking Andy’s room. Woody’s head hangs low. Andy’s room is now a teenager’s. There’s a hill of dirty clothes in the middle of the room, a guitar in one corner, car posters on the wall, etc. No toys to be seen except for Woody himself. Like I said, a sad image.
- BEAUTY & THE BEAST… Disney is putting out the first 3-D hand drawn animation title from their collection in theaters next year. Beauty & The Beast will be released February 12, 2010 in 3-D.
- They showed the opening number, Belle, in 3-D. It didn’t seem quite finished, some digital artifacts evident on some of the background characters. However, I think it looked fabulous. It felt like an evolution of the multi-plane glass process Disney pioneered. It didn’t feel like the Viewmaster version of Beauty & The Beast. Belle had real dimension when she spun around. In short, it felt natural. I’d love to see them visit their other classics, like Sleeping Beauty or Pinocchio if they can turn out as beautiful as this seemed.
- A CHRISTMAS CAROL… they didn’t have anything in 3-D, but they did run the 2-D in production reel, which didn’t have any footage, but a lot of art and still shots. I was lucky enough to visit the Beowulf offices way back in ’06 seeing how they were developing that film. When I was there, I saw a lot of similar art and photo-real snapshots of the characters. They translated almost exactly, so I’m really confident in saying this one looks pretty damn good. It’s dark, the tone bleak and scary. The different Jim Carreys were radically different, the one looking the most like him being Scrooge, who is angular, fierce looking and covered with liverspots and old man skin. The other ghosts we can see were a jolly young Santa Claus looking dude and a child floating in mid-air. The art was very bleak, Victorian England, of course. But some of it looked nightmare inducing, so that’s right up my alley. Count me excited.
- ALICE IN WONDERLAND… Again, no footage, but they showed some art and announced that not only will the film be released in 3-D, but also IMAX 3-D, which I believe will be a first for the company.
- Remember this photo that leaked out of Depp as the Mad Hatter? Yep, that’s him in the movie.
- We also got a look at the Cheshire Cat and boy is it awesome. It’s like they Joker-ized him. That grin is unnatural, razor sharp and way, way too big. Color-wise, he was gray with a light blue stripes.
- We also got a look at some art of the Queen of Hearts (Helena Bonham Carter)’s castle, which was great. It has a touch of Burton, but not nearly EDWARD SCISSORHANDS crazy architecture. It actually looked a little like the Disney Castle, but the middle was rounded in the shape of a heart. It wasn’t super obvious that’s what it was, but that’s definitely the intention.
- Then they showed a trailer for the shitty looking G-FORCE about a team of guinea pig agents. Great cast, though… Will Arnet, Bill Nighy, etc.
- TRON 2… No new footage, but they did show the Comic-Con trailer (which I reported about here) in 3-D. Yeah, it works, but I wasn’t as impressed with the footage the second time around. The Young Flynn stuff gets me all goosebumpy, though. Can’t wait to see what they make with this. Zoradi said Disney was excited about it and that they considered it a giant Disney 3-D tentpole film, so we know they’ll give it that support.
- The title was indeed just TRON, not TRON 2 or TR2N.
Pete Docter then took the stage and introduced 45 minutes of UP, which has screened and been covered before, so I won’t repeat that coverage, but I will say that this is my third time seeing this footage and they got me to cry. Again. Fuckers.
They did have a surprise bit of action footage from later in the film that hasn’t screened yet (still isn’t finished) that involved Carl and Russell escaping the bad guy, with a good 60 pissed off dogs chasing them down.
The friendly dog (Doug) has a cone-collar on and tries to help them out. Carl’s still towing his house on balloons and what we get is a chase as Kevin (the bird) flips Carl and Russell onto his back and takes off. Doug tries to protect them from the mean dogs and gets thrown off the side of a cliff for his troubles. Don’t worry, he’s okay.
I can tell you right now that UP is pushing all the right buttons for me. The action was intense, with moments of true suspense and true comedy thrown in at the right times. I can’t wait to see the full thing.
Anyway, that was Disney. I followed that up with the Real D presentation that included CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS clips. I wasn’t all that impressed with what I saw. It looked fine and a lot less modern-referency than I expected, so maybe I’ll like the whole when I see it.
I did get a chance to talk to RealD’s president, Josh Greer, who is a real geek like us, seems to be in love with his job. I asked him about Avatar and he said he’s seen much of it and that Cameron just got his first photoreal, finalized shots back from Weta and that they look incredible. He said not in an incredible effect kind of way, but that you really believe the 12 foot tall blue alien is a living, breathing creature giving a real performance.
He also said it was costing $1.2 million a minute to build, execute and render the film. Cah-ray-zee!
Did I mention I’m pissed that Cameron wasn’t there to show me such eye-ball invading footage?
I also asked about RealD for the home entertaiment systems and he said it’s a very real thing that they’re exploring. The technology is already there, he said, but the problem is a cost one at the moment. Plus the current technology is for LCD sets, which are going to be extinct in the next 5 years.
What about glassless 3-D? They’re at the beginning stages. He went into a lot of technical detail that I couldn’t repeat at all (it was a casual meet and greet), but he did say that it is possible and that he expects it to be a reality in less than 10 years.
That’s about what I’ve done today. Up next is a screening of THE SOLOIST (and considering Downey was here for the Holmes footage –grumble-grumble—I expect him to pop up for that screening) and a Paramound dinner. Maybe we’ll get some surprise footage… TREK, TRANSFORMERS, JOE… a few options.
I’ll be back later tonight if anything of interest pops up there. If not, tomorrow brings the Sony presentation!
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