Wow, Comic-Con really is the place to be this time of year. Yesterday, out of the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con convention, we got some huge news, some enlightening panels and some exciting looks at the latest films and projects coming out of DreamWorks and Disney - and their subsidiary, Marvel.
Check out recordings of some of the panels and all the goodness they bring after the jump break!
Firstly, we got a super interesting 'Filmmaker Focus Panel' from DreamWorks, talking about their packed upcoming slate. The talk is with CCO Bill Damaschke, The Croods head of character animation James Baxter, Madagascar 3 director Tom McGrath, and Rise of the Guardians production designer Patrick Hanenberger, and discusses the filmmaking process at DreamWorks in some depth.
Moderated by Enetertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican, the panel discusses upcoming DreamWorks features, consisting of a whopping 10 movies in production, and another 8 or 9 in pre-production! Including Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014), The Croods (2013) and more! Talking about The Croods, Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders' next project, Damaschke said they "really wanted to tell a story about family", specifically "the very first family. A caveman family." Sounds almost like an Incredibles/Brave take, juxtaposing a normal, real family against these fantastic, unbelievable scenarios!
The quartet also talked about reinventing the famed characters for Rise of the Guardians, the cartoony style of the Madagascar movies, the future of animation - photo-realism vs. cartoon - and upcoming sequels! We already knew this, but Damaschke confirmed that Kung Fu Panda 3 is in production. We also got an official announcement that a Penguins of Madagascar film is due in 2015! Also mentioned is Me and My Shadow (2014) notable for being a CGI/hand-drawn hybrid.
From Disney, we got even more exciting news! Firstly, there was a panel for, arguably, Disney's most successful animated series, Phineas and Ferb. Hosted by Prometheus scribe Damen Lindelof, the panel featured the show's co-creators and the voices of Dr. Doofenshmirtz and Major Monogram respectively, Dan Povenmire and "Swampy" Marsh, as well as other voice talent, Vincent Martella (Phineas), Alyson Stoner (Isabella) and Dee Bradley Baker (Perry).
As well as announcing the huge upcoming special that crosses-over with Marvel, titled Mission Marvel, that we reported yesterday, the panel also talked about more immediate episodes, specifically this summer's special episode. Titled Where's Perry?, the two-part cliffhanger, talked about in-depth during the panel (above), is Phineas and Ferb's shot at a Who Shot Mr. Burns? style episode. The fans in attendance at Hall H even got an iTunes voucher for the first half of the episode!
The creators also touched on, albeit briefly, about the planned Phineas and Ferb feature film (as far as I'm aware, still due 2013) which, "like Roger Rabbit", sees the duo transported into the live-action world! There's also some great insight into the story process, and the panel is just generally a lot of fun, so be sure to check it out embedded above.
Also from Disney, Stitch Kingdom brings us the panel for Disney's latest animated feature, Wreck-It Ralph. A couple of days ago, we brought you a talk with director Rich Moore and lead voice cast members, John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, giving us some big news about the film. However, this panel is more an insight into the making of the film, and features, along with Moore again, several story artists and writer Jennifer Lee from the film.
Throughout the panel, some wonderful story art also played in the background, which is absolutely gorgeous, and you can see some of those pieces in this post. We even got to see a scene in storyboarded animatic form, showing Ralph coming to the aid of young Vanellope von Schweetz. You can watch the sequence in storyboard in the video embedded above, from 15:15 onwards, and it's fantastic! Jack McBrayer is hilarious as Fix-It Felix, Jr, and Reilly and Silverman also turn in funny performances. The scene has apparently been changed a bit now, although the animated version of the sequence shown to the fans at Comic-Con has been removed from the video - damn copyright! Overall, Wreck-It Ralph just looks set to be a winner!
Questions fielded lead to discussions about courting Namco for the right to feature Pacman in the film; an extra world that wasn't featured in the film, a cross between Grand Theft Auto and The Sims. Also, rather encouragingly, a sequel was mentioned, jokingly, several times. Although it's a little early yet to judge, Wreck-It Ralph looks awesome, and it very well could be Disney's next big franchise.
As well as talking briefly about Chris Buck's Frozen and Don Hall's Big Hero 6. Rich Moore also shed a teensy bit of information on John Musker and Ron Clements' latest project, saying that John had been doing location research in the South Pacific. It's unlikely we'll here much more about this project very soon though; after Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen maybe, towards the start of Big Hero 6 hype season.
Also, briefly, in addition to screening the latest trailer for Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, fans in attendance also got the chance to explore an "Art of Frankenweenie" exhibition! Showing off real puppets and sets from the stop-motion film, a video tour of the exhibition (above), also gets a few words from producer Don Hahn on the highly anticipated project.
Finally, speaking of highly anticipated, Disney owned Marvel announced some big details on their post Avengers film slate - with some cool title placards to boot! First on the horizon is the threequel to the film that started off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Shane Black directed Iron Man 3. Some footage from the film, showing a huge set piece where Tony Stark's mansion is wiped out by attack helicopters, also apparently showed the first look at Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin. Iron Man 3 is due 3rd May 2013. Also due 2013, on 8th November, is Thor 2, which now has an official title Thor: The Dark World.
From there, as Phase Two rolls into 2014, we have another sequel, and a new film! Due on 4th April, 2014 is Captain America 2, now titled Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This title tells us that the film will follow the story-arc of the reanimated and now evil Bucky Barnes, Cap's deceased best friend. The latter half of 2014, on 1st August, brings us Guardians of the Galaxy. In addition, we got a cool piece of concept art (above, click on the image for a higher-res version) from Guardians.
And finally, despite cunning Tweets that he was in London, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World director Edgar Wright sauntered on-stage to show test-footage from his long rumoured and long gestating Ant-Man film! I hear it went down a storm, and I can't wait to see what Edgar does with this! No release date for Ant-Man yet, and it's doubtful there'll be substantial work done on it until Wright's wrapped (or close to) with the Hot Fuzz sequel, The World's End.
Wow, that's a lot of exciting news in one massive post! If you were lucky enough to be at any of these presentations, let us know your thoughts in the comments section or on Twitter (@A113Animation)!