ShoWest: Disney 3D
3D seems to be the big theme of this year's ShoWest as the studios are pitching the theater owners to add more screens and help make this the next big thing. To show how important it was to them, Disney spent their entire presentation solely on their upcoming 3D movies, both animated and live-action.
Before they got started I got a chance to catch up with RealD CEO Michael Lewis. His company is responsible for the 3D effects in both MONSTERS VS. ALIENS and UP and he spoke about the current state of 3D and the future of 3D movies.
- They started by showing us the new trailer for UP in 3D and promised that more from that film would come at the end of the presentation. It's the same trailer you've seen online but this time presented in 3D.
- They next discussed the TOY STORY movies. As I'm sure you know, TOY STORY 1 & 2 are being rereleased in 3D but they announced at the panel that they'll be running a two-week limited engagement this fall called "The Toy Story Double Feature." It will include both the TOY STORY movies in 3D as well as a first look at the trailer for TOY STORY 3.
- Sadly they said there was no footage to show from TOY STORY 3 yet (which I don't think is exactly true but I digress) but they did show some production art, which showed a sad looking Woody amongst a room of all teenage toys (an electric guitar and Xbox 360 were most obvious). They announced that the entire cast would be back along with some new cast members they weren't ready to announce just yet.
- As with TOY STORY, they didn't have any footage from CARS 2 to show but they did show us the new 3D "Cars Toon" that ran before BOLT called "Tokyo Mater." I watched it online but it's a much better experience in 3D. As for CARS 2, they said that the film would find Lightning McQueen and Mater as they travel around the world in an international race. Like the Gumball Rally or something of that sort.
- We were told that we were the first to see footage from the 3D rendered version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Showing it after 3D presentations of Pixar material was a bad idea since it didn't look as sharp as those films did. The post-rendering process still needs to get the kinks works out and while some aspects of the scene looked OK (it was the opening sequence with the song "Belle"), it overall disappointed. It will be released on February 12, 2010.
- Next up they spoke about A CHRISTMAS CAROL. They said Robert Zemeckis is very heavy into post-production so there wasn't anything to show visually. They did show us a "production reel" of concept art cut with an interview with Zemeckis himself. The only real shot of Scrooge we saw was that glimpse that already leaked online. Though they did show shots of Carrey as the three ghosts and they looked...different. As the Ghost of Christmas Past he looks like Santa. Christmas Future was like a candle and the face was the flame. Hard to tell from what we saw but looks interesting. Plus I like the tagline, "This November, we'll charm the Dickens out of you."
- I was really hoping for some footage from ALICE IN WONDERLAND and we didn't quite get that but we did see a lot of production art. Like previous Tim Burton fantasy tale EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, there were plenty of topiary animals. Anne Hathaway looks good as the White Queen (pretty much what you'd expect - Anne dressed all in white), the Cheshire Cat looks evil as all hell (creepy green eyes and sharp, tiny teeth), the caterpillar is an old, cranky fellow and they weren't ready to show much of the Queen of Hearts or the Mad Hatter. They only showed the Queen's feet and the shot they showed of Depp as Hatter, he had his head down so all you really saw was his hat with tufts of red hair sticking out the sides (that early production art would appear accurate).
- Oh and they announced that ALICE IN WONDERLAND will not only open in 35MM 3D but also in IMAX 3D which should really be impressive.
- Next up was the TRON footage from Comic-Con though now it seems like they're referring to the film simply as TRON (no number 2 whatsoever). I saw it in San Diego but seeing it in 3D was really impressive. Principal photography starts in a couple weeks so hopefully we'll be hearing more about this film soon.
- The less said about G-FORCE, the fighting gerbil movie, the better. How a movie with Bill Nighy, Will Arnett and Zach Galifinakis could look this bad is beyond me. The audience was normally very polite but could barely muster applause after sitting through the footage.
- Finally they brought up director Pete Docter to introduce 47 minutes from UP. We've posted a detailed description of the footage so I won't get into specifics but let's just say it's absolutely amazing. It's maybe the saddest opening of any movie I've seen in recent memory but it starts to find its humor once Carl and Russell break out on their journey. It's heartbreaking, hilarious and looks like a LOT of fun. How Pixar keeps doing it is beyond me. After the footage was over it was treated to rapturous applause from the crowd who really loved what they saw.
- Finally, they wanted to leave us with some footage that no one outside of Pixar had seen before. It was a new clip from UP that takes place at the very end of the film. As Docter said, it's the action sequence in the film and follows Carl and Russell as they attempt to escape a pack of dogs that are trying to bring them back to their mysterious master. Since it takes place at the end of the film, it's somewhat spoilery but it just goes to show that UP is one film that certainly looks like it has it all. I can't wait to see the rest of the film this May.