While I didn’t go to Disney’s Comic Con panel for the movies Frankenweenie, Oz: The Great and Powerful and Wreck-It Ralph, I did attend a press conference for all three of them, which as you can imagine is a much more intimate setting that the gigantic Hall H. At the press conference, the directors, producers and stars shed a lot of insight on their upcoming films.
Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie was the first film up. It’s a stop-motion animated film. But what makes it really special is that it’s in black and white. Frankenweenie is about a boy who brings his dog back to life after it dies. It’s a project that always meant something to Tim Burton. He had a pet as kid, so he understands that connection that a young person can have with a pet. In a way, he describes the Frankenweenie story as “wish-fulfillment,” in that many of us would wish to bring beloved pets back to life.
On using stop-motion, producer Don Hahn said using that particular type of animation is extraordinary because it allows you to “feel the hand of the artist.” Tim Burton added, “There’s something so beautiful about it.” Burton’s decision to have the film be in black and white was to help bring out the textures in the animation. As well, having a black and white film in 3D was something he wanted to do. He says that it was a pleasure working on this film because of the smaller crew and the intricacies of stop-motion.
Watch the trailer for Frankenweenie below!
Up next was Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful. Raimi was joined by stars Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams, along with producer Joe Roth. Because I wasn’t in Hall H, I missed the big teaser trailer reveal. However, site unseen, Raimi and company said enough to convince me that Oz is going to to be a great movie. From the moment Raimi described Oz as “classically Disney,” I knew I was on-board. He says that it isn’t just a big CGI effects movie, it’s a human story. In particular, it focuses on Oz and how he came to be The Wizard of Oz. To briefly put it, it’s a prequel to the classic film, Wizard of Oz.
James Franco stars as Oz and is joined by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, Abigail Breslin and others. Working with Franco on Oz was different than when Raimi had worked with him on Spider-Man. He says that Franco has really grown since then and is much more of a collaborator now. Raimi also raved about how very talented Kunis and Williams are and how happy he is that they are in this film. Kunis responded that working was Raimi was wonderful, and Williams agreed, saying that filming with him was “a holistic experience.” Williams also talked about bringing her daughter, Matilda, on set. She said that Matilda can’t wait to see Oz. In addition, Raimi also revealed that his brother, Ted, and Bruce Campbell both have small roles in the film.
Expect Oz to be different than any of Raimi’s previous work. The film is less CGI than you think. The filmmakers say that Oz had huge, fully-realized sets. Despite the size of the film, Williams says that her experience filming Oz wasn’t very different from filming the smaller, indie movies she usually does. And when talking about how they prepared for their roles, Kunis relays that one of the first movies and books she watched/read when she came to America as a kid was The Wizard of Oz. Both actresses used the book and film as source material. Raimi also said that it’s important to him to treat the original film with respect as he makes Oz: The Great and Powerful.
Watch the new trailer for Oz: The Great & Powerful below!
Finally, Wreck-It Ralph rounded out the Disney press conference. John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, the director and producer was there to talk about the new animated film about a an 8 bit video game character. Gaming enthusiasts and fans will be excited to see a film about classic video games characters. However, if you’re like me and don’t really know anything outside of Pac-Man, the cast and crew of Wreck-It Ralph assures us that the film will appeal to all audiences. The director, Rich Moore said that while it was a lot fun getting all these classic video game characters to take part in the film, the most important thing was having a good emotional story.
When asked about how nostalgia for 8 bit video games seem to be a new, emerging trend, Moore said that he thinks it is because of how far video games have progressed since they were first introduced. All the change has caused some people to start looking back and they’re a little startled by how different it was back then. As far as Wreck It Ralph itself, Reilly and Silverman had a great time voicing the characters. Silverman said that there’s so many collaborative efforts happening when making these films. “That’s why Disney films are fucking masterpieces!” said Sarah. John C. Reilly said that he (and I did too) always wondered what the cherries from Pac-Man tasted like, and we get to find that out in Wreck-It Ralph!
Watch the trailer for Wreck-It Ralph below!
Overall, I learned about three exciting and cool films coming from Disney. Which films are you most excited for? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter (@GabrielleAdelle) or in the comments below!