Thursday, July 30, 2009

CC 2009 Disney 3-D / A Christmas Carol

First of all Patton Oswalt should host EVERY panel. I’ve been a huge fan of the guy’s stand-up comedy for a while now and whoever’s idea it was to have the Disney 3-D panel moderated by Remy the Rat is a genius. Secondly I’m going to talk a little bit about motion capture later in this post and try to keep it in the back of your mind because it’s going to play a very prominent role in a later post.

The first full day of Con started off with a pretty good bang from the folks at Disney. This was the first time in the history of Con that the entire panel was in 3-D. I’m not the biggest fan of 3-D (I still think it’s just kind of a gimmick) but it was lots of fun and the three films that were represented at least made good use of the technology.

First up was Robert Zemmeckis talking about A CHRISTMAS CAROL another motion capture film he has coming down the pike, this time starring Jim Carrey as pretty much everyone. Honestly what he showed was pretty spectacular and up until that point it was the best motion capture work I’ve ever seen. The movie looks moody, atmospheric and best of all it looks like the technology is going to allow Jim Carrey to show off his wide and often times underappreciated or flat out ignored range.

The footage they showed consisted of a trailer of sorts and then an extended scene in which Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley. The scene was very well acted, animated / motion captured and staged. It was actually more than a little creepy and I can’t help but think that kids might get sort of freaked out by the whole thing which I think is very cool.

My only real issue with what we saw and with the idea of motion capture in general is why? Save for POLAR EXPRESS I’ve genuinely enjoyed and actually own every film Robert Zemmeckis has directed or produced using this technology and while it’s a cool little gimmick and gadget I still don’t quite get the point. I loved BEAWOLF but the entire time I watched it I couldn’t help but think how much cooler it would be if I was actually watching real people with state of the art special effects. The same can be said for what I saw of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. It looks really good and really entertaining and it’s obvious they are making huge strides with the technology but it seems like an overly expensive way of doing something that could be accomplished just as easy with real actors using real sets. None-the-less I for sure liked what I saw enough to check it out when it comes to theatres.

One of the biggest highlights for me of the entire Con came during this panel. I got the chance to ask Robert Zemmeckis a question (The guy is one of my idols so I was TOTALLY jazzed) and I used the opportunity to ask him about the often talked about sequel to WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. He got a pretty huge cheer when he told everyone that he could neither “confirm or deny” that he was working on such a thing but that IF he was going to make a sequel all of the original cartoon characters such as Roger, Jessica, etc. would be in 2D not 3D. The reason this got such a huge reaction from the crowd is because if you’ve been around industry people long enough you know that an answer like that means he’s basically working on it but Disney and the powers that be won’t let him talk about it yet.

WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT was one of my favorite movies growing up and the idea that he’s finally working on a sequel made me as giddy as a school girl. Here’s hoping it doesn’t fall through and that in a few years time he’ll be back in Hall H touting the further adventures of Roger, Eddie Valiant and friends. OK, this piece is longer than I meant it to be so I’ll be back later with more from the Disney panel. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Patton Oswalt's shows never fail, one of the best comics working today.

I'd like to see a Rabbit sequel too but it might have been too long since the last one for it too be any good, I hope not though.