Moderated by Eric Coleman, Senior Vice President of Original Series, Disney Television Animation brought the creative teams and talent from popular series ‘Fish Hooks’ and the upcoming ‘Wander Over Yonder’ to its panel at San Diego Comic-Con, but it was newcomer ‘Gravity Falls’ that quickly dominated the show, as evidenced by the roar of the attending audience at its mere mention, let alone the number of fans dressed as characters from the cartoon.
During the presentation, series creator Alex Hirsch spoke at length behind the inspiration behind some of the show’s main characters: Mabel Pines, inspired by his real-life twin sister; Grunkle Stan, inspired by his Grandfather Stan; and Soos, inspired by friend he knew from college. Also representing the series were Jason Ritter, voice of Dipper Pines and Michael Rianda, the show’s creative director.
On the genesis of the show, Hirsch stated, ‘I have a twin sister, who I grew up with and we had a lot of summers together where we would stay with a relative out in the woods and we would be bored out of our minds and I always thought, you know, on long fishing trips or camping trips wouldn’t it be cool if instead of doing nothing, we were going on awesome adventures. So that’s sort of where the nexus of the show came from. I kind of combined my childhood memories and then fantasy stuff into one kind of stew of ideas and so-forth.. and so on.’
Mabel allows Hirsch to ‘vicariously help his sister live her dreams through’ the show. In an upcoming episode, from which a clip was shown, Mabel wins a pig at a ‘crummy fair’ operated by Grunkle Stan. This was directly inspired by his sister’s childhood obsession with pigs, explaining she would even continue to hang expired calendars featuring the animal. Since he couldn’t give her one in real life, he decided Mabel should have one on the show, although he notes that ‘certain time anomaly events’ will put the pig’s fate into question. It was also because of his sister that an upcoming episode will guest star Lance Bass of ‘N Sync fan. Growing up, Ariel Hirsch was obsessed with all boy bands, according to Hirsch, but Bass was her favorite. So much so that when she learned the show had been picked up, she suggested him as a celebrity guest star. Hirsch joked that now that he was able to allow his sister to meet her childhood idol, she would have to introduce him to Pikachu to even it out, since that was who he was into at the time.
Hirsch also talked about the sweater behind all of Mabel’s sweaters seen on the show. Explaining that the sweater used to be too large on Ariel, it now fit her and so she wore it to the series’ premiere party. The lime-green sweater that began it all features a troll doll, complete with ‘shedding’ hair and a jewel in its stomach.
Grunkle Stan is loosely based on Hirsch’s own Grandpa Stan. Hirsch recalled that as a child, his mother brought him to a hotel to visit his grandfather. Grandpa Stan proceeded to remove a silver spoon from his pocket and handed it to young Alex, explaining it was the Hirsch family silver and had been passed down throughout generations and was now being given to to Alex. Hirsch was so excited to receive the family heirloom, he ran downstairs to show his mother who pointed out the symbol embossed on the spoon, showing it was nothing more than silverware from the hotel. Thinking his grandfather would be the worst possible caretaker for a summer, he was put into the show.
Soos, who Hirsch cites as being his favorite character from the show, was explained as someone he had first met in school. ‘Soos is inspired by a guy I went to college with,’ Hirsch explained. ‘He’s one of those guys who graduated school and then was always still there, just hanging out in the computer lab like “Dude, need any help with your essay?” “No, I’m good.” “Need help with the printer? I could help you out with the printer.” “No, I’m fine.” “I’ll just sit here and spot you in case you need anything.” He’s just like the sweetest man alive. I hope he comes to Comic-Con sometime because he resembles the character that he’s based on a fair amount — it’s pretty amazing. I think you guys would love to meet the real Soos someday.”
Jason Ritter identified himself with his alter-ego, Dipper Pines. ‘I was pretty much completely like Dipper. I had lots of crushes on older ladies who probably would never date me — and never did,’ he explained. Ritter also said that as a child, he was very excitable and always looking for adventure and that ‘Gravity Falls’ is ‘almost what his dream would be’ as a child. He shared an anecdote on how he and his friends would manufacture their own treasure maps, using tea to ‘age’ them, then pretend to stumble across them and discover the hidden treasure, though he couldn’t recall actually doing any digging, lest he and his friends got in trouble.
Rianda said the key to the show’s success is in keeping it grounded. It’s easy to make everything insane and crazy, he said, but they prefer to keep it grounded by constantly asking what the real Soos would do in a situation, or noting which pop groups Ariel would listen to. He also said a lot of time is spent talking about shipping characters (the fanfic term for relationships) ‘We’re shipping all the characters like UPS,’ he joked.
When the panel turned over to audience Q&A it was only natural that many of the questions had to do with the mysteries and quirks embedded into the series. Responding to a question about ‘Lil Gideon’s book which appears identical to Dipper’s, save for the number on the front, Hirsch responded with, ‘the show’s got some mystery to it, it’s got some overarching themes and secrets. It’s a very good question and will probably get an answer.’
In response to questions regarding Goggle Man, aka Mystery Man, Hirsch was even more coy: ‘Goggle man I’ve never seen before, I’ve never noticed that character. I’ve heard rumors about him but I think it’s just an urban legend or something. I would say that if you’re curious about those kind of things, your curiosity will be rewarded — you have to keep paying attention and you got to freeze frame — that’s all I’m allowed to say on the subject.’
Audience members also longed for a soundtrack from the show, a request Hirsch said he has heard of before. The show’s music is by Brad Breeck, whom Hirsch describes as, a ‘young dude who’s insanely talented.’ In lieu of the soundtrack, it was suggested that fans of the show’s music check out Breeck’s bands, The Mae Shi and Skull Tape.
In addition to the ‘crummy fair’ episode, fans can look forward to an episode dedicated to the Gravity Falls tradition of Summerween, in which Dipper and Mabel are forced to trick or treat, literally for their lives. Another episode, which Hirsch seems particularly excited for, is described as being video game inspired and features guest animation by Paul Robertson.
Below is a small gallery of photos from the panel. Click on any of the thumbnails below to see a larger version:
In anticipation of the stop-motion full-length remake of Tim Burton’s classic short, Frankenweenie, Walt Disney Studios has erected a mobile touring exhibit titled ‘The Art of Frankenweenie‘ which treats visitors to a rare, inside look at how the film was made. One of the first stops on the world tour is San Diego Comic-Con and we were invited by Walt Disney Studios to be one of the first to preview the exhibit which was hosted by film producers Don Hahn and Allison Abbate. Talent from the film, including Atticus Shaffer (of ABC’s ‘The Middle’ and voice of Edgar Gore) also passed through the exhibit to see the displays of props, puppets and concept art.
The exhibit is set up into four main sections. The first is titled Tim’s Desk and it takes the visitor inside the mind of film creator and director Tim Burton. It features many of Burton’s original sketches from which maquettes (also on display) were created. The exhibit, in fact, features several maquettes offering quite varied versions of Sparky, demonstrating his evolution into the character that will appear on the big screen. The display continues with other puppets and maquettes offering insight into the filmmaking process. One interesting thing to note is that whereas puppets in the past, such as Jack Skellington in Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas would have replacement heads for various vocal expressions, all of the puppets have one head design and the mouth is manually adjusted as needed (sometimes by using small screwdrivers inserted into the side of the puppet’s head as shown in some of the art on display). The exception to this is substitute biology teacher Mr. Rzykrus who does have alternate physical mouths as it appeared truer to the character himself.
The remainder of the exhibit focuses on the puppets and key sets used in the film, such as the classroom set, the kitchen set of the Frankenstein home and the Frankenstein attic. The kitchen set also features a separate display of an array of miniature props that had to be created in order to create a realistic universe for the film. Through the meticulously created props as well as set dressing featured in the sets themselves, one truly gets the sense of the amount of dedication that went into producing the film in all disciplines involved in film production. To that, the attic set also features a level of interactivity which allows visitors to turn various lights on and off at the flip of a switch.
There are several hints to more of the story to be found throughout the display however. While the latest trailer hints at Victor’s secret of bringing beloved Sparky back to life being leaked and others following suit, there are a range of new ‘pets’ on display including a were-rat (which merchandising hints belonging to Edgar) and vampire cat, presumably an alternate form of Mr. Whiskers which, according to the headline of the newspaper Mr. Frankenstein is reading, is a mysterious cat found in a postbox and ends up in the hands of Weird Girl. Visitors will also see the giant creature (whose puppet is actually the same size of the rest in reality) that will eventually wreak havoc on the small town of New Holland on its annual Dutch Day event.
Other interesting tidbits picked up from the experience include how the film (as stills) was shot with digital SLR cameras such as the Canon 5D, using a wide array of lenses to produce the desired effect. Hahn also talked about how technology has influenced creating stop-motion films, for example rods can be freely inserted into the backs of puppets, providing support so they can be shot in any position (including mid-air) and digitally removed in the post-production process.
Also on display is a healthy dose of upcoming merchandise based on the film which includes clothing by Mighty Fine Tees and accessories by High Intencity, vinyl figures by Disney Store (including a series of Popcorn Vinylmation) and Medicom, plush by The Bridge and Medicom, Apple iPhone cases and chargers by PDP Mobile and more.
Below is our gallery of photos and video from the exhibit as well as the merchandise on display. Click on any of the thumbnails below to see a larger version.
‘The Art of Frankenweenie‘ exhibit can be viewed at San Diego Comic-Con at booth 3635 for the duration of the show before it moves on to other locations such as the Disneyland Resort. Because of high demand and tight space, timed ‘hall passes’ are being distributed at the booth in order to visit it. Frankenweenie is also featured as part of the Walt Disney Studios panel in Hall H later today along with Oz the Great and Powerful and Walt Disney Animation’s Wreck-It Ralph.
A unique booth at Comic Con 2012 will showcase the world of “The Neighbors,” a new comedy series coming to ABC this fall. In the new series, the very human Weaver family of New Jersey is in for the shock of their lives when they discover that the exclusive community they just moved to is populated by aliens from the planet Zabvron, who are passing themselves off as humans. “The Neighbors” booth will take Comic Con attendees through an “Earth training session.” Like all good Zabvronians here on a visit, they’ll get a new Earthling name, special guidelines for co-existing on their new planet . . . and a free T-shirt! Con goers who stop by the booth will also get a sneak peek at the new series. The booth will be open during Exhibit Floor hours: from 6:00-9:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 11, for Preview Night; from 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Thursday, July 12 through Saturday, July 14; and from 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 15.
“The Neighbors” stars Jami Gertz, Lenny Venito, Simon Templeman, Toks Olagundoye, Clara Mamet, Tim Jo, Ian Patrick, Max Charles and Isabella Cramp. The series was created by Dan Fogelman (“Cars,” Tangled,” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love”), who is an executive producer along with Aaron Kaplan (“GCB,” “Terra Nova”), Jeff Morton (“Modern Family”) and Chris Koch (“Workaholics,” “Modern Family”). The series, from ABC Studios, will premiere this fall on the ABC Television Network.
iTunes has exclusively premiered the new trailer for Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, which will be in theaters nationwide on October 5, 2012.
The new trailer focuses on young Victor as he receives inspiration and puts into practice a challenge to bring his beloved pet dog Sparky back to life.
A feature-length stop-motion remake of the original short film by Burton, Frankenweenie is a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new ‘leash on life’ can be monstrous.
Below is an embed of the new trailer, courtesy of Walt Disney Studios UK
In support for its second season, ABC has announced a full panel for ‘Once Upon A Time,’ featuring its stars and creators. Moderated by TV Guide magazine’s William Keck, the panel will consist of co-creators and executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and cast members Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Emilie de Ravin and Meghan Ory.
The panel will take place on Saturday, July 14 from 11:00 am – 11:45 am in Ballroom 20 and will be followed by an autograph session in Room 28C from 12:15 – 1:00 pm.
In addition, Warner Brothers has announced it will be presenting its new ABC series, ’666 Park Avenue.’ The pilot for the supernatural series will be screened on Wednesday, July 11 in Ballroom 20 as well as during the panel on July 13 in room 6BCF from 12:45 – 1:45. The panel will consist of show talent Terry O’Quinn, Rachael Taylor and Dave Annable along with executive producers David Wilcox and Matthew Miller.
In addition, Warner Brothers Television has announced that the series will be highlighted as one of the designs of the special San Diego Comic-Con limited edition keycards distributed by area hotels.
High-wattage star power and notable creative teams from Disney’s favorite series for kids and families are the centerpiece of Disney Channel and Disney XD’s fan meetings at the leading pop culture convention, Comic-Con International 2012, Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14 in San Diego.
Included in the stellar guest line-up are: Elijah Wood and Bruce Boxleitner with executive producer Charlie Bean and consulting producers Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz from “TRON: Uprising;” Jason Morgan Ritter, creator Alex Hirsch and creative director Michael Rianda from “Gravity Falls,” and “Fish Hooks” creator Noah Z. Jones, executive producer Maxwell Atoms, along with Justin Roiland and Kari Wahlgren. Also, Vincent Martella, Alyson Stoner, Dee Bradley Baker, and co-creators Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh from the Emmy Award-winning “Phineas and Ferb” will screen a clip of the epic summer episode “Where’s Perry, Part 1;” noted creator and animation producer Craig McCracken will show a sneak peek of his upcoming comedy series for Disney Channel, “Wander Over Yonder.”
Disney XD will break out exclusive advance clips of new “Motorcity” episodes and the upcoming series “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja.”
Disney Channel and Disney XD Panels at Comic-Con International 2012:
TRON UPRISING – FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. (Room 6A)
Voice cast Elijah Wood (“Beck”) and Bruce Boxleitner (“Tron”) join executive producer/director Charlie Bean and consulting producers Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz. The panel will also feature never-before-seen clips of Disney XD’s turbo-charged original series “Motorcity” and a sneak peek of the upcoming animated series “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja.” The panel will be moderated by Daily Variety film editor Josh Dickey.
PHINEAS AND FERB – SATURDAY, JULY 14, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. (Room 6A)
Creators/executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh join cast members Vincent Martella (“Phineas”), Alyson Stoner (“Isabella”) and Dee Bradley Baker (“Perry”). The panel will also include an exclusive sneak peek of this summer’s epic two-part cliffhanger episode “Where’s Perry?” Special guest moderator to be announced at Comic-Con.
DISNEY CHANNEL TELEVISION ANIMATION – SATURDAY, JULY 14, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (Room: 5AB)
Disney Channel Television Animation: Fans can see exclusive footage and clips from upcoming episodes of Disney Channel’s BAFTA award-winning series “Fish Hooks” and its newest mystery adventure series “Gravity Falls,” plus a first look at the upcoming series “Wander Over Yonder.” Panelists include: “Fish Hooks” creator/executive producer Noah Z. Jones and executive producer Maxwell Atoms and voice talent Justin Roiland (“Oscar”) and Kari Wahlgren (“Shellsea”); “Gravity Falls” creator Alex Hirsch and creative director Michael Rianda and voice talent Jason Morgan Ritter (“Dipper”), and “Wander Over Yonder” creator Craig McCracken and co-producer Lauren Faust. The panel will be moderated by Eric Coleman, Senior Vice President, Original Series, Disney Television Animation.
Although it should be no surprise that Disney XD’s popular series ‘Phineas and Ferb’ will be returning to San Diego Comic-Con in 2012 as it has had a presence ever since before the show began, Variety is also reporting that new-comer ‘TRON: Uprising’ will have a featured panel along with a preview of ‘Wander Over Yonder’ from the prolific and successful husband-wife team of Craig McCracken and Lauren Faust.
According to the article, the ‘TRON: Uprising’ panel will consist of lead vocal talent Elijah Wood and co-star Bruce Boxleitner as well as executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis.
Thanks to @rwmead for the heads up.
‘ KA’ by Cirque du Soleil , the spectacular production at MGM Grand Las Vegas, and Marvel Custom Solutions team up to tell the story of this acclaimed live production through an all-new, collectible comic book. KA #1 will debut at the Marvel booth (#2329) during Comic Con International in San Diego, July 12 – 15, 2012.
“To see our live KA performances transform from the theatre to ink on pages in a comic book is an incredible opportunity for our entire team,” said Marie-Helene Gagnon, Artistic Director of KA. “By aligning ourselves with the premier brand of comic book creators, we have produced an illustration of KA that depicts the story very vividly and stays true to the plot. Marvel and its team of creators have been great to collaborate with and have embraced the story of KA and the expectations of Cirque du Soleil.”
“Marvel’s proud to bring the exciting, out of this world action and adventure of KA to life in this all new comic book,” said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Worldwide, Inc. “This is a great comic for fans of all ages, whether they’re long-time fans of Marvel, KA or new to both exciting brands of storytelling.”
KA fans attending Comic Con International can take home the heroic journey of Imperial Twins separated by war who encounter adventure and peril at every turn on their quest to reunite their kingdom.
“What’s more jaw-dropping, the majesty of the Imperial Court…the dynamic dance of their martial arts display…the overwhelming might of the invading archer army…the desperate fight for survival in the storm-tossed seas…or the tantalizing glimpses at the future threats that await the Twins?” said Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann. “Readers can decide for themselves when they feast their eyes on the all-out spectacle that writer Bryan J.L. Glass, artist Wellinton Alves and cover artist Michael Del Mundo have crafted in this world premiere debut issue.”
KA #1 will be distributed at Comic Con International in San Diego at the Marvel booth in July. A limited amount of books also will be available at comic book stores in select markets. In addition to the print copy of the comic book, fans will be able to access the KA customized comic book by utilizing Marvel’s cutting-edge digital comics reader.
Fans can get an inside look at the making of the comic book by visiting www.kacomicbook.com. Featuring sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes information, including line art, storyboards and more, this site will serve as a hub for details on the collaboration. Fans will be able to receive information on how to get their own copy of the comic book.
Some exciting news came out late last night (or early this morning depending on where you are) for fans of Tim Burton and his upcoming stop-motion film, Frankenweenie. According to Walt Disney Studios UK, which posted the video below to its YouTube channel, a new traveling art exhibition featuring puppets, props and more from the film will be touring the globe starting later this month.
The video is hosted by Frankenweenie producer Allison Abbate, who gives an introduction to the ‘Art of Frankenweenie’ traveling exhibition as well as a sneak peek at some of the items that will be on display. The sneak peek is then followed by a list of cities and dates as to where one will be able to find the exhibit with state-side stops presumably including San Diego Comic-Con and the Disneyland Resort.
The schedule as presented in the video is as follows:
- 06/18 – 06/21 Barcelona, Spain
- 07/11 – 07/15 San Diego, California (Comic-Con)
- 07/27 – 08/07 Mexico City, Mexico
- 08/23 – 08//26 Toronto, Canada
- 09/10 – 11/01 Anaheim, California (Disneyland Resort)
- 09/27 – 10/14 Madrid, Spain
- 10/17 – 10/21 London, England
- 10/23 – 11/02 Paris, France
- 12/05 – 12/26 Tokyo, Japan
Today we are blessed with first looks of several figures from the Alien Invasion project by MINDstyle. Featuring contributions from 30 Disney and Pixar artists, each have put their own individual spin on a blank figure in the shape of the LGM from the Toy Story films.
The exhibition tour kicks off June 15 at Hong Kong’s Times Square. For a preview of other figures from the exhibit, check out MINDstyle’s official blog.
We also get our first look at MINDstyle’s limited edition art toy collectible (ATC) of the main character from John Lasseter’s original short, Tin Toy. The figure will first be released at San Diego Comic Con. No word on edition size or whether it will be an exclusive to the SDCC.