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WonderCon: LetTheWookieWin takes a look at the panels for animated flicks 9 and UP!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I wrapped up today with a tour around the floor, picking up some last minute geek essentials, including the new Scott Pilgrim book for the plane ride back home tomorrow, the massive hardbound Art of Ralph McQuarrie book, a couple of decks of horror playing cards and some original art from Eisner Award Winner Chuck BB from his BLACK METAL comic put out by Oni press. Successful haul. I had to miss the majority of both these panels yesterday due to interviews. I couldn't write up 9 due to conflict of interest reasons, but I can say that I loved Shane Acker's original short and I'm really psyched to see the movie. And UP just looks awesome. I'll have my interview with Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera up sometime next week. Until then, here's LetTheWookieWin with a report on the animation panels!

Hi Quint, I'm sure you've gotten a few of these, but I wanted to shoot you an email as I attended both the 9 and Up panels. First, 9. The panel consisted of Elijah Wood, voice of the titular 9 character along with an animator whose name I wasn't able to pick up. They started off with the trailer that is available online and then went into some background about director Shane Ackers original short film in his time in film school and how it was noticed by Tim Burton and got off the ground to become a full-length film. They then took several questions from the crowd and then showed another clip, a couple minute scene depicting a battle of the rag-doll characters battling some type of bizzare flying creature/machine. We got to hear the character voices from most of the main cast (I believe Wood, Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly and Jennifer Connelly were all featured in the scene). It was an action packed clip well put together, and I'm just loving the general look and atmosphere of the film. There was also a nice inclusion of humor at the end of a big action scene which shows a hint of some levity put into a post-apocalyptic world. Following a question I asked about what draws such a great cast to an animated film, Wood talked about how much he likes animation in general as well the look of this specific film. He said that a lot of the animation out there is "talking lions and zoo animals" and loved the fact that this was something new and dark and different. Both panel guests said it will be a dark film, but "with hope." The non-Elijah panel member spoke highly of the cast, which truth be told is really solid. This looks like something that might have trouble in the beginning but could pick up a pretty big following in the end. The Up panel featured director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera. They had a well put together panel where they set up 5 different scenes from the film that really showed a lot of what the film was about (much more so than any of the trailers). The first scene was the meeting between crumedgeony main character Carl and young Wilderness Explorer (a boy scout knock-off) Russel. A funny interaction shows that Russell needs one final achievement badge to get promoted in the WE and that is the Assist the Elderly Badge. This sets up why a little scout would be around Carl and eventuall end up on Carl's front porch as we see in the trailers. The next scene shows why Carl wants to attach a billion baloons to his house and fly away. His wife has passed away and he lives alone. His house is being bought out from under him in the name of "development" and he's being forced to vacate his house and go to an old folks home. As the nurses come to pick him up, Carl claims he wants one last look at the house, goes back inside and unleashes the baloons. The house takes off, and Carl has rigged sails to direct his way to South America where his now-passed-away wife and he dreamed of spending their later years together. After a few moments, we get the door knocking scene with Russell we see in the trailer. After some funny interactions we see the house enter a huge storm and the clip ends. The panel bridges the gap saying that the storm blows the house 20 miles off course and crashes. The house is still afloat, so tethered by a rope and a garden hose the two attempt to walk the house the final miles to where Carl wants to end up. Along the way Russell befriends a strage, massive bird who will seemingly be providing a lot of the physical comedy in the movie. Carldoesn't want to keep te bird, but it follows them anyway because of his love for Russell, who as a Wilderness Explorer is a "friend to all of nature." The final two clips pretty much went together. It turns out there are a group of talking dogs (I know it's weird, but it just works. Pixar can do stuff like that) that have collars that translate their thoughts through a speaker. The first dog that Carl and Russell meet seems to be a bit slow-wited but friendly, and joins the crew. This seems to be the core group of "good guys" for the rest of the film, since all of these clips were in the first 45 minutes. There are other dogs in the next scene which shows that they for whatever reason want to catch the bird for their "master" (who I would assume is some scientist that created the talk collars...who knows, this movie went places I NEVER expected) and chase off after our intrepid heroes. The clips looked great and drew huge laughs from the audience. This looks like another example of an idea that just doesn't seem could work but Pixar will bring to life in great heartwarming and humorous fashion. Docter claimed the movie all started with an old crumudgeon who wants to escape, and it all went from there. Those guys are smart. After the panel, I've become pretty excited about both of these films. They both look very beautiful in very different ways, and both look amazingly original in concept. Overall, WonderCon got me pretty jacked up about the summer movies. If you use this call me LetTheWookieWin Thanks!

Readers Talkback
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  • March 1, 2009, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Talking dogs?

    by D.Vader

    My interest for this film just went way-up.

  • March 1, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Damn, I finally get first

    by D.Vader

    And its ruined by spamming.

  • March 1, 2009, 8:24 p.m. CST


    by D.Vader

  • March 1, 2009, 8:33 p.m. CST

    D. Vader...

    by 11ZOMBIES're a "first" whore, who knew? lol Up sounds awesome, Pixar has yet to disappoint. The other film sounds intriguing too, I love animation, can't wait to see what the future has in store.

  • March 1, 2009, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Nine, 9, and 9.99.

    by Bungion Boy

    So we're getting three "9" movies this year. Just wanted to be the first to point that out. Now it's up to the all the rest of you to ask the question... "why?".

  • March 1, 2009, 9:14 p.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by wampa 1

    ...but it sure smells good!

  • March 1, 2009, 9:16 p.m. CST


    by dioxholster

    squeeze me a milkshake!

  • March 1, 2009, 9:17 p.m. CST

    there is an annoying black guy

    by dioxholster

    doing his bit for a mcD ad. i will shoot him

  • March 1, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Coheed in the trailer sold me on 9

    by dr sauch

    Can't wait, finally something new in animation.

  • March 1, 2009, 9:28 p.m. CST

    ease up on the hate crimes, dioxholster.

    by dr sauch

    just eeeeeaaaaaase up.

  • March 1, 2009, 9:35 p.m. CST

    black people of the world

    by dioxholster

    i apologize if i offended any blacks or people who look almost black. please let me squeeze you a milkshake!

  • March 1, 2009, 10:02 p.m. CST


    by Toonol

    I had no idea this movie existed, and was blown away by the trailer. There were a bunch of other trailers for animated movies in front of Coraline, and none of them came close to the quality of that trailer. I hope the movie is as good.

  • March 1, 2009, 10:16 p.m. CST


    by Get_Me_An_18-Man_Fire_Team_In_12_Hours

    Glad to see this TB is full of PROFESSIONALS!

  • March 1, 2009, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Pixar Never Fails.

    by Redfive!

    Thats why I know UP will be every bit as great as all the others.. *And yes I even like Cars,but that an A Bugs Life are my least favs* PIXAR CAN DO NO WRONG.

  • March 1, 2009, 11:51 p.m. CST


    by DOGSOUP

    By buying not just one, but TWO Oni Press releases! Thanks Quint! My city appreciates your business!

  • March 2, 2009, 2:56 a.m. CST

    Apatow Productions OFFICIALLY in charge of GHOSTBUSTERS 3

    by Mike_D

  • March 2, 2009, 2:59 a.m. CST

    "9" looks amazing

    by Frisco

    Definitely watch the HD version of the short at -- it has no dialog but it looks like it captures the mood and setting that you see in the feature's trailer. "Up" sounds intriguing too, though for me it's mainly because people who have seen more of it than I have keep saying how great it is. Just a quick aside though: "Wilderness Explorer?" Really? What's wrong with just making him a Boy Scout? I don't want to read too much into that, but it's hard not to. Don't want to piss off those few (but loud) idiots who would complain about Pixar's associating a protagonist with a "hate group," after all.

  • March 2, 2009, 3:22 a.m. CST


    by Rebeck2

    So tired of people running down CARS - I love that movie. I just don't get it. For me, FINDING NEMO and MONSTERS INC are my least favorites because they are the most "kiddie-ish" of all their films. Still good, just not quite to my taste. CARS has some nice adult stuff in it though, and it's funny, beautiful to look at and has a good message about slowing down and enjoying the small pleasures of life. Of course it doesn't make any sense and it shouldn't work, but it does! That's PIXAR. They are just fucking brilliant - the greatest creative team in modern moviemaking. I can't wait for UP. My top five Pixars (it's the law, I have to rate them): 1. Toy Story, 2. The Incredibles, 3. Cars, 4. Wall-E, 5. Ratatouille.

  • March 2, 2009, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Not a Star Wars fanatic,

    by Dingbatty

    I enjoy it for my part, but it's not the end all be all for me. That said, McQuarrie is a genius, and I envy your possession of that book.

  • March 2, 2009, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Frisco, "Boy Scouts" might be copyrighted

    by dr sauch

  • March 2, 2009, 8:52 a.m. CST

    As an Adult, I never thought I'd look forward to an..

    by conspiracy

    "Animated" movie more than something live action. But Damn, Pixar just makes GREAT films.

  • March 2, 2009, 8:57 a.m. CST

    And yes.."Boy Scouts" is trademarked

    by conspiracy

  • March 2, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    So what if it's trademarked

    by xevoid

    That's like saying you can't have a CocaCola salesman in your movie because Coke is trademarked. I suspect fair use comes into play here. They probably don't have him as a real boy scout on purpose...

  • March 2, 2009, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Can't wait for 9-9-09!

    by scifianimfan

    BTW, the non-Elijah Wood guy on the 9 panel was the Animation Director, Joe Ksander.

  • March 2, 2009, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Why the used Wilderness Explorer

    by LetTheWookieWin

    ...was probably just for the sake of parody. The scenes shown were kind of tongue in cheek about the group. There is no such thing as an Assist the Elderly Merit Badge.

  • March 3, 2009, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Why you can't just drop trademarks in your movie

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    Movies that show you products have been paid for those placements. Even the most insignificant placement gets paid. So if you do a 'fair use' placement of a Coca-Cola product, good luck trying to get money out of Frito-Lay, Pizza Hut, and Chrysler when you offer to stick their products 3 inches away from a camera during an establishing shot.