Comic-Con: 3-D hits the stage

July 23, 2009 | 10:07 p.m.
Carol

This is not your father’s 3-D movie.

Disney dished out sneak peeks of its upcoming 3-D blockbuster bets Thursday morning in Hall H, including “A Christmas Carol,” “Alice in Wonderland“ and “Tron Legacy.”

Disney kicked off the presentation with “A Christmas Carol,” and an interview with director Robert Zemeckis. Think of it as Disney’s savory 3-D appetizer that prepared the palate for the main course — “Alice in Wonderland” — and topped off with a short and sweet showing of “Tron Legacy.”

Of the three movies, “A Christmas Carol” is the riskiest of Disney’s three projects to screen for the Comic-Con crowd. Featuring Jim Carey in eight roles, the remake of Charles Dickens’ classic is definitely not happy, fluffy holiday fare. Many in the audience were surprised by its dark and grim tones.  The movie evoked Rembrandt browns pierced by shards of light designed to show off the movie’s technical achievements in rendering Jacob Marley’s skin and creating the terror in his lively eyes.

At the end of the preview, the audience seemed to ditch any notions of taking their 4-year-olds to this film. “Too scary,” seemed to be the consensus verdict. But they were suitably impressed with its 3-D aspects and special effects, giving the presentation a solid round of applause. “If you read the actual novel, it’s very, very trippy. It’s very surreal,” Zemeckis said during a question-and-answer session. He later defended his work, saying, “It’s a ghost movie,” as if to say, “What did you expect?”

Fans weren’t expecting Johnny Depp to show up for … (keep reading)

… Disney’s follow-up presentation of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Alice_in_wonderland_poster_mad_hatter

The actor, who plays the a demented-looking Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s live-action adaptation of the Lewis Carroll book, walked on stage to howling applause. Needless to say, Disney queued up the movie’s trailer three times — each time, the audience cheered as if it’d never seen it before, even though the clip hit YouTube yesterday.

The final morsel of the 3-D presentation was tailor-made for the Comic-Con crowd. Since the original release of “Tron” 27 years ago, the cyber-western-action film has created legions of fans, many of whom also are also video game thumb jockeys. The sequel, “Tron Legacy,” serves up many of the same retrograde arcade aesthetics that fans of the original love. Instead of renting timeshares on mainframe computers to make the first film, let’s just say that the producers of “Tron Legacy” have a few more computers at their disposal.

Audience members drooled at the slideshow of slick new vehicles, and the 3-D trailer jacked them into the movie’s “Game Grid” as if they were sucked into the arcade itself. Jeff Bridges, who reprises his role as Kevin Flynn, summed up the results, “Everything is going to be super-ized.” — Alex Pham

Follow my random thoughts on games, gear and technology on Twitter @AlexPham.

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