Comic-Con 2015: Nine Animation Events We’re Excited About

San Diego Comic-Con International is less than ten days away. (Photo: Christopher Penler/Shutterstock.com)

San Diego Comic-Con International is less than ten days away. (Photo: Christopher Penler/Shutterstock.com)

San Diego Comic-Con International is just around the corner, and as usual, it boasts a dizzying number of animation-related events. We’ve cut through the clutter with this handy guide to some of the animation events that we’re most excited about at the annual pop culture blowout.

There is much to witness, from the sublime to the silly. Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko discuss the mysterious future of their elemental Nickelodeon cli-fi The Legend of Korra, whose season finale ended with a same-sex relationship revelation that is definitely not your average cartoon television. Meanwhile, director Sanjay Patel will reveal Pixar’s new short Sanjay’s Super Team, which spins off superhero mythology into new directions.

The impressive legacies of Looney Tunes legends Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones are also on the docket, as is an all-star bow to influential Disney animator Floyd Norman, who just celebrated his 80th birthday.

Check out the rest of Cartoon Brew’s list below, and stay tuned for our exhaustive, animation-centric Comic-Con guide on Thursday.

THURSDAY JULY 9
Concept art for "Sanjay's Super Team" by Sanjay Patel. Click to enlarge. (Disney/Pixar)

Concept art for “Sanjay’s Super Team” by Sanjay Patel. Click to enlarge. (Disney/Pixar)

The Super Story Behind the Pixar Short Sanjay’s Super Team
Director Sanjay Patel and producer Nicole Grindle present a peek behind the curtains at Pixar Animation Studio’s latest short, Sanjay’s Super Team. The filmmakers will discuss the production process as well as the unique inspiration for this incredibly personal film that features superheroes like you’ve never seen them before.
11:00am-12:00pm, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Chuck Jones (left) and Bob Clampett

Chuck Jones (left) and Bob Clampett

Looney Tunes Legacy: Linda Jones and Ruth Clampett on The Life and Art of Animation
Chuck Jones and Bob Clampett are two of the most important animators in cartoon history. Their daughters, Linda Jones (Emmy Award-winning producer, founder of Linda Jones Enterprises) and Ruth Clampett (founder of Clampett Studio Collections, former head of Warner Brothers art program) keep their dads’ legacies alive. These powerful Hollywood businesswomen also made collecting the art of animation and film accepted and embraced around the world and own all rights to sell official Warner Brothers cartoon art, Vintage WB movie art, DC comics art, and the art of Harry Potter. They’ll talk about growing up with two geniuses and how they built empires of their own making geek art cool. Moderated by Leslie Combemale (ArtInsights Animation and Film Art Gallery).
2:30pm – 3:30pm, Room 24ABC

Floyd Norman Documentary
Filmmakers Michael Fiore (producer of the upcoming feature Home Invasion) and Erik Sharkey (director of Drew: The Man Behind the Poster) will show clips from their original feature-length documentary and reunite Floyd Norman (legendary Disney and Hanna Barbera animator and story artist) with many animators and artists that he influenced and worked with over his 60-year career. Panelists will include notables featured in the documentary including Paul Dini (animation writer/producer), Gary Trousdale (co-director of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), Scott Shaw (cartoonist, humorist, historian), Leo Sullivan (animator, producer, publisher), Ken Mitchroney (writer, director, story artist), Adrienne Nichelle Brown-Norman (illustrator, Disney Publishing), and Tom Sito (animator, professor of animation, USC). The documentary also features interviews with such notables as actress Whoopi Goldberg, cartoonist Sergio Aragonés, Disney music composer Richard Sherman, producer Don Hahn, Maleficent), Ralph Guggenheim (former Pixar VP of animation) and film critic/historian Leonard Maltin. The documentary is supported by a musical score composed by Ryan Shore (composer, Disney’s Penn Zero and WB’s Scooby-Doo!). The filmmakers will moderate a Q&A session and celebrate Mr. Norman’s 80th birthday.
9:00pm – 10:30pm, Room 9

FRIDAY JULY 10

Disney Animators: The Power of 2D
A luminary panel of former and current Disney animators spanning from Lady and the Tramp to Moana talk about the importance of 2D animation in the history of Disney, as well as the part it plays in guiding advancement of its future. Panelists are Willie Ito (Lady and the Tramp, Inkpot Award-winning animator), Dale Baer (Robin Hood to Moana), Randy Haycock (The Lion King to Moana), Tom Sito (The Little Mermaid, author of Moving Innovation), Adam Dykstra (Tangled, Tarzan), and Mike Polvani (Hercules, 2D Animation School founder). Changes in technology, artistic expression and the value of cooperative interplay between 2D and 3D artists to create the best animation will be discussed. There will be a Q&A moderated by Leslie Combemale (Animation expert, ArtInsights Gallery).
1:30pm – 2:30pm, Room 24ABC

Industrial Light & Magic 40th Anniversary
For forty years, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has set the standard for visual effects, creating some of the most memorable images in the history of modern cinema. From advances in the photo chemical process, optical compositing, motion control, and models and miniatures to the company’s pioneering efforts in computer graphics, digital compositing, film scanning and recording, morphing, digital environments, performance capture, character animation and modern digital pipelines, ILM continues to break new ground in visual effects for film, television, themed attractions and new forms of entertainment. The presenters will discuss the company’s work from its earliest days and breakthroughs along the way.
2:00pm – 3:00pm, Room 7AB

"El Americano." (Click to enlarge.)

“El Americano.” (Click to enlarge.)

The Future of Mexican Animation in the U.S.
This panel, moderated by Edward James Olmos, features filmmakers Ricardo Arnaiz and Mike Kunkel, as well as Ricardo Gomez Quinones (Kaxan), Andres Reyes Botello (Boxel), and Veronica Arceo (Nahuala Productions) who will share their experiences on producing the Mexican/American animated movie El Americano 3D and share inside information about independent distribution and their future projects. They will be joined by a group of Mexican and American producers, directors, and animators from Animex, Anima Estudios, Huevocartoon, Boxel, Imagination Films, Metacube, and Kaxan, who will also premiere their animated movies in the U.S. during 2015 and 2016.
6:00pm – 7:00pm, Room 29AB

SATURDAY JULY 11

Avatar the Last Airbender: Legend and Legacy
The story of Aang and Korra has ended in one form but continues in graphic novels and through the fans. For over six years, Avatar Legacy has been hosting panels celebrating the fans’ love and loyalty. Moderated by Avatar_Mom, this year’s panelists are Magda E. (artist), Kevin Coppa (Puppetbenders creator), Giancarlo Volpe (director ATLA, producer Green Lantern the Animated Series), Aaron Ehasz (head writer ATLA), Dante Basco (voice actor, Zuko), Jack DeSena (voice actor, Sokka) and Darcy Rose Byrnes (Voice actor, Ikki). The panel also hosts a cosplay contest open to all levels of skill. Hopefuls must be in the panel room to be considered.
10:00am – 11:00am, Room 25ABC

See also: Nickelodeon and Dark Horse Comics: Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra
Friday July 10, 2015 10:00am – 11:00am
Room 25ABC

Concept image from Patrick Osborne's "Pearl." (Click to enlarge.)

Concept image from Patrick Osborne’s “Pearl.” (Click to enlarge.)

An Inside Look at Google Spotlight Stories
Karen Dufilho-Rosen (executive producer, Google Spotlight Stories) moderates a panel featuring Jan Pinkava (director, Windy Day, creative director, Google Spotlight Stories), Glen Keane (director, duet), Shannon Tindle (director, On Ice), Patrick Osborne (director, Pearl), Felix Maisse (director, Rain or Shine), Max Keane (production designer, Duet), Lou Romano (art director, On Ice), Scott Stafford (creative director, sound and music, Google Spotlight Stories), and Rachid El Guerrab (technical project lead, Google Spotlight Stories), who share their insights and experiences regarding the creation of this new, narrative format for 360-degree, immersive, interactive stories made especially for mobile devices.
4:30pm – 5:30pm, Room 24ABC

SUNDAY JULY 12

Queer Imagery in Animation
LGBTQ issues and characters are appearing in a variety of cartoons on television and in the movie theaters. Join Prism Comics for a panel discussing works of animation that tackle same gender attraction and gender identity exploration including The Legend of Korra, Bob’s Burgers, American Dad, Paranorman and Steven Universe. Moderated by P. Kristen Enos (Prism Comics board member, Web of Lives), the panelists include Diane Anderson-Minshall (The Advocate, Queerly Beloved), Matt Kane (GLAAD), and Emily Quinn (Adventure Time, Faking It).
3:00pm – 4:00pm, Room 28DE