The Animation Lover’s Guide To San Diego Comic-Con

Claude Harrington 07.11.2016

Next week, the country’s longest running comics convention kicks off in San Diego. As in years past, the 47th annual Comic-Con is about more than comics; it’s a celebration of pop-culture in dozens of different arenas. Including, of course, panels devoted to highlights, previews and reflections in the world of animation. So, with the show’s full program now released, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting and exciting animation-related events.

The 2016 San Diego Comic-Con runs over the course of four days (July 21-24).

So let’s start at the beginning…


Thursday, July 21 (Comic-Con 2016)

10:00 AM DreamWorks Animation Theatrical (Hall H)

A special Trolls presentation moderated by Chris Hardwick, featuring Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, director Mike Mitchell, co-director Walt Dohrn and producer Gina Shay.

11:15 AM Happy Happy Joy Joy (Room 6A)

Nick Animation podcast host Hector Navarro finds out how and why four of the network’s most influential creators did what they did: Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold), Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim), Butch Hartman (Fairly OddParents, Danny Phanton) and Arlene Klasky (Rugrats, Wild Thornberrys, Rocket Power),

11:30 AM The Relationship Between Artist and Model (Room 24ABC)

With all the drawing software out there, why do animation studios, video game developers, and comics illustrators still use live action models for character design and development? This panel will discuss how art models contribute to and enhance an artist’s vision, how to find the right one for a project, and ways into the business.

12:30 PM Moana: Art of Story (Room 6A)

Legendary directors Ron Clements (Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Treasure Planet, Princess and the Frog) and John Musker (Little MermaidAladdinHercules, Treasure Planet, Princess and the Frog) lead a panel of artists as they give a behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming animated comedy-adventure Moana, a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people.


2:00 PM Comics and Animation Story Boards (Room 25ABC)

A panel of Walt Disney Animation Studio artists who have made the journey from comics to animation (or animation to comics) share stories and talk about the crossover skill-sets that have allowed them to dip their hands into both rich, vibrant mediums.

4:30 PM Cartoon Creatives: Women Power in Animation (Room 24ABC)

Leslie Combemale of Animation Scoop moderates a panel that includes Lauren Faust (creator, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic), Brooke Keesling (director of animation talent development at Disney TV Animation), Lauren Montgomery (co-executive producer, Voltron: Legendary Defender), Stevie Wermers-Skelton (co-director, the upcoming Frozen Holiday Special), Gina Shay (producer, the upcoming Trolls), Katie Krentz (senior director of development: Cartoon Network, Steven Universe), Daron Nefcy (creator/executive producer, Star vs. the Forces of Evil) and Marge Dean (co-president, Women in Animation).

5:45 PM Sausage Party Filmmaker Conversation (Horton Grand Theatre)

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will discuss  making the world’s first R-rated CG animated comedy. Sausage Party is about a group of supermarket products on a quest to discover the truth about their existence and what really happens when they become chosen to leave the grocery story.

7:15 PM Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation (Room 6BCF)

Best known for theatrically premiering works of Tim Burton, John Lasseter and Bill Plympton, Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation focuses on pop culture and hilarious award-winning films. Also: Spike will be there in person!


Friday, July 22 (Comic-Con 2016)

10:00 AM The Giant’s Dream: Documentary Screening & Chat with Brad Bird (Room 24ABC)

Director Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) will lead a discussion following a final cut screening of this fascinating documentary that examines the intricate, behind-the-scenes details of the creative process in bringing the beloved 1999 animated film The Iron Giant to screen.

10:30 AM My Little Pony (Room 6A)

The cast and creatives behind My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and My Little Pony Equestria Girls share details of the making of the popular animated series. Fans will also get a sneak peek into the rest of season 6, the new My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree movie coming this Fall, and more, followed by a Q&A.

11:45 AM Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Return to New York (Room 6A)

Executive producers Ciro Nieli and Brandon Auman share sneak peeks at the epic adventures and new characters that await the turtles when they return to the streets of New York. On hand will be the extraordinary voice actors of the TMNT world: Rob Paulsen (Donatello), Greg Cipes (Michelangelo), Mae Whitman (April O’Neil), Eric Bauza (Tiger Claw) and Gwendoline Yeo (Shinigami).

1:30 PM Cartoon Legends Speak: Diversity in the History of Animation (Room 24ABC)

A panel featuring great artists including Disney Legend and first African American animator hired at Walt Disney Studios, Floyd Norman (The Jungle Book, Monsters, Inc), first African American animator to get a screen credit and award-winning illustratorRon Husband (The Rescuers, The Little Mermaid), Japanese American and Inkpot winner Willie Ito (Lady and the Tramp, The Flintstones), Jane Baer (Sleeping Beauty, Roger Rabbit), and Emmy Award-winning Mexican American animator Phil Roman(Sleeping Beauty, The Simpsons). They’ll discuss their careers, their futures, and how diversity has played a role in their artistic lives.


2:15 PM [adult swim]: Rick and Morty (Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

Executive producers Dan Harmon (Community) and Justin Roiland (Adventure Time), writer/producer Ryan Ridley (Community), and voice talent Spencer Grammer(Greek), Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) and Chris Parnell (Archer, The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show) invite fans for a sneak peek at the highly anticipated third season. Moderated by Brian Q. Quinn (Impractical Jokers).

4:00 PM Bob’s Burgers (Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

Bob’s Burgers creator and executive producer Loren Bouchard, executive producer Jim Dauterive, and the hilarious cast (including H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal, and Larry Murphy) come together to talk about making the Emmy Award-winning animated FOX series.

4:00 PM Revengeance with Bill Plympton & Jim Lujan (Room 23ABC)

Voice actors Geo Brawn, Lalo Alcaraz, Sara Ulloa, Keith Knight and Ken Mora join two-time Oscar-nominated director Bill Plympton and writer Jim Lujan to preview their new animated feature, Revengeance, with finished clips from the film and a discussion of the production process, from raising funds via Kickstarter to the plans for distribution.

4:30 PM Beauty and the Beast: 25th Anniversary (Room 5AB)

Oscar-nominated producer Don Hahn, directors Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, and an all-star panel of filmmakers discuss the making of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.


5:00 PM The State of the Industry: Animation (Room 28DE)

What do the pros think of the animation scene today? Is hand-drawn and VFX gone for good? What will be the impact of VR? How do I get a job? This panel will explore how animators fit into current business models of animation studios and the ever-changing landscape of motion pictures, television, and new media. Moderator Tom Sito engages in a lively discussion with Bill Plympton (Hitler’s Folly, Cheatin’), Careen Ingel (The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show), Peter Ramsey (Tank Girl, Rise of the Guardians), Ken Duncan (Tarzan, Coca-Cola Man and Dog), and Camille Kanengiser (Freeform VR Labs, Elementerra).

5:00 PM Archer: Screening and Q&A (Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

See an exclusive new video and then join the voice cast of H. Jon Benjamin (Sterling Archer), Aisha Tyler (Lana Kane), Jessica Walter (Malory Archer), Chris Parnell (Cyril Figgis), Judy Greer (Cheryl/Carol Tunt), Amber Nash (Pam Poovey), and Lucky Yates (Dr. Algernop Krieger), plus creator/executive producer/writer Adam Reed (Ray Gillette), executive producer Matt Thompson and co-executive producer Casey Willis as they discuss bringing this animated series to life.

6:30 PM She Made That: Nickelodeon Women in Animation (Room 24ABC)

A group of innovative and pioneering female cartoon creators discuss their careers and the opportunities for women in animation today. Panelists include women responsible for the original Nicktoons from the 1990s and others who are making some of today’s best animation for TV and the web.

8:15 PM Worst Cartoons Ever (Room 6BCF)

For the 14th year, Jerry Beck (Cartoon Research) compiles a selection of the most terribly written, ugliest drawn, and unintentionally funniest animated films ever made. Cartoons include Mighty Mr. Titan (a physical fitness superhero) and Johnny Cypher in Dimension Zero (a one-man weapon of mass destruction). Be sure to enjoy some of the worst there is out there in this hilarious salute.

9:00 PM World Premiere of Batman: The Killing Joke (Ballroom 20)

Hear how the graphic novel transitioned to an R-rated, feature-length animated thriller, and then witness the world premiere of this highly anticipated film.


Saturday, July 23 (Comic-Con 2016)

10:00 AM Starting and Sustaining a Career Writing Animation (Room 9)

Want to write for animation? How do you break in? What’s it take to get that first job? After that, how do you get a second gig? And a third? What are the skills and secrets of maintaining a career in the field, including becoming a story editor/showrunner, and perhaps creating and selling your own show. Craig Miller(Curious George, Beast Wars) leads a panel of animation writers with extensive careers and others who have recently broken into the field, including Kaita Mpambara(Ultimate Spider-man, Elena of Avalor), Steve Melching (X-Men: The Animated Series, Star Wars Rebels), Nicole Dubuc (Young Justice, Transformers: Rescue Bots), Dean Stefan(He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, CatDog), and Rachel Vine (Rainbow Brite, Wander Over Yonder) who will share their knowledge and answer your questions.

12:00 PM The Simpsons (Ballroom 20)

The Simpsons is heading into its 600th episode. Creator Matt Groening, executive producers Al Jean and Matt Selman, supervising director Mike B. Anderson, Oscar-nominated director of The Simpsons Movie David Silverman, and voice of Bart Simpson Nancy Cartwright offer some juicy tidbits on the 28th season and beyond!


12:30 PM Marvel Animation (Room 6A)

Join Marvel Animation for an eye-popping, toe-tapping, heart-stopping panel celebrating Marvel’s acclaimed animated series Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six, Marvel’s Avengers: Ultron Revolution, andMarvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.Hosted by “Cantankerin” Cort Lane (SVP, animation and family entertainment),”Evil-Eyed” Eric Randomski (SVP, production and creative director, Marvel Animation), and “Stephen” Wacker (VP, current series & development, Marvel Animation), this jamboree will feature exclusive sneak peeks from upcoming episodes and scoop on exciting new projects in development.

1:00 PM Family Guy (Ballroom 20)

The cast (Alex Borstein, Mike Henry) and executive producers (Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin, Steve Callaghan) present a special preview of next season’s hilarity and hi-jinx from FOX’s hit animated comedy.

5:00 PM Son of Zorn (Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront)

Be one of the first to see FOX’s highly anticipated new hybrid live-action/animated family comedy, Son of Zorn. Featuring the voice of Jason Sudeikis, the series follows an animated warrior from a faraway island in the Pacific Ocean who returns to Orange County to win back his live-action ex-wife and teenage son. The talented cast and crew, including Cheryl Hines, Tim Meadows, Johnny Pemberton, executive producer Sally McKenna and executive producer/director Eric Appel will entertain as they discuss this ground-breaking series coming to FOX this fall. Moderated by Dan Snierson.

8:00 PM Crunchyroll: Anime, Manga, and Much More (Room 23ABC)

If you are a fan of anime, manga, and everything coming out of Japan right now you, this is a panel for you. Crunchyroll, your source of all things anime and manga, will be talking about their streaming service and all the hottest titles streaming currently. Prizes will be given out, and all who attend will get a special gift.


Sunday, July 24 (Comic-Con 2016)

11:00 AM Cartoon Design for Creative Kids (Room 30CDE)

Kristian Andrew Sather (Cartoon Design Revealed), Doug Lothers (animation instructor), and John Gaydos (animation instructor) demonstrate how to draw fun and funny cartoon characters at this popular workshop. They will reveal the techniques used to construct funny cartoon characters using basic geometric shapes in various sizes, with additional simple elements. If you know how to draw a circle, a square, a rectangle, and a triangle, then you can draw fun cartoon characters.

1:00 PM Sailor Moon (Room 6A)

VIZ Media is releasing the 200-episode classic Sailor Moon series for the first time on Blu-ray, with an all-new completely uncut and uncensored English dub. Members of the VIZ Animation team describe all the ins and outs of the production of this legendary anime series as well as news about the all new series Sailor Moon Crystal!

3:00 PM Animaniacs Live! (Room 6DE)

It’s time for Animaniacs, live! Join the voice cast of the iconic animated seriesAnimaniacs Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille and Jess Harnell, along with series songwriter Randy Rogel for a zany, animany, and totally insaney afternoon as they perform songs from the beloved cartoon. Animaniacs Live! will be coming to a city near you.

3:00 PM Business of Cartoon Voices (Room 25ABC)

Interested in a career doing voices for animation and video games? There are plenty of people around who’ll take your money and tell you how to go about it, but here’s 90 minutes of absolutely free advice from folks who work in the field. Come hear cartoon voice actor Dee Bradley Baker and Debby Derryberry, talent agent Paul Doherty (Cunningham-Escott-Slevin-Doherty), and others, along with your moderator, voice director Mark Evanier (The Garfield Show).


Questions? Comments? Contact [email protected]

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