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Comic-Con 2009: Avatar Panel Impressions [UPDATED]

avatar-072409UPDATED: You can check out another impression of the panel via io9, who have detailed accounts of the several scenes that were shown.  The site also got to interview one of the film’s stars Zoe Saldana.  Check it out at this link.  Also the official website for the film is up at AvatarMovie.com.

Original article follows below.

Without a doubt, the most anticipated and highly hyped panel at this year’s Comic-Con was Fox’s Avatar presentation with director James Cameron.  Without further ado, here are some highlights from the panel courtesy various sources [All impressions courtesy sourced sites ]:

Avatar

  • Just a note, I won’t describe the scenes, but six total scenes were shown equaling about 25 minutes of footage. Collider has a nice roundup of the six scenes.
  • “The Na’vi itself is sort of like a mix between a human, a horse and a cat but blue with zebra-like stripes. They’re tall — about 10 feet and Jake tries to stand, despite the doctors trying to stop him, so excited to be able to walk. They shout at him to lay down, but he’s up and literally breaks out of the room, running down the hall and knocking things over with his tail. [ComingSoon.net]
  • “Overall, the special effects are pretty breathtaking and, despite bizarre, colorful images, it’s pretty easy to imagine that it’s practical effects. The 3D is as good or better than things we’ve seen in the past, but it’s easy to imagine this film doing just fine on its own in just 2D.” [ComingSoon.net]
  • “Just finished watching a full 25 minutes and holy shit it was phenomenal, just amazing. It does indeed look like nothing you’ve ever seen, it is groundbreaking, it looks incredible. Every single second in this looked real. And most of it was a completely CGI created universe that does not at all look CGI. It is truly amazing!” [FirstShowing.net]
  • “Sigourney Weaver: ‘This is the movie you’ve been waiting for.’  Describing her character in the movie:  1000 foot tall trees, mountains, creatures, some beautiful, some terrifying. Grace loves Pandora with all its heart and hopes to protect the Na’vi from ‘industrial Earth.’ And to do this, they project their consciousness into their Avatars, which are living, breathing biological bodies which resemble the Na’vi.” [FirstShowing.net]
  • “Now I want to ask you if you, dear reader, have figured out the plot of the film from the scenes I described.  Still wondering?  It’s the myth of Pocahontas.  And yes, I know she really existed but the reality of it is highly apocryphal.  The Nabu resemble Native Americans from their weapons, their dress, their language, and their basic English pronunciation.  Jake is John Smith and Naididi is Pocahontas.  But this clearly isn’t the Disney-”Paint with all the colors of the wind.  It’s a creature all its own and the work that has gone into designing this planet is absolutely astounding.  Yes, you’ve seen CGI before but when people say “You’ve never seen anything like this before,” that’s what they’re talking about.” [Collider]
  • If text impressions aren’t your thing, /Film recorded a video blog of their impressions which you can watch at this link.
  • And lastly, and probably the most exciting news (for me at least), 20th Century Fox announced “Avatar Day” on August 21st.  On that day you’ll be able to walk into participating 3-D theaters and watch 15 minutes of the film FOR FREE!  [I wrote about this in a separate post, which includes the official press release, at this link]

Avatar hits theaters on December 18, 2009.

For complete accounts of the panels, check the source sites: ComingSoon.net, FirstShowing.net, Collider and /Film

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