The 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International officially opens on July 12, 2012. However, the anticipation in Southern California has been building over the past few months. Just like turning leaves signify changes in the seasons, successive waves of ticket sales, talk about convention center expansion and the posting of Comic-Con banners lead San Diego toward the annual rite called Comic-Con.
Over the past few days, Walt Disney Pictures sponsored Comic-Con banners have finally been posted directly in front of the San Diego Convention Center, dressing the site for the four-day celebration of the popular arts. At this year's convention Disney has already begun its advertising push, highlighting two of its most anticipated features, Tim Burton's full-length Frankenweenie and Walt Disney Animation Studios Wreck-It Ralph.
Always a Comic-Con favorite, Burton's quirky style and dark humor make attendees gravitate to whatever project he unveils. This year Burton will grace Hall H with the stop-motion animated Frankenweenie (2012), a Mary Shelley-inpired tale about a young boy who brings his dead dog back to life. In a Burtonesque twist of fate, the talented Tim Burton returns to Disney Studios, remaking the Frankenweenie (1984) short-film that actually led to his early firing as a Disney animator and director.
Walt Disney Studios is hoping its 52nd full-length animated feature will also appeal to the Comic-Con in-crowd. Slated for a November 2, 2012 premiere, Disney's Wreck-It Ralph is the story of an arcade game villain who doesn't want to be the bad guy anymore. Voiced by John C. Reilly, Ralph's 8-bit roots and classic game cameos should appeal to both gamers and animation junkies.
Although the convention center's transformation began just days ago, other parts of San Diego have had Disney sponsored banners posted since mid-June. Signs of the popular arts celebration hug San Diego Bay, adoring street lights along Harbor Drive all the way out to Point Loma. Comic-Con attendees flying into the San Diego International Airport at Lindbergh Field, will be greeted by traditional Comic-Con ads and Disney's Wreck-It Ralph banners.
The Disney-designed banners are also posted throughout Downtown San Diego, from Petco Park to Horton Plaza. Starting in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, Frankenweenie and Wreck-It Ralph will accompany con attendees north to Broadway, possibly coaxing guests to partake in San Diego's downtown nightlife.