Team Voltron Speaks at Emerald City Comic Con 2018

One of the biggest highlights of Emerald City Comic Con this year had to be the premiere of Voltron: Legendary Defender’s fifth season. The convention center was adorned with a giant banner featuring the Paladins of Voltron as well as the fan favorite villain/anti-hero Prince Lotor and volunteers’ shirts were branded with show’s logo. Convention Scene was fortunate enough to be invited to a roundtable discussion with Executive Produce Joaquim Dos Santos, Co-Executive Producer Lauren Montgomery, designer Christine Bian, and actor Josh Keaton who provides the voice of Shiro. Bian, a Seattle native, also produced the exclusive ECCC poster which was given away to fans attending the premiere.

Naturally, as Legendary Defender is a reboot of the original Voltron series, Defender of the Universe, which in turn was an English-language adaptation of a Japanese anime GoLion, the first questions asked had to do with the challenge of updating a 35 year property and how to keep it fresh while still recognizable to fans. “Initially we had these pillars of the original show we wanted to make sure that we adhere to and we had these meetings where they, for lack of a better term, wanted to “HALO-ify” Voltron and make it very gritty and serious and we’re like, we need it to be fun,” said Dos Santos, “We need to be campy but also dramatic. We need to have comedy, and then beyond that we want them to have a life of its own and become its own thing. And we’ve been lucky to have that.”

From a design aspect Bian noted, “Joaquim had this thing he called the squint test, which means like when you look at the original Voltron, even if you’re squinting, he has such an iconic silhouette, that it’s unmistakable that it’s him. And so that was the key element that we wanted to make sure our Voltron also had.”

Montgomery continued, “The thing that we loved about the old Voltron was he was kind of boxy. He had like these edges on it and so we want to update the lines and make them feel really cool, but we don’t want to lose that element. So you’ll notice they have kind of like a boxier muzzle and then the Yellow and the Blue Lions will have a slightly chunkier look because they’re legs. But then the Green and the Red Lions will be a little softer and sleeker and rounder because they’re arms.”

One aspect of the show which the crew cited in need of updating was the overtly evil archness of its villains. “The quality with the villains being kind of a little goofier here in the older series, like Haggar was very much just like the witchy witch and Zarkon was kind of like “I’ll get you next time, Voltron!” sort of a villain. We knew we had to raise the stakes a little bit with those guys and make them a little more serious,” said Montgomery, “And probably the biggest thing was that Lotor was a little on the pervy side and that’s just, it’s a trope that was really big when I was young, it was in a lot of content and it’s something that we can’t keep doing. I don’t even think an audience today would accept it if you tried to put that out there.” Bian also mentioned the original series’ Galra ships as another update that needed to happen. “I actually love this design because it was so outrageous,” she said “But the Galra and flew around in ships that were literally a coffin flying off into space and had a skull and crossbones and like spider webs on it.”

A huge character shift from the original Voltron was changing Pidge is to be biologically female but originally presenting as a male character, which has been interpreted from some fans to be representative of the transgender or gender fluid community. “Immediately I wanted to bring in more of a female presence so it wasn’t necessarily like we gotta make one of these characters a girl, but I think if none of the characters had really lent themselves to it and we may have thought differently, but Pidge was a character that when watching it as a kid was always a little confusing because he had a very feminine hairdo and he had some fringe and like I was never quite sure what was the deal with Pidge and so it just seemed kind of like a natural transition and in a way that we can just include more females,” said Montgomery, “changing Pidge to a girl really doesn’t change dynamic of the team, doesn’t change who Pidge is as a person and it’s a little bit of a statement of it’s not that hard to just put a female character in the show.”

But more than anything else, the team emphasized that the characters and their development as a team is the single most important aspect of the show. Season 5 will see the Paladins’ growth continue as they wrestle with the issue of whether or not trust new ally Prince Lotor. Dos Santos mentioned that the bayards, the weapons the Paladins carry and use in conjunction with their Lions, originally came from a very marketing-driven place of establishing the Voltron version of a lightsaber, but ended up being an extension of each character, saying “It’s their personal growth sort of representative manifested in this weapon.”

In addressing physical changes to the characters themselves over time, Montgomery noted that subtle differences rarely happen in 2D animation because with several artists working on project the models need to remain consistent. “You think that happens design wise, that would be a thing, but it actually ends up being more of an animation, storyboard thing where our directors and our storyboard artists are staging these characters in the scene, how do they react? And so we try to instill that a little bit in the script from script phase. But luckily a lot of our artists have been with us through like the whole run of the show,” said Montgomery, “They get it and they’ve seen their whole arc.”

Josh Keaton has become a fan-favorite as Shiro, to the point that Dos Santos joked Dreamworks would ask for “30% more Shiro” for episodes in which they felt his presence was lacking. The majority of cosplayers in Voltron outfits during the convention were dressed as Shiro. “It’s been crazy. I knew the show just from reading your early scripts, just at the very beginning. I knew the show was something special, but the extent to which it’s taken off, just the size of the fandom and creativity of the fandom just continues to blow me away,” said Keaton “Every time I go to a con and I’ll see, I’ll see huge cosplay and these are people in full on armor, that lights up and then they’ll even have more obscure cosplays. I saw Galaxy Garrison trio with Lance and Hunk and Pidge they were all in their Garrison stuff. It’s amazing.”

In speaking about his influences, Keaton spoke about how he prepares for voice roles the same as he would a role in a play or movie or live action television show by trying to put himself in the mindset of the character and finding a relatable memory or experience from his own life. He also said that he draws on previous roles such as Spider-Man or Green Lantern. “Some of that found its way into Shiro as well, not the cocky aspect of Hal Jordan, but a lot of the military bearing. I’d say a lot of the parts that I play end up pulling from those in some way in future doesn’t really because that’s just, it adds to my frame of reference.”

Voltron: Legendary Defender Season 5 is now streaming on Netflix.

 

Team Voltron Assembles at Emerald City Comic Con 2018

Join executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery, design supervisor Christine Bian, and actor Josh Keaton (voice of Shiro) appear at Emerald City Comic Con on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 6:15 PM on the Main Stage for a sneak peek into an all-new season of the Netflix original series DreamWorks Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Shocked by Prince Lotor coming to their rescue in the fight against the evil witch Haggar, the Paladins struggle with whether or not they can really trust him. All attendees will receive an Emerald City Comic Con exclusive poster designed by Seattle native Bian.

RSVP on Facebook!

Voltron: Legendary Defender Panel at New York Comic Con 2017

Join executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery, Josh Keaton (Shiro), and AJ LoCascio (Prince Lotor) at New York Comic Con’s Main Stage on Saturday October 7, 2017 at 11:00 AM to offer a sneak peek into the highly-anticipated fourth season of Voltron: Legendary Defender.

With Shiro back at the Castleship, Keith makes a choice that causes a rift between him and Team Voltron. As Allura and team focus on building the Voltron Coalition, Prince Lotor’s plans start to take shape. All attendees will receive a New York Comic Con exclusive poster created by Montgomery.

The Main Stage 1-D Presented by AT&T is cleared between Panels. For full details on how to reserve a seat in a panel on the Main Stage, click here…

 

DreamWorks Animation and Netflix Presenting Voltron Legendary Defender at SDCC 2017

Press Release:

DREAMWORKS ANIMATION TELEVISION AND NETFLIX BRING VOLTRON LEGENDARY DEFENDER TO SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON

Premiere of DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender Season 3, Thursday, July 20, at 10:30am

Panel and Signing with Voice Cast, Food Truck and Voltron Cosplay Meetup Planned to Inspire Fans to Form Voltron!

GLENDALE, CA – June 30, 2017 – DreamWorks Animation Television and Netflix will present a jam-packed Voltron Legendary Defender panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, with series showrunners and voice talent debuting the premiere episode of the highly-anticipated third season of the critically-acclaimed Netflix original series.

Fans will be treated to a first look into the exciting third season of the pop culture phenomenon Voltron Legendary Defender. Join executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery, Bex Taylor-Klaus (voice of Pidge), and Tyler Labine (voice of Hunk) in 6BCF for a special screening and a sneak peek at what’s to come for Team Voltron. The panel will be moderated by Kyle Anderson, Associate Editor of Nerdist.

Following the panel, DreamWorks is calling all Voltron cosplayers to meet Joaquim, Lauren, Bex and Tyler at FANDOM Fest at 2:00 PM PST in the Petco Interactive Zone for a Voltron cosplay and fan meet up. Additional details to follow.

You can also beat the heat at the Petco Interactive Zone for a cool treat from the Voltron-themed food truck “Hunk’s Food Goo Replication Station” in Space M. Just like the Paladins of Voltron, fans can try every Altean’s favorite intergalactic snack: green food goo (or the earth-friendly version that tastes oddly similar to frozen yogurt). Served ThursdaySaturday from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM for free while supplies last.

On Friday morning, Joaquim, Lauren, Bex and Tyler will be signing an SDCC-exclusive poster created by the Voltron crew from 10:30 AM – Noonin the Sails Pavilion at the Convention Center. Tickets will be made available in advance in the Autograph Area.

A full list of Voltron activities is included below.

 

DETAILS ON PANELS/SCREENINGS AND ACTIVITIES (in chronological order):

 

THURSDAY, JULY 20:

DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender, a Netflix Original Series

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

6BCF at San Diego Convention Center

Zarkon has been defeated and Shiro is nowhere to be found. Without a pilot for the black lion or the ability to form Voltron, the team must quickly devise a plan as the ascension of Prince Lotor pulls them into a perilous game of cat-and-mouse. Join executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery, Bex Taylor-Klaus and Tyler Labine as they debut the first episode of season three of the Netflix original series DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender. All attendees will receive an SDCC-exclusive poster created by the Voltron crew and the new Voltron chapter book “The Rise of Voltron” from Simon & Schuster.

Voltron

Voltron Cosplay and Fan Meetup

2 PM – 3 PM

FANDOM Fest at the Petco Interactive Zone

Calling all Voltron cosplayers! Thursday is the day to break out your bayards and join Joaquim Dos Santos, Lauren Montgomery, Bex Taylor-Klaus and Tyler Labine at FANDOM Fest to celebrate Voltron with a cosplayer and fan meet up.

 

FRIDAY, JULY 21:

Voltron Legendary Defender Signing (Ticketed)

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Autograph Area in Sails Pavilion at San Diego Convention Center

DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender signing with Joaquim Dos Santos, Lauren Montgomery, Bex Taylor-Klaus and Tyler Labine will take place from 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM on Friday in the Autographing Area located in the Sails Pavilion of the San Diego Convention Center.

 

VOLTRON AROUND THE CON

Hunk

Hunk’s Food Goo Replication Station (Food Truck)

Thursday to Saturday from 11 AM – 6 PMSunday from 11 AM – 5 PM

Petco Interactive Zone

As Coran would say, “Ahoy, young paladins! I’ve whipped up a big batch of focusing food. After this snack, you’ll be forming Voltron six times a movement and twice on the astral conflux!”  Take a break from the crowds and have a cold and refreshing treat on us. DreamWorks Animation Television is bringing every paladin’s (least) favorite snack to San Diego: green food goo! From 11 AM – 6 PM Thursday to Saturdayand 11 AM to 5 PM Sunday you’ll find Hunk’s Food Goo Replication Station serving Altea’s finest green goo while supplies last.

 

Lion Forge Comics

Booth #1903

Located in Booth #1903, Lion Forge Comics is giving away free Black Lion masks (while supplies last), massive 22″x34″ 4-Color posters (while supplies last), 4-color bookmarks and will be selling Voltron Legendary Defender Volume 1 which collects issues 1-5 of the miniseries.

 

About DreamWorks Animation Television:

DreamWorks Animation Television is one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-quality, animated family programming, reaching consumers on linear and on-demand platforms in more than 130 countries and garnering 17 Emmy Awards to date.  It is a division of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG).

 

About Netflix:

Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 83 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Voltron Team Roars Into WonderCon 2017

Join Kyle Anderson of Nerdist as he leads a conversation on April 1st at 5:30 PM at WonderCon with DreamWorks Voltron: Legendary Defender Executive Producer Joaquim Dos Santos, Co-Executive Producer Lauren Montgomery, Story Editor Tim Hedrick, cast members Jeremy Shada (Lance), Josh Keaton (Shiro), Bex Taylor-Klaus (Pidge), Tyler Labine (Hunk), and Kimberly Brooks (Allura) who will be highlighting their favorite season 2 moments and will take part in an extended Q&A! Fans in attendance will each receive a limited edition lithograph (pictured).

Details here…

 

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse @ Paley Center!

September 30, 2010 by  
Filed under California, L.A. Sequential

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The cast and crew at the Paley Center for Superman/Batman: Apocalypse!

Last Tuesday, September 21st, was the world premiere of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, the latest direct to DVD animation motion picture from WB Animation. The movie brings back the vocal talents of fan favorites Kevin Conroy (Batman), Tim Daly (Superman), and Susan Eisenberg (Wonder Woman). Ed Asner reprises his role as Granny Goodness, and also introduces Andre Braugher as Darkseid and Summer Glau as Supergirl.
The movie is based off of Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner’s Supergirl storyline. Reintroducing Supergirl to the DC Universe, the movie succeeds in paying homage to the art style of the late Turner, as well as capturing Kara Zor-El’s integration into the DCU.
The Paley Center hosted the world premiere, followed by a Q and A with some of the cast and crew that attended.

Among the highlights:
Tim Daly joking around about Superman’s sleeker look in the movie:
“One thing that I noticed about Superman in this, first of all he’s eating less carbs. And second of all, did anybody notice, what’s going on with his hair? It’s 2 curls!”

Tim Daly arrives at the red carpet.

When asked, Lois Lane or Wonder Woman by the audience, Daly responds:
“Oh, Wonder Woman. (smiling at Susan Eisenberg) If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

Lauren Montgomery, director of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, was asked why the movie wasn’t titled Supergirl, responds:
“The title of the comic originally was Superman Batman: Supergirl, which… really would assume that the movie would be titled that, but since our wonderful Wonder Woman movie didn’t sell so well, they decided that girl movies don’t sell so we gotta trick everybody into buying it.”

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse director, Lauren Montgomery!

When asked what personal projects they’d love to work on if given the chance:
Bruce Timm, Executive Producer: “I would probably do the Black Hawks.”
Montgomery: “I would probably do Batgirl Year One, or anything with Aquaman.”

Executive producer Bruce Timm on the red carpet.

When asked what in the movie came out better than expected:

Daly: “I think that I am temperamentally as a person more suited to Batman, because I tend to have sort a darker skewing view of the world, so I was pleasantly surprised by the Superman scenes that were a little more sincere and tender, because I thought they played pretty well. I didn’t squirm and think like ah geez, Superman is being a real sap. I felt like he cared about Supergirl, I like that.”

Daly playing with the Superman doll during the Q and A session.

Rachel Quintance (Artemis/Lyla): “For me, I’m just so happy to be a part of it, my first foray into the DC comic world so watching all of it was just fantastic to me. It’s like, I mean, you all know this so well, and to me it’s like, wow, oh my gosh, this exists. So I thought the whole thing was incredible.”

Tab Murphy (Writer): “I think I responded to the relationship between Superman and Kara Zor El a lot because of the idea of suddenly finding somebody you’re related to and becoming overprotective and then having to let go. I have a 13 year old daughter and going through that same thing so I can totally identify..”
Bruce Timm: What’s her name?
Murphy: Kara! It’s true, it’s true… whoa.

Montgomery: “I’m a pretty big sucker for feel good movies these days so I guess just seeing how it all wrapped up in the ending and Supergirl finally getting her costume and she gets the nod of approvement, she gets the nod from Batman, and you just leave the theater happy. That’s the part I like the most.”

Timm: “I’m actually just really relieved that the opening of the movie worked because the movie, it came up short when we timed the animatic, the storyboard. And so we kinda had to pad it, and part of the stuff we padded was that opening in Gotham City where we’re just kind of panning through Gotham City, oh there’s a cat in the alley… oh look, there’s blimps overhead! So when we got the film back, it was like oh my god, there’s nothing happening, there’s no dialogue, we’re just panning through the city for like 2 minutes! So we added a bunch of radio dialogue, and sound effects and music, and you watch it now, and it’s like, ok, yeah, it kinda works… so WHEW!”

Andrea Romano and Susan Eisenberg at the Q and A panel.

Eisenberg and Andrea Romano (Voice Director) were both fans of the quieter moments, as well as how the fight scenes came about together, particularly when it seemed that most of the recording time was spent doing battle scenes.

The Paley Center did a wonderful job organizing this event, and I’m also looking forward to the next 3 announced feature length animated films: All Star Superman, Green Lantern Emerald Knights, and Batman: Year One!

The Superman/Batman: Apocalypse DVD is out in stores now! Pick it up and let me know what you thought of the movie!

CA/NYC – Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Premieres

The Paley Center for Media Hosts the Premieres for Superman/Batman: Apocalypse on Sept. 21 in Los Angeles & Sept. 23 in New York;

Limited Free Tickets Available to Fans on First Come, First Served Basis
Presented by Warner Home Video & UGO
 
Warner Home Video, UGO.com and The Paley Center for Media proudly present the bi-coastal World Premieres of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, the highly anticipated next entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movies, in Los Angeles on September 21 and New York on September 23. Filmmakers and members of the voice cast will attend both events for red carpet media interviews and post-screening panel discussions.
 
On Tuesday, September 21, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse will screen at the Paley Center in Los Angeles (465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills) with media interviews starting at 5:30 p.m. and screening commencing at 7:00 p.m. A panel discussion moderated by UGO movie editors will follow the screening featuring executive producer Bruce Timm, director Lauren Montgomery, writer Tab Murphy and dialogue/casting director Andrea Romano. Additional participants, including voice cast members, will be announced as confirmed.
 
On Thursday, September 23, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse will screen at the Paley Center in New York City (25 West 52nd Street) with media interviews starting at 5:00 p.m. and screening commencing at 6:30 p.m.  Following the screening, Kevin Conroy, the fan-favorite voice of Batman, and casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano will lead a panel discussion moderated by UGO movie editors. Additional participants, including voice cast members, will be announced as confirmed.
 
A limited number of free tickets are available for the general public. Fans wishing to receive free tickets to the Los Angeles event on Sept. 21 must RSVP via email to SupermanBatmanLA@gmail.com. Fans in New York City wishing to receive free tickets to the NY event on Sept. 23 must RSVP via email to SupermanBatmanNY@gmail.com.
 
Tickets to both events will be distributed on a “first come, first served” basis.
 
Based on the DC Comics series/graphic novel “Superman/Batman: Supergirl” by Jeph Loeb, Michael Turner & Peter Steigerwald, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is produced by animation legend Bruce Timm and directed by Lauren Montgomery (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) from a script by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Tab Murphy (Gorillas in the Mist).
 
In Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, a spaceship splashes down in Gotham City Harbor — leading Batman and Superman to encounter a mysterious Kryptonian with powers as great as those of the Man of Steel. The Kryptonian is soon revealed to be Kara, cousin of Superman, who takes her under his wing to educate her about the ways of Earth. However, the villainous Darkseid has other plans. Seeing an opportunity to finally defeat Superman, Darkseid abducts and gains control of Kara, utilizing the powerful Kryptonian to do his bidding. It’s up to Batman and Superman to save Kara, but they’ll have to take the fight to Darkseid within his hostile world – where unknown, deadly threats lurk around every corner, including a brainwashed Kryptonian able to match Superman blow-for-blow.
 
Fan favorites Tim Daly (Private Practice) and Kevin Conroy (China Beach) return to their seminal roles as Superman and Batman, respectively. The celebrity-laden guest cast is headed by Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age) as the daunting Darkseid. Sci-Fi heroine Summer Glau (Serenity/Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) provides the voice of Supergirl, and seven-time Emmy Award winner Ed Asner (Up) reprises his Superman: The Animated Series/Justice League role as Granny Goodness.
 
Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse will be distributed by Warner Home Video on September 28, 2010.