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Animation at San Diego Comic Con 2016

Every July thousands of fans converge on San Diego for Comic Con, the ultimate convention for all things related to pop culture, comics, video games, movies, television, and animation! The convention has proven to be the ultimate nerd mecca with badges selling out in under an hour for this year's convention which is being held July 21-24. A successful Comic Con requires strategic planning, patience, and a willingness to sacrifice personal space as well as potentially your own sanity. Fans are known to line up for panels several hours, if not several days, in advance so it is key to know what panels you absolutely want to attend as well as knowing how in demand the panels will be. Below the cut you will find a list of all animation related panels at Comic Con this year to assist you in your planning. You can find the full Comic Con schedule here along with descriptions for each panel. It's clear to see that this year's Comic Con has no shortage of animation related panels, so for those of you lucky to attend have a fantastically animated time!

Thursday, July 21

Feed Your Head: The VFX of 'Alice Through the Looking Glass'
10:00 AM in Room 6A

The Dynamic World of Disney Comics
10:00 AM in Room 28DE

DreamWorks Animation Theatrical
10:00 AM in Hall H

'Teen Titans Go!' Video Presentation and Q&A
10:15 AM in Room 6DE

'Sea of Thieves': Art of Adventure
10:30 AM in Room 24ABC

Happy Happy Joy Joy
11:15 AM in Room 6A

Justice League Action Video Presentation and Q&A
12:00 PM in Room 25ABC

'Moana': Art of Story
12:30 PM in Room 6A

UDON 2016
12:30 PM in Room 8

Comics and Animation Storyboards
2:00 PM in Room 25ABC

Thunderbirds Are Go
2:00 PM in Room 7AB

Transformers Animation: Then and Now
2:00 PM in Room 5AB

DreamWorks' Voltron: Legendary Defender
3:00 PM in Room 7AB

H.P. Lovecraft & Steam Engines of Oz: Arcana's Animation Slate
3:00 PM in Room 23ABC

The Art Heroines
3:00 PM in Room 25ABC

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

Funimation Industry Panel
6:00 PM in Room 9

Inside the Voice Actors Studio
6:00 PM in Room 30CDE

Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation
7:15 PM in Room 6BCF

Cartoon Network Costume Ball and Screening
8:30 PM in Room 7AB

Friday, July 22

The Giant's Dream: Documentary Screening & Chat with Brad Bird
10:00 AM in Room 24ABC

Cartoon Network: 'Steven Universe'
10:15 AM in Indigo Ballroom at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

My Little Pony
10:30 AM in Room 6A

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- Return to New York
11:45 AM in Room 6A

I'm From Another Dimension: Disney XD's 'Star vs. the Forces of Evil'
12:00 PM in Room 25ABC

[adult swim]: 'Robot Chicken'
12:15 PM in Indigo Ballroom at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

[adult swim]: Brad Neely's Harg Nallin' Sclopio Peepio
1:15 PM in Indigo Ballroom at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

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

How It Should Have Ended 
2:00 PM in Neil Morgan Auditorium at San Diego Central Library

[adult swim]: 'Rick and Morty'
2:15 PM in Indigo Ballroom at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Disney XD's 'Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero' and 'The 7D'
2:30 PM in Room 5AB

The Art of Video Games
3:00 PM in Room 32AB

[adult swim]: 'Samurai Jack'
3:15 PM in Indigo Ballroom at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

'Bob's Burgers'
4:00 PM in Indigo Ballroom at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

'Beauty and the Beast': 25th Anniversary
4:30 PM in Room 5AB

'Archer': Screening and Q&A
5:00 PM in Indigo Ballroom at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

'South Park': Season 20
5:00 PM in Hall H

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

Funimation Favorites
6:00 PM in Room 23ABC

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

Reunion of the 'Firefly' Art Department
7:00 PM in Room 29AB

The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows
7:00 PM in Room 6BCF

'Howl's Moving Castle' Screening
7:00 PM in Horton Grand Theatre

Worst Cartoons Ever
8:15 PM in Room 6BCF

World Premiere of 'Batman: The Killing Joke'
9:00 PM in Ballroom 20

Celebrating 35 Years of 'Heavy Metal: The Movie'
9:00 PM in Room 28DE

Floyd Norman: An Animated Life Documentary Life
9:00 PM in Room 9

Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation
9:30 PM in Room 6BCF

Saturday, July 23

'Avatar: The Last Airbender': Legend and Legacy
10:00 AM in Room 25ABC

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

We Bare Bears Panel
10:00 AM in Indigo Ballroom at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Powerpuff Girls Panel
11:00 AM in Indigo Ballroom at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Monster High
11:30 AM in Room 5AB

The Simpsons
12:00 PM in Ballroom 20

Marvel Animation
12:30 PM in Room 6A

Family Guy
1:00 PM in Ballroom 20

Storyboarding to Comics and Back Again
1:00 PM in Room 9

Cartoon Voices I
1:00 PM in Room 6BCF

American Dad
1:45 PM in Ballroom 20

ZAG's Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir
1:45 PM in Room 6DE

Invader Zim Conquers San Diego Comic Con
2:00 PM in Room 29AB

Disney XD's 'Pickle' and Peanut' & 'Future Worm'
2:30 PM in Room 5AB

Scooby Doo and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon
2:45 PM in Room 6BCF

Comic Con How-To: Voice Acting
4:30 PM in Room 2

'Son of Zorn'
5:00 PM in Indigo Ballroom at Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Sunday, July 24

World Premiere of 'DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year'
10:00 AM in Room 6BCF

Cartoon Voices II
11:30 AM in Room 6A

'Avatar: The Last Airbender': Gene Yang
12:00 PM in Room 24ABC

World Premiere of 'Batman Unlimited: Mech vs. Mutants'
12:15 PM in Room 6BCF

'Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu'
1:00 PM in Room 7AB

'Sailor Moon'
1:00 PM in Room 6A

'Lego Nexo Knights': Behind the Scenes
2:45 PM in Room 5AB

'Animaniacs' Live!
3:00 PM in Room 6DE

Business of Cartoon Voices
3:00 PM in Room 25ABC

How Cartoons Influence S.T.E.M. to S.T.E.A.M. Programs
4:00 PM in Room 30CDE

A few closing tips from me that I cultivated over three years of Comic Con attendance:

  • Have one or two MUST ATTEND panels in mind. These are panels that you are willing to wait hours on end for, if not stay overnight in line.
  • Have backup panels and backups for your backups. It's likely you will not get into all of the panels you want to get into, so be open to change and attend your backup or even a totally random panel. Sometimes the panels we don't even mean to sit in on tend to be some of the best experiences. 
  • Pack a backpack full of snacks and waters, the food selections at the convention center are horrid as well as overpriced. You definitely want to be staying hydrated as well because it gets very hot and there is A LOT of walking.
  • BRING DEODORANT! Your fellow attendees will thank you.
  • Talk with other people in line with you! It's a great way to make new friends and pass the time, besides you already know that you have an interest in common.
  • Popular rooms tend to be Hall H (good luck getting in there...), Ballroom 20, 25ABC, and Indigo Ballroom. Be prepared for long lines for any of these rooms.
  • Check out the Gaslamp District across the street! Lots of great restaurants and plenty to do outside of the convention hall!
  • Moving about the Exhibit Hall is essentially walking through a never ending mosh pit. Hope you don't have space issues... Plan out which exhibitors you want to visit so you don't wander aimlessly and don't forget about Artists' Alley! 
  • There are signings, but some can only be attended via random ticket draw. Others occur directly after the related panel which will require you to choose between attending the panel or attending the signing. Something to keep in mind, many panels end up on YouTube sans exclusive clips. 
  • You are definitely encouraged to take pictures of people's cosplays, just be sure to ask them if they are okay with you taking their picture. It's the polite thing to do plus it gives them the opportunity to strike a pose and get into character. 
  • BRING CASH! It's so much easier to deal with plus ATM lines are loooooong.
  • Overall, have fun, be kind to one another, and have lots of patience. You're at the biggest nerd celebration in the world!