I have visitors here in Southern California from back on the East Coast. They arrived from a cruise to the Mexican Riviera yesterday early in the morning. I was going to spend the morning showing them some of the sights and sounds of SoCal while driving them up to Burbank. We saw some of the sites around the port, the Colosseum, USC, Downtown, Staples Center, and so on, and the plan was to drop them off quickly at the Kodak Theater (They are big American Idol Fans) and let them walk up a half a block to see the Chinese Theater and admire the hand prints and foot prints in the cement that every tourist wants to see. Imagine my dismay when Hollywood Blvd. was blocked off right before the Kodak. There was a bunch of stuff in the street and a lot of people standing around. Sunday morning around 11AM?

I pulled into the underground garage under the Kodak and we went up to see what was going on. First thing we saw was a giant suited panda rollicking on a red carpet and a lot of signs about Kung Fu Panda 2 which is coming out next weekend. Hmmm. The crowd was not too deep, so we crept closer and a line of limo’s pulled up one by one and dropped off their load at the end of the red carpet.

First out was Dustin Hoffman, and he was really friendly stopping for a long time to sign autographs, take pictures, and talk to the fans. Then we saw Jean Claude Van Damme who absolutely the most excited one of the group. He ran back and forth across the street meeting and greeting everybody. What a really nice guy. Lucy Liu came out and looked cute in a little white frilly dress, but she disappeared inside really fast.

Then the crowd roared when Brad and Angelina got out. Angelina looking absolutely regal in a long slinkly black gown, and Brad looking cool and comfortable in a brown outfit. They also stopped and signed a bunch of autographs of photos and posters the crowd had.

Seth Rogan and Danny McBride were also there and happy to meet as many fans as they could.

We worked our way across the street and saw the Disney Soda Fountain and the El Capitan, then realized that there was a stage and a line of reporters from Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Inside Edition, and others inteviewing the stars. We found that we arrived a little late to see Jack Black get out of his Limo, but he was there up on the stage being interviewed a few feet away and we got lots of pictures. I understand James Hong was also there, but somehow missed him.

I was really impressed how friendly everyone was, and how kind of them to stop and talk to fans, sign autographs, and take lots of pictures. I would never have the guts to sit outside 72 hours to find a spot in the stands to watch the academy awards, but this event was not that crowded, and there was room right up front to stand and visit with the stars. What a serendipitous event.

The total cost of parking was a mere $6.00 and it was an experience of a lifetime. Something us locals and those visiting from far away will never forget stumbling into quite by accident. Best wishes to the gang on the KFP Sequel and I hope it does well at the box office. But more than that, I want to thank the voice stars for coming out and spending the time to meet the fans and I’m sure it was much appreciated by ALL. It was a special experience.

Here is the Official Website for Kung Fu Panda 2!

Here is cool media coverage of the event

Lots more pictures from the LA Times

Below is some YouTube coverage of the event



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