James Cameron previews ‘Avatar’ at Comic-Con

San Diego (CA) – James Cameron has offered Comic-Con attendees a sneak peak of his animated 3D ‘Avatar’ film. According to Cameron, the movie is set on a lush planet known as Pandora, which is filled with primal forests and populated by an indigenous humanoid race known as the the Na’vi.

Cameron explained that the filming of Avatar was made possible by technology that allowed him to super-impose computer-generated creatures onto live actors while shooting.

“[Avatar was made] for the 14-year-old boy that is very alive and well in the back of my mind,” Cameron told the LA Times. “I don’t want to say it’s important, because then it sounds like you’re making a documentary. [But it’s] something with a conscience. In the enjoying of [the film], it maybe makes you think about the way you interact with nature and your fellow man.”

In addition, Cameron noted that the Na’vi represented “something that is our higher selves.”

“And the humans in the film, even though there are some good ones salted in, represent what we know to be the parts of ourselves that are trashing our world and maybe condemning ourselves to a grim future,” said Cameron.

Cameron also confirmed that the official trailer would be released on August 21, while a 15 minute preview of the film will be screened free of charge at select IMAX and digital 3D cinemas. The actual movie will open in theaters on December 18, 2009.

However, not everyone is enthusastic about Avatar’s release. Indeed, The New York Times reported that several executives and filmakers felt that Cameron’s “super-ambitious” film was “still a cartoon” and “somehow less than it needed to be.”