SALT LAKE CITY — FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention announced on Wednesday that they are ready to make Disney's Belle and the Beast "our guests" at this fall's FanX convention, Sept. 6-8.
Singers and actors Paige O'Hara and Robby Benson, who voiced Belle and the Beast in the 1991 Disney animated classic "Beauty and the Beast," will join a growing roster of celebrities which so far includes Tim Curry, Paul Reubens, Gaten Matarazzo of "Stranger Things" and others for the 2018 convention.
FanX founder and president Dan Farr told the Deseret News that the convention is able to get notable guests every year due, in part, to the convention's attendees.
"It makes the job easier that the fans treat the celebrities so well, that people are pitching us," Farr said.
Disney princesses and princes are no strangers to FanX's stage.
In 2017, Jodi Benson and Christopher Daniel Barnes, the voices of Ariel and Prince Eric in the 1989 Disney animated film "The Little Mermaid," drew a huge crowd at what was then Salt Lake Comic Con.
Their positive experience in Utah made it easier to book O'Hara and Benson this year, Farr said.
"People in Utah get really, really excited about (Disney princesses), and I know that Jodi Benson and Christopher Barnes … were both completely thrilled," Farr said. "(For) Jodi, that was her first fan convention … and it was so successful that … the manager wanted to bring in other great voice actors."
As FanX considers potential guests for each year's conventions, they take note of who the fans want to see, communicating with their ticket buyers through social media.
"We definitely listen to what they suggest," Farr said.
The popular Salt Lake convention has not been without controversy, though.
In January, the organization formally changed their name from Salt Lake Comic Con to FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention following a December 2017 ruling that stated the founders of the Utah-based convention violated a trademark with the name "comic con," the Deseret News reported.
Farr, however, isn't concerned that fans will have trouble finding them this year, even with the name change. He said the 2017 convention had over 100,000 attendees, and he expects 2018 to exceed those numbers.
"We are not anticipating that (the name change) will have any impact," he said. "… As far as people finding us, we have got email (and) social media … We anticpate that this will be our largest event to date."
FanX runs from Sept. 6-8. Tickets are on sale at fanxsaltlake.com.