Opening today is Monsters vs. Aliens, the latest digitally animated movie from Dreamworks. While you can see it in regular cinemas, Dreamworks is really hoping that people will flock to IMAX theaters to watch MvA in 3D. The movie was produced with the goal of riding the current 3D cinema wave in mind from the beginning.
In many previous “Made For 3D” efforts, this has resulted in a lot of gratuitous and self-conscious “Look Ma – Depth!” activity, with characters carefully moving to face the screen so they can throw an object or thrust a hand at the audience. Mercifully, there’s only one or two such incidents in MvA. For most of the movie, the 3D is in the service of the storytelling, not the other way around. In particular, the 3D is often used as way to easily establish scale—handy in a movie where giant alien robots square off against puny (and not so puny) Earthlings. The movie also has a lushness about its virtual sets, something which I think Dreamwork’s rival, Pixar, has had an edge on, at least until now.