Dreamworks Animation’s Abominable is the first family-oriented movie to come along in quite a bit, as the summer movie season is over and we’re just gearing up for fall blockbuster season. With fun and excitement in the air, and a young girl’s quest to save a Yeti named Everest in the offing, there looks to be a lot of lush visual output coming from this film.
Yet, is Abominable worth the extra 3D ticket money, or are you better off booking a trip to Mount Everest yourself? That sounds like a scenario that can be answered either one of two ways: To 3D, or Not To 3D! If you’re curious about how we enjoyed the film itself, head over to our review for the scoop.
Otherwise, slip on your glasses, and bring a coat just in case, as we’re scaling the 3D heights of Abominable, and getting some answers.
Animated films are usually a fantastic fit for the 3D format, but that's not always the case. A 3D presentation can be taken for granted, which leads to some not-so-perfect work being put in front of those tinted shades. That’s not the case with Abominable though, as the film is absolutely perfect for 3D. It’s such a great fit that it actually improves how the movie plays when compared to the 2D version, turning what could have been a cash grab into something essential to the viewing experience.
There’s only a slight hitch when it comes to Abominable’s 3D version, and it’s not the brightness for a change! Rather, there are just a couple of action shots that wonk out the eyes a little bit while watching them. Other than that, the planning and effort that went into this family-adventure film is so tight, it’s not even funny. The hallmarks of good 3D filmmaking are on display throughout this entire movie. It’s an absolute delight to enjoy a bunch of artists doing what they love, and the results reflect that love.
One of the biggest problems with 3D films is the fact that they don’t take enough advantage of the visual thrills they can engage in. This is most present in two specific aspects: projecting things out into the audience, and drawing depths in the picture itself. Abominable doesn’t forget these things, and uses them to their best extent possible. In terms of “before the window” action, the film throws as much material into the audience as it can, from yeti enlarged blueberries to violin bows and tasers. It’s never overused, but adds enough visual trickery to make you react more than once to what you’re seeing.
Just because a movie throws everything but the kitchen sink at you in its 3D presentation doesn’t mean that the depth is automatically going to be just as good. But as far as Abominable goes, those two specifications go hand in hand, as “beyond the window” looks just as good as what comes before it. Lush mountain ranges, villages with open fields, and even the skyline of Shanghai all come to life with impressive, endless depth. However, the most impressive fact is if you look at the stairwell in Yi’s apartment building, you can see through the small opening, right down to the bottom floor in perfect depth. Nailing the big picture is an accomplishment in and of itself; so when something so small is nailed down to a science, that’s a 3D movie that goes the extra mile.
You’re probably expecting the usual griping about brightness to be going off right about now, and who could blame you? One of the big drawbacks of a 3D movie is the fact that between the grey tinted polarized glasses you need to watch a film, and the variable of just how well your local theater maintains its projectors, your mileage is going to vary in this particular section. After watching Abominable in a theater I know to have nice, bright projection work, I’m pleased to say that brightness is absolutely not a problem that this film has. Night scenes are easy to watch, with just the right amount of shadows and light, and daytime scenes are as vibrant and colorful as possible.
With perfect scores in terms of what’s before and beyond the 3D window, Abominable needs to have a good amount of blur on the screen to prove it’s doing the job right. If you take off your glasses, and look at a 3D movie in action, you’ll see that the images is blurred in order to draw the 3D picture you’re supposed to be seeing with your glasses on. This movie fits that bill perfectly as well, with subtle to strong blurs present throughout the entire film – even through the end credits and post credit gag.
A minor deduction had to come off of this particular portion of Abominable’s score, as again there are some action sequences that play a little too fast and close to the virtual camera for the 3D to catch up with. There’s some eye strain, but not enough to tire audiences out. Putting those small moments aside, this is actually a smooth ride for 3D audiences, young and old, to take on a weekend movie outing.
|3D Scores Recap|
|3D Fit Score||5|
|Planning & Effort Score||4|
|Before the Window Score||5|
|Beyond the Window Score||5|
|Glasses Off Score||5|
|Audience Health Score||4|
Abominable NEEDS to be seen in 3D, as the visually stunning result of its presentation actually heightens the film. Few movies feel essentially 3D when it comes to how they’re shown, but this animated adventure benefits so much from the medium that I actually enjoyed it substantially more when seeing it in this fashion. This is more than worth the extra ticket money, so if you’re going to see Abominable, and you probably are, make sure to spring for the premium adventure package known as 3D.
Be sure to visit our full To 3D Or Not To 3D Archive.